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Transformation is slow.


  

Good day good people,

  

We have been staying with the ongoing charge to "acknowledge, explore, and live out of our" second body [our Queen/King/Kin-dom of Heaven or imaginal realm body]. Last week, we considered how this may be taking root and making changes in our lives. Sometimes the fruit of these tasks we take on does not grow or bare as soon as we would like or look like what we might expect.

 

It is good to remember that nearly all spiritual teachers encourage us to trust the reality that transformation and growth is slower than we tend to prefer and may bare outcomes we never know about. Some perceivable shifts to tend to reveal themselves along the way and even more so over longer arcs of time.

 

Yet, “the change that does take place is frequently imperceptible, like watching a plant grow. One gets perhaps some evidence of change when one is suddenly put in a situation which one has been in before, but not for a long time, and then one may very well find that one is able to bring something new to the situation because something inside one has changed” (Hugh Ripman, Questions and Answers Along the Way, p. 321). When we have a moment of seeing that we are able to bring something new to a situation because something inside us has changed, or rather where we are coming from has changed, it is a great gift. It may just be evidence that we are indeed strengthening and continuing to find our second body's feet. 

 

Still, this journey is slow to many of our human standards. I leave us with these likely familiar words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin to be of encouragement to our human selves in regard to this slow work. He says,

 

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.

We are quite naturally impatient in everything

to reach the end without delay.

We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

We are impatient of being on the way to something

unknown, something new.

And yet it is the law of all progress

that it is made by passing through

some stages of instability—

and that it may take a very long time.


And so I think it is with you;

your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,

let them shape themselves, without undue haste.

Don’t try to force them on,

as though you could be today what time

(that is to say, grace and circumstances

acting on your own good will)

will make of you tomorrow.


Only God could say what this new spirit

gradually forming within you will be.

Give Our Lord the benefit of believing

that God’s hand is leading you,

and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

in suspense and incomplete.

 

Let it be so.

 

Eastertide Love,

Heather 

 

Readings from last week's Daily Contemplative Pauses

Tuesday, April 30th with Heather


Reading:  “Humanity is now too clever to survive without wisdom" (E. F. Schumacher). Consistent with E. F. Schumacher’s observation above, the need for wisdom to balance our cleverness is now more apparent than ever. As far back as 1975, the historian Arnold Toynbee wrote, ‘Technology gives us material power – the greater our material power, the greater our need for the spiritual insight and virtue to use power for good and not for evil. The ‘morality gap’ means that, since we first became human, we have never been adequate spiritually for handling our material power. Today it is greater than ever.’ His ‘today’ was nearly 50 years ago!

 

Wisdom in Latin is sapientia, whose root is sapere, meaning to taste. This means that wisdom is derived from direct experience, ultimately of the Divine Ground within, as mystics throughout the ages have attested. Such gnosis is the deepest form of knowing by identity where we realise that the I Am in you is the same as the I Am in myself. We are ultimately expressions of the One Life, the One Mind, the One Love. This insight forms the living ethical basis of a harmonious and integrated culture and intelligence, a word whose roots show us that it means to ‘read between’ (inter-legere).” 

 

Wisdom is “not about looking at objectifying and analysing, it’s more this immediate contact with the nature of something and being able to discern it from immediate experience and that is intuition, if you like. But it’s the operation of wisdom in practical situations.” — Laurence Freeman

 

 

Wednesday, May 1st with Heather 


Reading: “We need more wisdom generally and everywhere in society and wisdom is based on direct perception and experience. It’s not just about thinking, it’s about the perception of more subtle aspects of reality. And I think we need to advance our perceptual abilities, to arrive at this more integrated intelligence.” — David Lorimer

 

“I think we know it when we meet wisdom, when we see it at work. If wisdom is lacking in any interaction, encounter or decision, if it’s not restored quite quickly, then even the greatest of intelligences can become really just really stupid. Ultimately stupid. Many people have seen the film Oppenheimer, in which, we see the great scientific breakthrough that took place in the discovery of atomic energy. The first thing we do with it is to create an atomic bomb and the penny doesn’t drop with the scientist or at least with him until it’s too late. 


