As We Carry On...


We carry on holding vigil in Eastertide. Last week we returned to Gurdjieff’s teaching that each one of us has an atmosphere, like the earth, that surrounds us on all sides. He urged people to learn to be more collected. Depending on the direction our attention is attracted or pulled by means of our thoughts, imagination, emotions, and organic impulses, our atmosphere can become chaotic, rigid, dispersed, unkept. We end up with an automatic, habitual, unconscious attention and our atmosphere diminishes. This has an impact both on our own being as well as the atmosphere of those we come in connection to and the whole collective atmosphere.

Our spiritual ancestors in the Christian wisdom tradition exhorted us to be vigilant and to ‘self-remember.’ Working to tend our atmosphere is one of the most essential practices in that aim. Vigilance is not the same as hyper-vigilance but rather a way of being conscious, awake, collected from a deeper point inside. Perhaps this point is the innermost altar in each one of our hearts.

Tending our atmosphere is a way of plugging up energy leaks and stabilizing our personhood below the egoic operating system which is concerned primarily with the matters of our horizontal realm, with the surface of things as an end in themselves. Instead we can show up in the conditions of our lives from the deeper concentration of a selfhood co-cultivated with the Divine. We can engage from that spiritually alive, poised, stable, clear, equanimous, peaceful Presence ready to see what is needed and to act.

May your mind be open, heart be wide, body be at ease.

May you re-collect and re-member yourself.

May you stand in firm in that which is pure.

May your heart be full of grace, your soul fueled by love.

With love,

Heather


 


Here are a some of the readings from this week:

“To replace all negative attitudes towards the existing world by a feeling of confidence and love towards the new world which is being born, towards the still unborn child that is the future [human]kind, to arouse in oneself constantly this love of the future of humanity. Every time one observes in oneself some kind of negative attitude. . . , to take this as the reminder that we human beings live on this Earth in order to serve and particularly to serve the future, and to serve with love, with hope, with confidence that it is possible for [human]kind to be born again. “

— JG Bennett

"[E]volution is the way life proceeds in the universe. From the simplest structures to complex unions, the emergent properties of life show coherence and unity as life unfolds with increased complexity. … The most fundamental shift in our understanding of the cosmos is the move from a vision of a universe launched essentially in its present form by the hand of the creator at the beginning of time to a vision of the cosmos as a dynamic, unfolding chemical process, immensely large in both space and time. … Evolution helps us realize that God works through the chaos of creation and is less concerned with imposing design on processes than providing nature with opportunities to participate in its own creation."

— Ilia Delio

SIT LIKE A MOUNTAIN

"(In meditation) Sit down,

and sit like a mountain!

Descend,

acquire gravity,

take root.

Meditation is not a takeoff, but a landing,

a rediscovery of one's ground, and one's roots:

it is to be present with all one's weight, in stillness.

To sit like a mountain is to alter one's experience of time, for

nature's rhythms are very different from our habitual ones.

Eternity is behind you and eternity is in front of you."

— Jean Yves Leloup and Father Seraphim

“There is in every person an inward sea, and in that seas there is an island and on that island there is an altar and standing guard before that altar is the ‘angel with the flaming sword.’ Nothing can get by that angel to be placed upon that altar unless it has the mark of your inner authority. Nothing passes ‘the angel with the flaming sword’ to be placed upon your altar unless it be a part of ‘the fluid area of your consent.’ This is your crucial link with the Eternal.”

— Howard Thurman

“A time of crisis and chaos, the kind that a pandemic brings, is, among other things, a time to call on our ancestors for their deep wisdom. Not just knowledge but true wisdom is needed in a time of death and profound change, for at such times we are beckoned not simply to return to the immediate past, that which we remember fondly as “the normal,” but to reimagine a new future, a renewed humanity, a more just and therefore sustainable culture, and one even filled with joy.”

— Matthew Fox

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