After a morning inundated with news of violence and the omicron variant sweeping with breakneck speed across the world, I am once again rescued by the Meister’s stunning insight into the essence of divinity, “God laughs and plays.” (Meister Eckhart)
Stuffed bird flew the coup
At Ascot’s royal racing
Racy Tweets Twitter
Sherlock sleuths out sleep
Wherever he can find it-
Exercise be damned.
Clap your hands believe
Magic dances in wide eyes
…An authentic life is a life that is aware of and willing to engage its own oppositions…. Sometimes, people who are very vociferous and moralistic are people who have erased the tug of opposition from their lives….It is lonely sometimes to hear them talk because,in their certainty, you can hear the hollow echo of a life only half-lived….One of the greatest duties of postmodern culture…is to try to bring the personal and the communal, the individual and the universal, together.
John O’Donohue in a talk delivered for “The Open Mind”
published in Walking in Wonder by John Quinn and John O’Donohue
The eye with which god sees me
is the same eye with which I see god.
God’s eye and my eye are one.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.
There is a space of potential presence in god’s eye where we can reside in peace with the other, even if we cannot be with them in any other place, in any other way. If we can believe that we are one in God’s eye, we break the wall of dualism that separates us, even if just for a moment. Moments live into more moments. Rest in the sacred gaze of the divine.
I am reminded of these earlier musings as I feast on the book, Walking in Wonder, a gathering of Johm O’Donohue’s poetry and philosophising by his friend John Quinn. It is O’Donohue’s discussion of Meister Eckhart that brought me to this place again.
I first coined the phrase “genes of our souls” in this poem I wrote in 1989 after experiencing the deaths of my parents. It brought me some comfort.
At 75 I am coming closer to understanding and accepting the import of the phrase. O’Donohue relates Meister Eckhart’s conviction that there is “a lonely edge to our lives” that can only be filled by God, and that if we want to come into God’s presence, we must let go of all images to make that journey. And it is the journey, the process that matters. For me the journey entails a stripping down to the very genes of my soul where Presence lives unfettered by the images I have created. In those moments of nothingness I experience fullness.
This has become my Advent meditation. My journey is less toward a babe in a manger and more toward an expansive divine presence gestating within my spirit. As I move along the path I throw out all the clutter that blocks my way. It comforts me to be companioned by you on this sacred camino de santiago.
In a previous post I described an image I use for the state of being bound to the ego. Meister Eckhart uses the term ichgebundenheit to describe this state. In my image the eye of a hurricane recklessly swings me around its periphery, subjecting me to a destructive array of errant ego-blasts, each one taking me farther away from the calm of the eye. Divine Presence resides in that center, calling me away from the storms I conjure.
Thich Nhat Hanh likens the state to clinging to the top of a tree during a storm, not a very safe place to be. In a collection of meditations he shared with prison inmates,
In a previous post I have described an image I use to describe the state of being bound to the ego. Meister Eckhart uses the term ichgebundenheit to describe this state. In my image the eye of a hurricane recklessly swings me around its periphery, subjecting me to a destructive array of errant ego-blasts, each one taking me farther away from the calm of the eye. Divine Presence resides in that center, calling me away from the storms I conjure.
Thich Nhat Hanh likens the state to clinging to the top of a tree during a storm, not a very safe place to be. In a collection of meditations he shared with prison inmates, Be Free Where You Are, he shares the spiritual practice,”The Art of Handling a Storm.”
“The Art of Handling a Storm”
When a strong emotion takes hold of you and you can’t seem to let it go, get into a stable position in which you feel grounded (sitting with feet planted firmly on the ground, lying down.) Focus away from the storm in your head and turn your attention to the stability of your belly. Feel your hands firmly in place on your belly and begin breathing in and out. With each inhale say,”Breathing in I feel my abdomen rise,” with each exhale say,”Breathing out I feel my abdomen fall.”
Thich Nhat Hanh assures us that after twenty minutes of this we will feel strong and after a while the emotion will pass. I may follow this up with a mantra that brings me into divine presence, such as Julian of Norwich’s words,”All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
I have friends who are dealing with the worst of cancers and the death of a loved one. Earthquakes, flooding, wars and hurricanes displace thousands of people. Yet, many of them endure. Not just endure. They endure creatively. How do they do it?
They learn these truths:
Photo Credits: Raw silk- http://www.wormspit.com/degumming.htm; -wood_uncut_by_borysses.jpg
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one loving.” Meister Eckhart
Some of you are aware of my love for this quote which has graced my posts more than once in an ongoing attempt to understand and live it.This is what it says to me today. It’s a bit cryptic. Plunge right in!
Photo Credit: Liberation Through Seeings – Alex Grey – www.alexgrey.com / Sacred Geometry ♥
An invitation from years past to meditate on brooding-baring-bearing in the now of these troubled times.
“The seed of God is in us. Given an intelligent and hard-working farmer, it will thrive and grow up to God, whose seed it is; and accordingly its fruits will be God-nature. Pear seeds grow into pear trees, nut seeds into nut trees, and God-seed into God.” Meister Eckhart
While resting beside Echo Lake,
A thriving refuge tucked aside from concrete carvings,
I am summoned to attention by two red-winged black birds.
He perches atop a winter-withered reed.
She plunges deep into the safe bosom of branches and she stays.
The primordial rhythm endures
Echoing the sacred cycle
Set in motion by bits of star dust
Burst from the verdant void before time.
Bird eggs into birds
Pear seeds into pear trees
Nut seeds into nut trees
Human seeds into humans
God seed into God.
God-gene generates godliness.
Like red-winged black birds
Human souls echo the same cycle:
Return, return, return
Return to the God seed
To brood and bare.