During lent, let us remember that Jesus was, and still is, a wisdom teacher and he taught a path to those who were open. As Cynthia Bourgeault suggests, this path is one of conscious love through kenosis (self-emptying, non-clinging), abundance, and singleness (inner oneness, undividedness, wholeness). This week I invite us to focus on abundance.
Sometimes when we are aware of all the ways suffering is taking place around the world we can be overcome with sorrow and hopelessness. Although it is good to keep ourselves open to sorrow, we must also continue to open ourselves to abundance.
Jesus said in John 10:10 “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” And yet he himself chose to have very little material possession nor to be overwhelmed by the suffering that surrounded him. Abundance from a spiritual perspective is to be found beyond these things and requires heart perception. In her book Mary Magdalene, Cynthia says the kenosis Jesus has in mind is about cleaning the lens of the heart and in so doing “is a direct gateway into a divine reality that can be immediately experienced as both compassionate and infinitely generous. Abundance surrounds and sustains us like the air we breathe; it is only our habitual self-protectiveness that prevents us from perceiving it.”
Abundance is the opposite of scarcity and separateness. It is a knowing that there is enough available to us now in the kingdom of heaven which is inside and all around us. There is enough love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, trust, courage, forgiveness, mercy for us to receive and drink deeply of. As Jesus says, in Luke 12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, it is my father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” Abundance is a knowing that there is no separation between God and human and human and human. There is a mutual indwelling and interabiding. We do not lose our particularity and individuality but rather are aware of just how interconnected and linked we are. The totality of which is greater than the sum of the parts.
Our responsibility as followers on the path is to live in, from, and as abundance. Excluding it for the sake of the whole. As you continue to work with creating sun in yourself this lenten season, remember abundance. And here is another short practice for you to work with in support of cultivating abundance.
Practice: As you go about your day, notice when you are experiencing abundance, pause and see if you can identify what is abundant about the moment, begin to identify where the experience of abundance is landing in your body (stomach, face, shoulders, etc.) and what the sensation is (tingling, loosening, calming, etc.). Take 30-60 seconds to enjoy that sensation.
Lord Have Mercy on us all,