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Epiphanytide Gardening.



Right now, within the Christian Wisdom tradition, we are in the midst of the season of Epiphanytide. This season began on January 7th and runs up to the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and focuses on the celebration of the manifestation of the Christ Seed sown in the soil of our hearts and breaking through that soil once again. In the midst of this season, we recognize, in the words of Quaker mystic Robert Barclay put to chant by Paulette Meier, "Christ near to all, the Light in all, the Seed sown in the hearts of all."

 

Each one of us has the opportunity to remember this reality and to be gardeners tending the soil of the Seed sown within. This is not always an easy or seemingly beautiful process. In fact, when we are awake spiritually, we often see all the ways we do not appear to be revealing Christ within us. We see how we struggle to buy into our programs for happiness (power/control, affection/esteem, safety/security), identify with our wounds and justified defenses, and fall short of our spiritual ideals. Rather than viewing this as a problem to be solved or eliminated, we can offer up all of our struggles, our wounds, and whatever shortcomings we feel we have to be the necessary compost for the soil of our hearts. We can be sacred composters together this season.

  

With Messy Love,

Heather


 

Daily Contemplative Pause Readings

from last week

Sunday, January 14th with Lacey

A Still Desert by Meister Eckhart

There is a spark within us

that knows God – an inner

light beyond every kind

of knowing and feeling.

This is a spark that 

is one with God, and

when we let ourselves

be alive to this light we

come into a still desert

where all is one

is God

is me.

 

Monday, January 15th with Tom

"The contemplative aspires to live consciously in the fullness of reality. This means that the contemplative intends to attain direct experience of the ultimate center or root of reality, as well as of all its more superficial layers. We will be talking about this, but we must be clear that talking about, thinking about, believing about, is not the goal. Direct personal experience is the goal. Talking and thinking about can help a little. Believing is more dangerous: one becomes dependent on an external authority and is distracted away from one's own experience. What is read and thought can be hints and pointers, never some way of capturing reality and restricting it to certain notions or images …

All of this means that the path to the fullness of reality is through the self. Through ourselves, through our subjective, that is active-consciousness. It is our only access to the whole, to all the superficial layers or levels, and to all the deep central rings of the core. The Mystics all tell us: enter into the heart, source, the origin, the ultimate. The center of the whole of reality is the center of your being; the heart of your being is the heart of the whole. As Bruno Barnhart say, “It is the center absolutely: of all being, of the cosmos, of all humanity, of the individual person. It is itself the Center of successive centers.”

— Beatrice Bruteau in Parables, Passages and Pomise

 

Tuesday, January 16th with Catherine

“…it is not by our hand but by earth and spirit and grace that all things are done….We are not so important; we are…at best loving midwives, participants in a process much larger than we.  If we are quiet and listen and feel how things move, perhaps we will be wise enough to put our hands on what waits to be born, and bless it with kindness and care.”

— Wayne Muller, Sabbath, p.175-6

 

Thursday, January 18th with Tom

Zero Circle by Rumi

Be helpless, dumbfounded, Unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace     To gather us up. We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty If we say we can, we’re lying. If we say No, we don’t see it, That No will behead us And shut tight our window onto spirit. So let us rather not be sure of anything, Besides ourselves, and only that, so Miraculous beings come running to help. Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute, We shall be saying finally, With tremendous eloquence, Lead us. When we have totally surrendered to that beauty, We shall be a mighty kindness. 

 

Friday, January 19th with Tom

The Best Thing about Love

What is the best thing about love?

That it compels me to love God. But detachment

is even better than this, because it

turns me from clinging

to the things of my

life until finally only

God is left.

So practice letting go, and then

let go even more, making room

for God to love you, not for your

love and not for your good works,

because you're letting go frees

you to love God, and it is this

that compels God to love you.

Meister Eckhart’s Book of Secrets, Mark Burrows and Jon Sweeney

 

Saturday, January 20th with Heather

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing by Rainer Maria Rilke (English version by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing

that is more than your own.

Let it brush your cheeks

as it divides and rejoins behind you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,

you where the heart begins:

You are the bow that shoots the arrows

and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back

into the earth;

for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown

too heavy. You cannot bring them along.

Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.


Sunday, January 21st with Heather

“The Russian Orthodox saint Seraphim of Sarov says, “Acquire inner peace, and thousands around you will find their salvation." And we might put his statement in a negative form: We shall never achieve peace in the world around us unless we possess some measure of peace in our own hearts. My second saying is from the one-time Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld: "Understand through the stillness. Act out of the stillness..." That was said by someone who had an intensely active life with very heavy outward responsibilities. "Act out of the stillness." Unless by God's grace we possess in some measure stillness of heart, a quality designated in the Greek Orthodox mystical tradition by the word hesychia, our acts will prove superficial and ineffective. But if we act out of the stillness, our actions may effect healing and transfiguration far beyond anything we imagine possible. "Act out of the stillness." Contemplative action is the most powerful action of all.” — Kallistos Ware, Bishop of Diokleia

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