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A little golden kernel which is the essence of you.

Coming through the Fall Triduum this past week as well as a weekend focused on mystical hope I am so grateful for the wisdom teachings that remind us to make space for all that is in our shadows, to stay connected with those who have gone before us, and to access the part of ourselves that already lives beyond death and begin to live from there now. Living now from that which already exists beyond death is something that wisdom teachers throughout time have charged us with and described in various ways. Thomas Merton talks about this part of us as le point vierge. The place in us where it is difficult to distinguish where God ends and we begin, where we end and God begins. The deepest part of us that is none other than the same substance as God, as Love, as Mercy. Thomas Merton also offers us an image of ‘a little golden kernel which is the essence of you’ that cannot be destroyed because God is protecting it. Gerald Manley Hopkins and Richard Rohr have called this the ‘immortal diamond.’ Cynthia Bourgeault’s teacher Rafe seemed to have called it the ‘invincibility of your own heart.’ Whatever we want to call it, the importance lies in allowing ourselves to sink deeper and deeper into our own interior and find and trust that place. Once we find it, we begin to recognize our truest identity is there within it. This connection allows us to be more present to the circumstances in our lives knowing that we cannot be diminished by them no matter how challenging they may be. When we connect to this place in ourselves we gain a sturdiness and resilience that gives us the strength to make space for our human experience in time with all the trauma and upsets, joys and pleasures. We can become wide enough to allow the whole gamut of what it is like to be human to be acknowledged because we know that it does not define us and cannot take away this ‘golden kernel.’ Developing an awareness of this part our ourselves is not an intellectual activity, but as Thomas Merton reminds us, we know it is in there and our freedom comes in our connection with that center. Although our minds may struggle to find it, our feelings and sensations can guide us to it. When we turn up the feeling and body centers’ volume our heart can perceive and recognize the reality of this place. From sturdiness, resilience, and strength, we have more of a possibility to be able to ask what is needed in any given situation. Knowing this golden kernel exists within me also allows a knowing that it exists in everyone else. It is not an individual self referential place but rather the place of most unity and interconnection. Collectively we can share the aim of cultivating a relationship with this ‘golden kernel’ and allowing it to make a difference in how we live now. With love, Heather


Here are a couple of the Readings from this week's pauses: “Properly understood through its own Western Filter, the imaginal realm is ‘collective and evolutionarily’; it’s ultimate purpose is to guide, shape, nourish, and where necessary, offer course corrections to our entire planetary and interplanetary unfolding. As an objectively verifiable realm interpenetrating our earth plane and operating at a twice-higher frequency of spiritual intensity and coherence, it is a life within a life, and its laws, interpenetrating our own, provide the inner template by which the outer unfolding can proceed rightly. Therefore, it is also and primarily supremely the realm of ‘cosmic assistance’ it is the place from which the saints, teachers, masters, and all manner of abler souls reach out across the apparent divide between the worlds to support or when necessary modify earthly outcomes in tandem with willing and attuned hearts here below.” — Cynthia Bourgeault, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm, p. 21. 'Liminality' So much of what we know Lives just below the surface. Half of a tree Spreads out beneath our feet. Living simultaneously in two worlds, Each half informing and nurturing The whole. A tree is either and neither But mostly both. I am drawn to liminal spaces, The half-tamed and unruly patch Where the forest gives way And my little garden begins. Where water, air and light overlap Becoming mist on the morning pond. I like to sit on my porch steps, barn jacket and boots In the last long exhale of the day, When bats and birds loop in and then out, One rising to work, One readying for sleep. And although the full moon calls the currents, And the dark moon reminds me that my best language Has always emerged out of the silence, It is in the waxing and waning Where I most often live, Neither here nor there, But simply On the way. There are endings and beginnings One emerging out of the other. But most days I travel in an ever present And curious now. A betwixt and between, That is almost, But not quite, The beautiful, But not yet. I’ve been learning to live with what is, More patient with the process, To love what is becoming, And the questions that keep returning. I am learning to trust The horizon I walk toward Is an orientation Not a destination And that I will keep catching glimpses Of something great and luminous From the corner of my eye. I am learning to live where losses hold fast And grief lets loose and unravels. Where a new kind of knowing can pick up the thread. Where I can slide palms with a paradox And nod at the dawn, As the shadows pull back And spirit meets bone. — Carrie Newcomer


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