Whether you consider yourself to be a student of wisdom and a contemplative or not, you are or you would not find yourself reading these words. As students of wisdom and contemplatives you know, part of our post, our responsibility, is to deepen our awareness of the place inside of us that is already silently at rest in Oneness, God, Mystery. Our deepest Center of Being, as Bernadette Roberts in her book The Path to No-Self: Life at the Center reminds us, becomes increasingly accessible as a refuge of interior peace amidst the trials in and around us.
We are invited to allow our entire human self made up of so many physical, emotional, mental, biological aspects/parts to slowly and continuously make a conscious connection to this Center. When we allow the multitudes within us to meet the Center and to ongoingly, when disturbances arise, learn to become re-collected in the deep cave of our inner most being, we go against the grain of our habitual human condition and defensive reactions. For those drawn to this path, whose post it is, it is important to allow the lure to this Center and to follow it, acclimating to living from this deeper dimension more and more. Not only for our own personal peace and equanimity but to move out from there engaging life with more freedom to meet the needs of the moment around us. I know that everyone has a different way of stewarding this process and holding this post but thank you for being willing to engage it alongside one another for the good of the Whole.
Here the Readings from this week's pauses:
"...once the deepest center of being opens to us, its silence becomes increasingly accessible as a refuge of peace. We are subtly lured into this center by infusions of joy and love which increase our desire to remain in this dimension. In itself, this dimension is both a conscious awareness and a subtle feeling of deep interior space, a space so deep it seems at times to go through our being and out—beyond ourself. As we acclimate to living in the center we lose the old habit of being swayed by thought and feeling because they can no longer draw us out, disturb our peace, or reach to this deeper dimension. Thus, the process of learning to live at the center is the process of unification and transformation, otherwise known in contemplative literature as 'transforming union.' It means we are losing old ways of acting and responding in order to learn how to live at the center in union with God."
. . .
"At any rate, this trial may have accelerated the unifying process by forcing me to dive to the bottom in search of silence. It taught me, as nothing else could have, what a mighty fortress of peace, what a bastion of strength the center really is. While living in the center does not make the external circumstances of life any easier, at least it makes them possible—meaning, we do not run away, but stay to take what comes with peace and equanimity of soul. This is much like suffering without suffering. It is not pleasant to walk through fire, but the marvel is that we can do it all—without being burnt."
— Bernadette Roberts, The Path to No-Self
'Although it is Night'
For I know well the spring that flows and runs,
although it is night,
that eternal, hidden spring;
I know well where it has its rise.
I do not know its origin, for it hasn’t one.
But I know every origin
has come from it.
I know that nothing else is so beautiful,
and that the heavens and the earth drink there.
I know well that it is bottomless
and that no one is able to cross it.
Its clarity is never darkened,
and I know that every light has come from it.
I know that its streams are so brimming
they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth.
I know well the stream that flows from this spring.
It is mighty in compass and power.
I know that the stream proceeding from these two
is proceeded by neither of them.
This eternal spring is hidden.
It is here to call creatures;
and they are filled with this water,
although in darkness, because it is night.
— John of the Cross
“God's Word is in all creation
No creature has meaning
without the Word of God.
God's Word is in all creation, visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being,
spirit, all verdant
this Word flashes out in
This is how the spirit is in
the flesh - the Word is indivisible from God.”
— Hildegard of Bingen, Teachings of the Christian Mystics
“We are enclosed,
O eternal Father,
within the garden of your breast.
You drew us out of your holy mind
like a flower
petaled with our soul's three powers,
and into each power
you put the whole plant,
so that they might bear fruit in your garden,
might come back to you
with the fruit you gave them.
And you would come back to the soul,
to fill her with your blessedness.
There the soul dwells-
like the fish in the sea
and the sea in the fish.
— Suzanne Noffke, from Prayer 20