Making Friends With Boredom

 

 

“In navigating the changes, in wrestling with boredom, in confronting our restlessness, in learning to pay attention to what is before us rather than forever moving on to something or someplace that looks more appealing, we come to know regions of our souls that we could never enter otherwise.

Where do you find sources of stability?

What do you learn in committing to something—a place, a person, a way of life—over the long haul?”

In the Sanctuary of Women by Jan Richardson

 

 

Photo Credit:  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/6-scientific-benefits-of-being-bored-a6839306.html

 

Wheel Of Fortune!

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I looked at my cat this morning and exclaimed, “Wheel of Fortune!” capturing as much of the exuberance of “Rain Man” Ray as I could muster. Sherlock yawned in reply.

Tarot card “Wheel of Fortune,” had been my meditation. I learned again that change is inevitable and try as we may, we can’t control everything. We should just work on staying centered as we experience the spin, the fortune and the misfortune.

How could I not be inspired by the long running American game show, “Wheel of Fortune?”

 
Wheel of Fortune!

With a flick of the wrist
The Wheel offers up both
Fortune and misfortune.
Around and around she goes
And where she stops, nobody knows.

The trick is to relinquish control,
Relax into the spin
Learn from the landing point.
Of course
We can always call for a vowel
From the great white dove
Who wafts across the stage
Of our lives handing out hints
And glints of grace
For puzzle solving.

© Rita H Kowats 8-3-2020

 

 

 

Photo Credit:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheel_of_Fortune_(Tarot_card)

 

 

 

 

 

Kindle The Waiting Spark

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Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Out From Chaos

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At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.

― T.S. Eliot

 

A Blessing For This Time Of Wrestling

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May this blessing from Jan Richardson console us as we wrestle with so much these days.

Jacob’s Blessing

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. —Genesis 32:24

If this blessing were easy, anyone could claim it.
As it is, I am here to tell you that it will take some work.
This is the blessing that visits you
in the struggling,
in the wrestling,
in the striving.

This is the blessing that comes
after you have left everything behind,
after you have stepped out,
after you have crossed into that realm
beyond every landmark you have known.

This is the blessing that takes all night to find.
It’s not that this blessing is so difficult,
as if it were not filled with grace
or with the love that lives in every line.
It’s simply that it requires you to want it,
to ask for it, to place yourself in its path.

It demands that you stand to meet it when it arrives,
that you stretch yourself in ways
you didn’t know you could move,
that you agree to not give up.

So when this blessing comes,
borne in the hands of the difficult angel who has chosen you, do not let go. Give yourself into its grip.
It will wound you, but I tell you there will come a day
when what felt to you like limping
was something more like dancing
as you moved into the cadence
of your new and blessed name.

Jan Richardson in The Cure For Sorrow: A Book Of Blessings In Times Of Grief

 

 

Spiritual Energy

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Our thoughts and feelings
have an electromagnetic reality.
Manifest wisely

 

A good spiritual practice for these stressful moments of pandemic: remember that we are energy and we are called to direct that energy intentionally for the greatest good.

Before I unconsciously spew out my hurts and frustrations on others, I ask myself these questions from a Buddhist tradition: Is it necessary?  Is it true? Is it kind?  Does it improve on the silence?  This practice is one way of  intentionally and responsibly directing our energy.

Blessings on us all.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: 4329116 Man with conceptual spiritual body art by
Nejron stockfresh.com

A Spirituality Of Aging

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I stand here
Outside of myself
And watch as I commence
the journey
Into venerable vulnerability-
At least that’s what the young call it;
It doesn’t feel venerable yet.

I watch with surprise
That this old body that once
Could stave off
All manner of ailment
Bouncing back stronger,
Now fights a succession of infections
On a pilgrimage to commune
With the bones
Of my once stately cathedral.

I stand here
Outside of myself
And watch as I
Cry through the loss
Like an ancient willow wailing
Over limbs taken by thankless winds.
I feel the phantom sensations
Of my coveted limbs tingle
With strength, endurance and joy.

If I stand here
Outside of myself long enough
I will see green-leafed limbs
Poke through the paneless windows
Of my bone cathedral,
Stretching toward
patience, acceptance and resignation.

I stand here
Outside of myself
Awestruck by this holy episode
We call life.

c. Rita H Kowats May 18, 2020

Photo Credit: Wikipedia  Commons

Deep Listening

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A good blessing possesses something of what Celtic folk have long called a thin place, a space where the veil between worlds becomes permeable, and heaven and earth meet. In a thin place, God is not somehow more present, more there than in other places. Instead, a thin place enables us to open our eyes and hearts to the presence of God that goes with us always.

 

Jan Richardson The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for times of Grief

In the introduction to her new book of blessings (The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for times of Grief) Jan Richardson reminds me of another encounter I recently had with this concept of “a thin place.”

The author noted that another Celtic tradition holds that some persons are themselves a “thin place.” I know these persons to be the true deep listeners among us. We come away from an encounter with them knowing that we have been seen, knowing that we are known.

During these dire times of pandemic we must find the thin places among us and seek and call on them. They are the ones who can hold space for our fear and sorrow. Find them. If you are yourself a thin place ( you know who you are) step up. Be the listener who holds that space for others.

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/listening-spiritual-hospitality/

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Weeping Willow Meditation

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Weeping Willow Meditation

 

My seven-year-old self often sat
Settled under the swaying, trailing branches
Of the weeping willow that stood guard
In the center of her backyard.

 

The wispy caresses of the supple branches
Danced on the gentle wind,
Soughing a message unheard
On the other, unsettled wind
That gusted through the house-

You are loved. You are whole.

 

My seventy-five year old self
Now sits before a willow weeping
For a world not supple,
A world bending to its breaking point.
Trailing branches whip and slap,
Howls replace affirming whispers.

 

The weeping will wane
With every sway of every branch.
Hope will caress us again.
Weeping and rejoicing are One.
Live through each,
You become the Other.

 

© Rita Hemmer Kowats 4-30-2020

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Daria Sannikova from Pexels