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Giving way to the season of Lent.

As This week the season of Epiphanytide will give way to the season of Lent. It is a season paralleling Jesus' 40 days spent in the desert and is potent with requests for us to engage in fasting, praying, and giving. Fasting, praying, and giving are practices that assist us in cleansing the lens of perception of the heart and seeing ourselves in/as a vast relational web of reciprocal nourishment and maintenance. Simply put, these practices aid us in taking a deeper look at that which we consume and take in, how we pray, and that which we offer. . . all part of a dynamic adjusting flow. They are in service of self-remembering. If self-remembering is about remembering that you exist within the relational field of mercy of which you cannot fall out of and have a responsibility within, then self-forgetting is to forget this reality, viewing yourself as somehow outside of and unaccountable within this merciful web. Whether or not you have participated consciously in these practices in seasons past, I invite you to consider how you might engage these practices with self-remembering in heart. Should you choose to fast from something you consume or take in, consider picking something to abstain from which contributes to self-forgetting. Should you choose to pray, consider whether there is a way of praying (wordless prayer, body prayer, breath prayer, etc) you are being invited into that facilitates this self-remembering and something in particular in the relational field - a situation, person, place, etc. - that you carry deep in your heart with a wish to be of help in some way. Should you choose to give, from a place of self-remembering, consider a palpable and tangible need that you are aware of either in your immediate circle of connection or something that burdens you in the world that you wish to lighten. Listen for whether there may be a way for you to participate in offering that which is needed remembering that giving does not have to take a particular form. As we find the practices we are invited to work with over Lent, we can also remember that we are entering into solidarity with many who have gone before us and are to come who wish to be a part of bringing forth that which is beyond. With Great Love, Heather


From this week's Pauses: Tuesday: “Silence cannot be made to happen. If we go [to the] image of mind as water, there is no way to cause the water to be stilled and clarified other than simply to wait with vigilance and let it settle. Silence, if it is to come at all, must be allowed to happen. It cannot be force. In practice this involves letting turbulent thoughts and feelings come and go, rise and fall, as they will, until they begin to settle down on their own, or until one begins to sense the silence that exists eternally being them. Or perhaps simply until it is time to stop. Sometimes the noise does not settle down on its own. Sometimes it is not possible to appreciate the silence beyond the noise. This too must be accepted. To engage in effortful struggles to force the mind to behave can do nothing but stir up even more cloudiness and turbulence as a result of the struggle.” — Gerald May, Will and Spirit, p. 317 Thursday with Ali: 'The Journey' by Mary Oliver One day you finally knew What you had to do, and began, Though the voices around you Kept shouting Their bad advice‚ Though the whole house Began to tremble And you felt the old tug At your ankles. “Mend my life!” Each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, Though the wind pried With its stiff fingers At the very foundations‚ Though their melancholy Was terrible. It was already late Enough, and a wild night, And the road full of fallen Branches and stones. But little by little, As you left their voices behind, The stars began to burn Through the sheets of clouds, And there was a new voice, Which you slowly Recognized as your own, That kept you company As you strode deeper and deeper Into the world, Determined to do The only thing you could do‚ Determined to save The only life you could save.” Saturday with Angela: I search for God elusive, hidden God, I long to dwell in the heart of Mystery. I search for my true self more of who I already am, knowing there's so much yet to be discovered. I search for love, the unconditional love, that enfolds me and asks to be shared. I search for vision in the shadows of my soul, impatiently awaiting the moment of lighting. I search for a quiet heart amid life's harried schedule; my soul cries out, yearning for solitude. I search for compassion in a world gone deaf to the cries of the hurting, and the pleas of the powerless. I search for Home, always for Home, unaware, of course, that I am already there. — Joyce Rupp, May I Have This Dance? p. 92-93 Sunday with Angela: Let the divine name echo in the sanctuary of your heart, the place where the spark of God dwells within each of us. With each inhale, invite the sacred presence to be more fully with you. With each exhale, seek guidance from this divine indwelling. Imagine the sacred filling you with each inhale, noticing images as well as colors and body sensations that arise. With each exhale, notice how this presence wants to move in you and guide you through your day. As you let go of your need to direct the process, listen for the holy direction that is revealed.” — Christine Valters Painter, Breath Prayer p. 37 I sometimes forget that I was created for Joy. My mind is too busy. My Heart is too heavy for me to remember that I have been called to dance the Sacred dance of life. I was created to smile To Love To be lifted up And to lift others up. O’ Sacred One Untangle my feet from all that ensnares. Free my soul. That we might Dance and that our dancing might be contagious. — Hafiz


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