Radical Hope

2015 struggling to be born

Rather than focus on what’s threatening to strangle you, why not focus on what’s struggling to be born?

Given recent events in our world I sometimes feel downtrodden in Biblical proportions.  Hate, greed and ego-centered behavior have shoved us to the brink of Armageddon.  I’ll refrain from reciting the litany since you’ve heard it recapped on every broadcast this week.  I’ve been searching hard in my meditations for any glint of hope that still lingers for humanity.

I found RADICAL HOPE  in  a flower bloom.  If we study and celebrate nature we will learn how to be human.  This clip from the BBC production of David Attenborough’s “It’s a Wonderful World” is a beginning.  

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/58969511″>David Attenborough – Wonderful World – BBC – Full HD 1080p</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/portaldoleblon”>Portal do Leblon</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

A Spiritual Practice For the New Year

forgiveness for ourselves

I have grown up with Pat Conroy, living through the horrors of his family life in The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, and Beach Music. Copious tears have accompanied the reading of each saga of abuse and dysfunction in the Conroy family.  In the spaces between the words I knew that it was not really fiction.  Now that I am reading this year’s publication of Conroy’s autobiography, The Death of Santini, I know not only that the sagas are true, but that they are only half the story.  This is a story of reconciliation.  Pat forgave his father, and himself.  This, I am in awe of.

So, forgiveness is on my mind today.  My meditation led me into those realms of forgiveness and I share the practice that came from it.  My intention is to slowly review my life in stages and let the people who have consciously or unconsciously hurt me, gently stroll through my mind.  These are hurts that have been healed, some already forgiven, some still waiting.  It is not a time to use my ego to freshly analyze each hurt; rather, for me it is a process of the spirit, wherein, being truly present to it, I choose to let it go. If I feel it is not time to forgive, I just move on to the next person, knowing that I will return to analyze and pray about that hurt again at another time.  In this practice, I remember to forgive myself as well.

The first time I used this practice the experience was both powerful and gentle.  When the two most poignant hurts came into awareness I felt pain and cried, but it was quickly healed.  I think we have to forgive more than once, and at each forgiveness, we let go of more resentment and it is easier.  As I write, I have become aware that I forgot a hurt that rivals the hurts doled out by Santini! No wonder.  It has a layer of nearly impenetrable scar tissue protecting it….Been there, done that.  In these few days before the dawning of the New Year, I intend to repeat this practice daily.

Practice: Center yourself in a way that is meaningful to you.  When you feel ready, name a person from an early memory who hurt you, and say while inhaling and exhaling:

Breathing in, I forgive you, ___________________(name)

Breathing out, I release resentment.

Breathing in, I forgive you, _________________(your name)

Breathing out, I release resentment.

Repeat this until you know that it is time to move on to the next person.

May peace be yours in this New Year!