Being a benevolent ancestor.


Last week we talked about lingering a little longer in the thin time of the fall Triduum and opening to the possibility of actually sensing, and feeling the support and guidance from those on the other side of the veil who want to be of service. Another way we can linger in this season is to be a good ancestor ourselves. Being a beneficial ancestor means doing our work here in the present to heal or whole the past and also to prepare for the future. Spiritual teacher Gurdjieff talked about having a responsible position in your bloodline by facing that which you, as well as your family and nation, have sown within the past and perhaps reaped. He says that this responsible position is not an injustice but rather a very great honor. Even though we cannot go back and change the facts of the past, simply put through help from God and spiritual ancestors we can find the inner stability to genuinely see what has been done without shying away from what is seen. We can allowing remorse of conscience without falling into toxic shame or guilt and begin to transform the effect of the past through presencing that which has been banished to the shadows thus bringing it into the whole, offering some spiritual energy that was missing to the past in the now, and/or moving into a kind of needed action. Of course this takes deep listening to what is needed but if this is something that we feel called to engage, more will be revealed to us with God’s help. This repairing of the past is part of preparing the future as well. Gurdjieff often pointed to our sense of human responsibility. When we comprehend our place in the whole, without over or under estimating its significance, we see that we have the task to however we can leave the planet in a better place than when we found it. Of course this too takes listening to what is needed in any given moment and being willing to follow through in being and in action. May we continue to sit with this possibility and to reflect on some of the following questions. What might it look like for you to participate in repairing the past within you? What is one thing you might be being invited into in order to participate in this? Might you be able to consciously offer that as you head into the holiday season? What is one thing you may be being invited to bring forth? An inner posture as we head into the holiday season? How might you continue to receive blessing, inspiration, and guidance in order to bestow this one thing? Let us all engage the work of being beneficial ancestors. Autumn Love, Heather

 

Here the Readings from this week's pauses:

“Centering Prayer allows us to catch a more subtle undercurrent in this "true resignation" business. If we equate the "unresigned will" with Thomas Keating's "ordinary awareness," we can observe that perhaps the most striking characteristic of our ordinary awareness is that it is always stirred up. It loses itself in a constant stream of reactions, worry, and emotional considering ("How well am I doing?" "Are others appreciating me sufficiently?"). By contrast, the "calm" (gelassenheit) of spiritual awareness seems not so much a diminishment of self as a vastly expanded inner spaciousness in which the true self can at last come to birth. As Boehme writes, the secret of true resignation is this: "It does not kill you but makes you alive according to its life. Then you live, yet not you, but your will becomes its will." There is a complete indwelling, so that the "eternal seeing, hearing, and speaking" becomes the functional core of your own being —"the life of your nature." — Cynthia Bourgeault, Boehme for Beginners “Mystical hope is not tied to a good outcome to the future. It lives a life of its own, seemingly without reference to external circumstances and conditions. Well, now this is really important, because, like if the election goes the way that nobody wants it to go, or if a lot of people don't want to go, that that doesn't mean that that all hope is gone. It means that the outcome doesn't match what our expectations were, and what and the basket we have on our eggs invested in. But this does not mean that hope is gone and that If you're going to be a spiritual practitioner, you just have to hang on to that as an article of faith. That that external circumstances do not for an awakening spiritual seeker, have the power to make us hopeless. They do not, they do not, they do not. Mantra. And little by little you learn the truth of that. At first you just have to say it to yourself, and it sounds crazy. But as you begin to learn that freedom within that brings a whole access to strengths within you didn't even know you had. That we've lived for way too long under the under the heavy weight of victim psychology and victim theology and it's time to come back and look at the deeper Well springs.” — Cynthia Bourgeault, transcript from “Mystical Hope Today” for Spirituality & Practice “If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter.” — Terese of Lisieux “You are the Silence Beyond birth, beyond death, beyond experiences, Beyond doubts, beyond opinions. Beyond whatever it is your body is going through. Whatever thoughts your mind thinks. You are beyond that.” — Robert Adams, ‘Silence of the Heart’ In our busy society, it is a great fortune to breathe consciously from time to time. We can practice conscious breathing not only while sitting in a meditation room, but also while working at the office or at home, while driving our car, or sitting on a bus, wherever we are, at any time throughout the day. . . We can recite these four lines silently as we breathe in and out: Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is a wonderful moment! “Breathing in, I calm my body.” Reciting this line is like drinking a glass of cool lemonade on a hot day—you can feel the coolness permeate your body. . . . “Breathing out, I smile.” You know a smile can relax hundreds of muscles in your face. . . . “Dwelling in the present moment.” While I sit here, I don’t think of anything else. I sit here, and I know exactly where I am. “I know this is a wonderful moment.” It is a joy to sit, stable and at ease, and return to our breathing, our smiling, our true nature. Our appointment with life is in the present moment.” — Thich Nhat Hahn, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

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