Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Recently, a colleague shared with me a poem by Stanely Kunitz called “The Layers.” There is one line in it that stuck out to me, it says, “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” As I have been thinking about this line over the last few days I found myself having visions of mountains that have been blasted apart to create highways and the layers of rock which are visible in the walls surrounding me as I drive. The layers are a legacy of the history of that rock.
I remember a friend telling me about having a similar experience while in the grand canyon. Each layer tells a story about a different point in time in the development of this piece of nature. I have thought about trees and how there are layers that become visible when looking at a felled tree. Each layer is an important part in the life and history of the tree. Each layer tells a story about what happened during that time, what happened to that part of nature and what was done to it. The same is true for us.Read More
Monday, August 29, 2016
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Saturday, August 27, 2016
So here we are at the end of August and it is amazing to me how much I have thought about meaning lately. It is interesting how I have been thinking about why I have been led to sources of wisdom and revelation at certain times. For example, I was looking for a book a few months ago and was drawn to a book by Mark Nepo, which I thought would be awesome for our book club, called Inside the Miracle. It is a gathering of his writings which draw on his experience and transformation because of his battle with cancer. Most of the people in our book club have had cancer and so I thought this was a book that would really speak to them.
Little did I know that I was drawn to this book for another reason. One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with brain cancer. Reading this book while journeying with her helped me to enter into the miracle that was to happen in her life. It gave me new understandings of my own health challenges and the journey to wholeness which was coming as a result of this opportunity.Read More
Friday, August 26, 2016
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
So I have been thinking about practical ways to practice meaning in our everyday lives. One of my sources of inspiration this month came from one of the women who was at our anniversary celebration. She suggested we have a wall in our kitchen/gathering area where people could write inspirational words or phrases. This got me thinking what if we all did this. What if we create a wall or a mural of proverbs? They could come from one faith tradition, or in our space, a myriad of faith traditions. They could come from the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible or one of numerous other collections of proverbs. Here is a list of three of my favorite collections of proverbs:
- Like a Yeti Catching Marmots: A Little Treasury of Tibetan Proverbs·
- Soul Would Have No Rainbow if the Eyes Had No Tears and Other Native American Proverbs·
- African Proverbs, Parables and Wise Sayings
Do you have one you would like to share?Read More
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Honestly, sometimes it is so easy to see the meaning in what is happening, but sometimes life seems so busy it is hard to hear you speaking. So right now I am working on slowing down and being intentional about having the time to listen.
What I have learned is that taking the time to listen is like taking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where I have to enter life and lean in and listen.
This past week I have been reminded that life is unpredictable. By listening to you and your guidance I have found what I needed to lift me up and been able to find new ways of thinking about things. Even what initially felt like the worst of situations became transformative and life giving because you challenged me to enter into the situation, sit with you, and grow.Read More
Friday, August 19, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
So this month we have been talking about meaning as a spiritual practice. I have shared with you the writings of the Dalai Lama about how life is like driving a car and talked about the meanings I have gotten from the sculptures of George Segal. This week though I wanted to just write about life. A dear friend of mine is going through a challenging time health wise and it has made me stop and thinking about the meaning of life. As I was praying about my friend’s situation, I was drawn to the book we are reading in the book club called Inside the Miracle by Mark Nepo. The first section of the book is called, Upon Seeking Tufu as a Guide. Nepo wrote:
And so I asked him, how is it God is everywhere and nowhere? He circled me like a self I couldn't reach. "Because humans refuse to live their lives." i was confused. He continued, "You hover rather then enter." I was still confused. He spoke in my ear, "God is only visible within your moment entered like a burning lake." I grew frightened. He laughed. "Even now, you peer at me as if what you see and hear are not a part of you." I grew angry. He ignored me. "You peer at the edge of your life, so frantic to know, so unwilling to believe." Indeed, I was frantic He was in my face. "And now that you have cancer, you ask to be spared." I grew depressed. He took my shoulder. "For God's sake! enter your own life! Enter!"Read More
Monday, August 15, 2016
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Friday, August 12, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I have become intrigued recently by the work of sculptor George Segal. Segal used orthopedic bandages dipped in plaster to construct some of the most haunting and memorable figurative art of the twentieth century. He created life-sized models based on his body and those of friends, family, and neighbors. The models are seated at lunch counters, poised on street corners, or waiting in train stations. These figures inhabit everyday spaces, however, because they are sculptures, they are also three dimensional. Looking at them is like looking at a moment frozen in time. Looking at them you wonder what they were thinking about in that very moment that they were captured. His sculptures give us the opportunity to step outside our fast-paced world in order to take a different look at how we function within our world. What does the presence of these individuals mean to us? If we were to walk around and see them from differing perspectives, would the meaning we ascribe to them change.Read More
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Monday, August 8, 2016
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Friday, August 5, 2016
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Recently I read an excerpt from a book by Venerable Master Hsing Yuncalled Keys to Living Well. In it he talks about how life is like driving a car. I loved how he saw the spiritual meaning in this everyday action of driving a car. Rather then try to capture the essence of what he said, which i am not sure I could, I am just copying the excerpt here. I know what it means to me and hope that each of you will find your own meaning in this reflection.
"In order to live safely in the world, our conduct must be lawful and orderly like cars having to observe traffic regulations on the road. In this sense, life is like driving a car. The following are five analogies:
"1. To avoid speeding, one must observe proper limits. We all know that speeding can be hazardous, and if we are not vigilant with respect to our own limits in life, it would be as dangerous as exceeding the speed limit on the road. In contrast, if we all abide by our own place and limits, not only will we observe the traffic regulations, but we will also not transgress in our conduct. Each and every car that observes the traffic regulations ensures the smooth flow of traffic and safety on the road. Likewise, when we abide by our proper limits in life, we will be safe in our place and dutiful in shouldering our responsibilities. When we abide by proper limits, we can ensure a happy and safe life.Read More
Monday, August 1, 2016
It is all about finding meaning. The path that enables you to find meaning and value in life is the path that is for you. What is for you is for you and what is for me is for me. May we support each other in our paths.