No matter what spiritual path you are on, the non-dual teachings of Yeshua (Jesus in Aramaic) in the Beatitudes open those who have readied hearts into a way of Be-ing, an inner posture that shakes up the dominant culture. These teachings are simultaneously overly familiar and under emphasized in their potency for transformed Be-ing. Warning, they will disrupt your life as you begin to live out their radical message, an act of soul-activism.
Yeshua delivered these teachings to the crowds made up of people from all over different regions, backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, the religious, the not religious, oppressors and oppressed. He was speaking to a wide spectrum of humanity and his message was to all who had ‘ears to hear’ for he was inviting all into a new way to live with one another beyond division, as a beloved Whole.
Yeshua spoke these teachings in his native tongue Aramaic, a language Neil Douglas-Klotz reminds us in his book Prayers for the Cosmos, that is similar to other ancient native languages around the planet in that it is close to the earth and rich in images of cycles. It presents a fluid and holistic view of the cosmos and does not draw sharp lines between means and ends, or between inner quality and outer action. He says, “Aramaic is rich in sound-meaning; that is, one can feel direction, color, movement, and other sensations as certain sacred words resonate in the body.”
Native language is in all our roots. We can remember our roots and the wisdom carried in our blood lineage and spiritual lineage ancestors who had a particular sense of language. We can still receive nourishment and guidance from these roots.
As the world re-opens many things will go back to a sense of ‘normal,’ many things we aren’t sure about, and there are still things that ought not go back to normal so we should not even try. Let us turn to these Beatitudes again and again, spending time with these living breathing teachings that we may begin to metabolize their wisdom and let them feed us into new ways of manifesting as the particular part of the Whole that we are. That we might stand in our Being as we and others continue to process and digest all that hasn’t quite hit us from this past year and beyond.
I would encourage you to purchase or check out from your local library a copy of Neil Douglas-Klotz’s book Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflecting on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words.
This week, hold inside yourself and meditate on this first Beatitude as well as a few of Neil's alternative translations from the book.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy and aligned with the One are those who find their home in the breathing: to them belong the inner kingdom and queendom of heaven.
Tuned to the Source are those who live by breathing Unity; their “I can!” Is included in God’s.
Resisting corruption, possessing integrity are those whose breath forms a luminous sphere; they hear the universal Word and feel the earth’s power to accomplish it through their hands.
Spend some time in lectio divina with the one that you are most drawn to..
First, take a moment to sense your body and drop into your heart. Speak the words out loud. Listen with the ear of your heart and allow yourself to be drawn to a word or phrase that touches you.
Second, speak the words aloud again. Mull what struck you around with all three centers (thoughts, feelings, sensations). Reflect on the text, allowing the questions, insights, and memories to flow from your own life experience. Ask yourself what relevance or application this has to yourself, how does this touch my life at this time?
Third, speak the words aloud again. Notice your interior response to what is arising and whether there is a prayer or gesture or image that can be offered on behalf of you, others, the world, or God.
Fourth, speak the words aloud again. Rest in the stillness within, allowing all that has emerged to settle further in you in silence.
May we engage the act of mothering
May we create something new out of our pain
May we practice mutuality instead of hierarchy
May we choose self-love instead of internalized oppression
May we practice intersectionality, refusing to let hegemony “divide and conquer” us
May we be the way we heal
I will be away this week and unable to join you in the pauses but Joy will hold the post. Thank you Faye and Peggy for stepping in and facilitating this past week.
Faye read a passage from the book Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace by Brian Doyle. And here are the readings from this week from Neil Douglas-Klotz’s book Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflecting on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words [in Aramaic]:
Reflection on “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”:
“Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Forgive our hidden past, the secret shames, as we consistently forgive what others hide.
Lighten our load of secret debts as we relieve others of their need to repay.
Erase the inner marks our failures make, just as we scrub our hearts of others’ faults.
Absorb our frustrated hopes and dreams, as we embrace those of others with emptiness.
Untangle the knots within so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to others.
Compost our inner, stolen fruit as we forgive others the spoils of their trespassing.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.”
Reflection on “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”:
“Don’t let surface things delude us, But free us from what holds us back (from our true purpose).
Don’t let us enter forgetfulness, the temptation of false appearances.
(To the fraud of inner vacillation - like a flag tossed in the wind - alert us.)
But break the hold of us ripeness, the inner stagnation that prevents good fruit.
(From the evil of injustice - the green fruit and the rotten - grant us liberty.)
Deceived neither by the outer nor the inner - free us to walk your path with joy.
Keep us from hoarding false wealth, and from the inner shame of help not given in time.
Don’t let surface things delude us, But free us from what holds us back (from our true purpose).”
Reflection on “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”:
“From you is born all ruling will, the power and life to do, the song that beautifies all - from age to age it renews.
To you belongs each fertile function: ideals, energy, glorious harmony - during every cosmic cycle.
Out of you, the queen- and kingship - ruling principles, the ‘I can’ of the cosmos . . .
Out of you, the vital force producing and sustaining all life, every virtue . . .
Out of you the astonishing fire, the birthing glory, returning light and sound to the cosmos . . .
Again and again, from each universal gathering - of creatures, nations, planets, time and space - to the next.
Truly - power to these statements - may they be the ground from which all my actions grow: Sealed in trust and faith.