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Monday, August 24 2009

Saturday's Sunrise

       A ribbon of red, crossing the blue expanses of cloudless sky and Lake Superior, signals impending sunrise.  I'm perched on a beach boulder, all bundled up, facing the glow.  An easterly breeze caresses and invigorates.  Waves lap on the shore.  Seagulls squawk.  The aroma of fresh doughnuts wafts my way.

       As the sun peeks over the horizon, rising more quickly than I expect, a line of color - first reddish, then orange, and finally gold - dances across the waves and appears to move directly toward me, almost as if I'm being personally greeted.  I feel a connection with the dancing light.

       Competing with the nourishment and tender mercies of all this beauty, a chattering mind tugs for my attention, serving a menu heavy on regrets and rehearsals - not tender, not merciful, and certainly not nourishing

       Once again, I'm invited to choose:  powerful and familiar old habits or the fresh beauty of what's happening now.  Unless I make the choice consciously, the automatic prevails.

       So, can I treat myself to this moment?

       Can I really let a new day dawn?
Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 13 2009

Light Shadow

     According to Carl Jung, the Shadow is that part of us which is unknown to us or disowned by us.  While the name implies a darkness, something negative or not-so-nice within us, this is not always the case.

       Here's a slightly edited version of a prayer composed by Benedictine author and spiritual guide, Macrina Wiederkehr, and brought to Thursday night Connecting Group by Ann Romanowsky.

O God
help me
face the truth
about myself --

no matter
how beautiful
that truth
may be.

Posted by: AT 10:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 10 2009

Dawn's Light

 Dawn Beye, a dear friend and colleague who
practices in the Kansas City area, was
diagnosed six months ago with a
cancer considered "incurable." 
I've been deeply impressed by her
courage, candor, humor and grace
in dealing with this challenging visitor
and with the wise reflections she posts
on her CaringBridge website.
Here's a sample:

   "I saw a movie recently - Miracle at St. Anna -
   a Spike Lee movie.  It had some lines I really
   liked.  At the end, a character was talking
   about how there is no control in life -
   wherever you go or try to hide, there are
   risks.  And yet we expend so much energy
   and resources to maintain an illusion of
   control and safety.  Here's the quote I liked:

   'Safety is the greatest risk of all, because
      safety leaves no room for miracles.  And
    miracles are the only sure thing in life.'

   "One thing I am learning well with this
    cancer is that miracles abound in all the
    messiness and unpredictability of life.
    Safety, as we commonly think of it on this
    earth (physical safety, financial security, etc)
    is impermanent and can disappear in the
    blink of an eye.  And yet, at the core of our
    being, we are always safe.  Even when 'bad'
    things are happening.

   "When we learn to perceive from the highest
    part of ourselves, we find peace and
    assurance.  For me this is the miracle -
    the sure thing.  I'd like to be a lot better at
    tuning into this.  I can't say that I'm all that
    skilled at it yet.  But I'm willing to keep
    learning.  And I'm getting plenty of learning
    opportunities these days.  Practice makes
    perfect, as they say."



Posted by: AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 03 2009
Breathing Spaciousness

There are times when it's important to follow
instructions precisely.  This is not one of them.

Last week, I invited you to connect affirmations
to the in-breath and out-breath.  I'll be doing
the same again this week.
Perhaps the practice works just right
for you as prescribed. 
If you'd like to change it in some way,
please feel free to do so.
Make room for you.

The breathing love practice flows naturally
into breathing spaciousness.
Here's the entire sequence
as it originally came to me:

Breathing Love

Inhale:  "I am connected."
Exhale:  "I am loved."

Inhale:  "I am loved."
Exhale:  "I am love."

Inhale:  "I am love."
Exhale:  "All is love."

Breathing Spaciousness

Inhale:  "All is love."
Exhale:  "I am love."

Inhale:  "I am love."
Exhale:  "I am."

Inhale:  "I"
Exhale:  "Am"

Gently, let the affirmation grow quieter and quieter
until, effortlessly and unpredictably,
all self-consciousness disappears
into the spaciousness of deep quiet.
Timelessness in sacred silence
is a healing grace that occurs naturally -
and often briefly, especially at first.
It can be invited, but not forced.
It's a gift, not a goal.

Posted by: AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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