Surrender and attention.


We continue on in this Lenten season. Whether you gave up something or took something on for these 40 days, I hope that you were able to listen from your Whole Heart for an intention to live with.

I keep coming back to deepening my awareness of the sanctuary within, the place where I desire to come from more and more. It is a place of Wholeness and although it includes the small egoic orbit, from Wholeness the ego can align with the Soul rather than become limited by its narrow perspective. When we live from Wholeness we can work with the conditions in this world not as obstacles, but as training in cultivating surrender and attention. In many spiritual traditions surrender and attention are two wings that balance the bird.

Working with our attention is about keeping within, having some agency over our states, being able to place attention and sustain it. Attention is a powerful substance for what we put our attention on gains life and force, be it nourishing or destructive. Surrender is a deep letting go, a non-clinging, an opening that creates space for something more to move through us, for qualities to emerge. ‘The mature and subtle flavors of love’ Cynthia Bourgeault so often mentions, ‘qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness, commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness.’ Attention without surrender can become contrived or overly controlled. Surrender without attention can become disengaged and detached.

As we fly with both wings, from Wholeness, we can learn to read the wind and ride that edge between becoming overly caught up in the world’s drama or negligently disengaged in what it needs.

We are anchoring and tethering.

We are surrendering and trusting.

We are connecting and inter-abiding.

We are freeing and widening.

We are sensing the invincibility of our hearts.

With love,

Heather

Here are most of the readings from the ‘collective contemplative pauses’ this week. Again you will now be able to find them on Facebook and Instagram as well.

“At first when you begin a practice of meditation, it feels like a place you go to. You may think of it as 'my inner sanctuary' or 'my place apart with God.'

But as the practice becomes more and more established in you so that this inner sanctuary begins to flow out into your life, it becomes more and more a place you come from.

It is a bedrock of spiritual intelligence, a sense of connectedness known from so deeply within you that nothing can shake it.

This is the ground of what tradition calls theological hope, 'the hope that can never be taken away,' because you simply know your abiding union in this place of interconnection...”

— Cynthia Bourgeault, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening

“The art of being lost is not a matter of merely getting lost, but rather being lost and enthusiastically surrendering to the unlimited potential of it and using it to your advantage. The shift from being lost to being found is a gradual one.

The way to encourage that shift is to first accept that you don’t know how to get to the place you want to be and then opening fully to the place you are until the old goals fall away and you discover more soulful goals emerging. Then you are no longer lost, but you have benefited immensely from having been so.”

— Bill Plotkin