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Repentance with a climate of welcome.



I hope you have had some fun working with prayer and fasting in regards to stabilizing enjoyment. This week we will begin exploring repentance, and next week self-examination, with the intention of stabilizing a climate of welcome within.

 

The essence of the practice of repentance, which in Greek translates as metanoia, is going beyond our ordinary egoic mind into the Larger Mind or Heart of God within us which naturally has a climate of welcome. In her book The Wisdom Jesus, Cynthia Bourgeault says, “The word literally breaks down into meta and noia, which, depending on how you translate meta (it can be either the preposition “beyond” or the adjective “large”), means “go beyond the mind” or “go into the larger mind.” Repentance then is naturally about entrusting our egoic operating system to the Larger Mind of God within us which can see and operate from the Whole of our nature without polarizing small and large.

 

Cynthia goes on to say repentance “means to escape from the orbit of the egoic operating system, which by virtue of its own internal hardwiring is always going to see the world in terms of polarized opposites, and move instead into that nondual knowingness of the heart which can see and live from the perspective of wholeness. This is the central message of Jesus. This is what his Kingdom [or Queendom] of Heaven is all about. ‘Let’s get into the larger mind,’ he says. ‘This is what it looks like. This is how you do it. Here, I’ll help you . . .” Paradoxically, escaping from the orbit of the egoic operating system begins with remembering we are already whole so there is no need to shun or reject any part of ourselves. We become willing to see and accept and welcome even that which we have deemed unseeable, unacceptable, and unwelcome. We welcome, listen to, and allow it all to be there without berating, judging, or shaming. AND we are are reminded that we have an orbit much larger than the egoic operating system.

 

As we consider our practice of repentance this Lent, for example that is what we are up to in Centering Prayer, let it be within a climate of welcome. Cynthia reminds us, "There is nothing to be renounced or resisted. Everything can be embraced..." This does not necessarily mean accommodating all of their programs and agendas for happiness but it does mean listening to what they have to say and allowing them to be embraced. We can even allow the smaller egoic operating system to rest its weary head, emotions, and body against the expansive yet sturdy walls of the Larger Mind, Heart.

 

From Wholeness we can tend to, be kind and welcoming towards the egoic operating system without being caught in its orbit alone. "Everything can be embraced, but the catch is to cling to nothing." Once we have tended, seen, allowed, and welcomed we can surrender the notion that the egoic operating system is ALL of who we are. Then we "let it go." We begin to "go through life like a knife goes through a done cake, picking up nothing, clinging to nothing, sticking to nothing." We don't need to reject the small egoic self and don't need to cling to it as our truest identity either.  

 

And don't forget to continue on with the good work of stabilizing enjoyment!

 

Lenten Love,

Heather

 

Daily Contemplative Pauses Readings

from last week

Monday, Feb 19th with Heather

Lovers need not say, "I love you." Love is their gaze. Silence is not absence, but presence. Sink into the nameless silence where all mantras arise, where all gods are born, where all paths meet and dissolve in wonder. After you offer everything, just before the next breath, the world is recreated through the Wordless. 

When I began the path of Love, I sought my fulfillment in an other: the Beloved, Jesus, Krishna, the Guru. But when my path dissolved into Love itself, I bore my own joy from my own molten core of golden, where a ceaseless melting bathes the world, the ancestors, and all the unborn in a secret fragrance, in waves of beauty, in tears of the Love I Am. Isn't it time to stop looking for this place, and start looking from this place?

— Alfred K LaMotte


Wednesday, February 21st with Heather 

Deliver me, O Jesus,

from the desire to be loved, 

from the desire to be extolled, 

from the desire to be honored, 

from the desire to be praised, 

from the desire to be preferred, 

from the desire to be consulted, 

from the desire to be approved, 

from the desire to be popular,

from the fear of being humiliated, 

from the fear of being despised, 

from the fear of being rebuked, 

from the fear of being slandered, 

from the fear of being forgotten, 

from the fear of being wronged, 

from the fear of being ridiculed, 

from the fear of being suspected.

—Mother Teresa

 

 

Thursday, February 22nd with Heather

The Medicine of Surrender by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

comes with no spoonful of sugar.

No promises, no back up plans,

no returns, no insurance.

The medicine of surrender

never tastes the way you expect,

never tastes the same next time,

seldom has the hoped for effect.

And if there were some part of you

that thought it might not be affected,

that thought it might hold back,

that part is most likely the first part

to be flooded with the relentless

truth of what is. Oh surrender.

The surest medicine that exists.

There are infinite side effects.

Wonder. Freedom. Rawness.

It’s like opening the dictionary

to the word heaven. Or obliteration.

And knowing it’s the same thing.

It’s like playing spin the bottle with life,

and you French kiss whatever you get.

It’s the only remedy that can help you

be whole. The only real medicine there is.

 

 

Friday, February 23rd with Tom

SHIFT by Alfred K Lamotte

The Shift is not a happening

in time.

Not something you need

to wait for.

The Shift is a blessed

and perpetual fall

from the chatter in your brain

to heart-hollowed quietness;

from the abstract to the local,

swollen repose

of a snow-bound crocus,

racket of flycatchers

over thawed bog water,

improbable worlds condensed

into pearls of the ordinary

like the sweat

of sweetness on a plum.

The Shift could be

a stinging caress

of moist burnt-umber soil

on your barefoot soles.

Or the fondle of this breath

kindling a flame of Presence

through the gray mirage

of your exhausted story.

Now why don't you

soften your belly.

Why don't you shift

into the place where you are,

relishing the only certain warmth there is,

your body.

 

 

Saturday, February 24th with Lacey

"We know by experience that in a relative, but very real sense, we are the arbiters of our journey, that we must take responsibility to cooperate with the grace of being faithful to our contemplative practices. If we do not meditate there will be no meditation in our lives. If we do not patiently work through the obstacles encountered along the way, we can lose our way and lose ourselves in the process. But at a deeper level, the entire journey is one in which we are called over and over again to surrender to a self-transforming process not of our own making. Each time we give ourselves over to our contemplative practices, whatever they might be, we find ourselves, once again, one with the communal mystery in which there is no separate self. Jim Finley | The Contemplative Heart

 

Chant: Holy One, here I am, Holy One, here we are

 

Sunday, February 25th with Lacey

Come to Dust by Ursula Le Guin

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body

that are to come, the motions

of matter that held you.

Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.

Fall to the earth in the falling rain.

Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.

Mount slowly in the rising sap

to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.

Come down to earth as leaves in autumn

to lie in the patient rot of winter.

Rise again in spring’s green fountains.

Drift in sunlight with sacred pollen

to fall in blessing.

All earth’s dust

has been, life, held soul, is holy.

 

Chant: Yeshua, oh blessed One, May your Peace arise in me, Yeshua, oh blessed One, May your Peace take root in me

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