I think, it is of crucial importance that we understand the nature of intelligence, but also recognise the signs when intelligence goes wild, when it disconnects from its root. The root of intelligence is wisdom. It is this consciousness, the deep, pure, clear consciousness that derives ultimately from our source, from the source of our being. When that is open and we are infused by it, then we can use our different kinds of intelligence in a wise way, for the benefit of all.” — Laurence Freeman

 

 

Thursday, May 2nd with Catherine

 

Reading: “The Second Music” by Annie Lighthart

Now I understand that there are two melodies playing,

one below the other, one easier to hear, the other

lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard

yet always present.

When all other things seem lively and real,

this one fades. Yet the notes of it

touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound

of the names laid over each child at birth.

I want to stay in that music without striving or cover.

If the truth of our lives is what it is playing,

the telling is so soft

that this mortal time, this irrevocable change,

becomes beautiful. I stop and stop again

to hear the second music.

I hear the children in the yard, a train, then birds.

All this is in it and will be gone. I set my ear to it as I would to a heart.

 

Chant: be right here, in the heart of God (by Henry Schoenfield) 


Friday, May 3rd with Heather

 

Reading: “Although there are any number of spiritual practices both ancient and universal to bring a person to this state of permanent inner "yieldedness," the most direct and effective one I know is simply this: in any situation in life, confronted by an outer threat or opportunity, you can notice yourself responding inwardly in one of two ways. Either you will brace, harden, and resist, or you will soften, open, and yield. If you go with the former gesture, you will be catapulted immediately into your smaller self, with its animal instincts and survival responses. If you stay with the latter regardless of the outer conditions, you will remain in alignment with your innermost being, and through it, divine being can reach you. Spiritual practice at its no-frills simplest is a moment-by-moment learning not to do anything in a state of internal brace. Bracing is never worth the cost.

 

This does not necessarily carry over into an outer state of surrender, or "rolling over and playing dead." On the contrary, interior surrender is often precisely what makes it possible to see a decisive action that must be taken and to do it with courage and strength. To ski down a hill or split a piece of wood, you first have to relax inwardly; only then can you exert the right force and timing. It's exactly the same in the emotional world. Whether it's a matter of holding your ground in a dispute with your boss, handling a rebellious teenager with tough love, or putting your life on the line for an ideal you believe in like Gandhi or Martin Lather King Jr., action flows better when it flows from nonviolence, that is, from that place of relaxed, inner opening.” —Cynthia Bourgeault, Wisdom Way of Knowing, p. 74-75

 

Chant: I surrender

 

Saturday, May 4th with Heather 

 

Reading: “The goal of meditation is not to suspend you in prolonged states of altered consciousness but to undergird the awakening process so that you can be fully conscious and present in daily life. When this goal is reached, meditation has essentially served its purpose. But since the tendency to fall back asleep is very strongly built into the human psyche, a moderate daily meditation regime keeps you close to your own inner wellsprings.” —Cynthia Bourgeault, Wisdom Way of Knowing

 

Chant: just be here, let go be here, keep within, within your/God's heart

 

Sunday, May 5th with Heather

 

Reading: "God Is Not An OBE" by Alfred K LaMotte


"Glorify God in your body." ~1 Cor. 6:20


God is not an out of body experience. Do you imagine this flower must get out of its body to become the divine radiance it Is? Of course not. The Holy Spirit seeks ordinary miraculous flowers to express Herself in matter, on earth.


Mother Matter is God delighting in form. How much more does God revel in the light of your eyes, the curve of your lips, the roundness of your belly?

You can never be out of your body. The softest wave of your anatomy is the fabric of space itself. You touch the rim of Andromeda. You spill from every cup of swirling stars. You have no edges.


Does your body not contain every stranger, all races and nations co-mingled in the rivers of your blood? No one is excluded from the fireside gathering of your tribal heartbeat. Your physiology entangles forests, deserts, mountains. Your pulse aligns the planets. Your breath churns the sun.


"Ano raniyan, mahato mahiyan" says the Upanishads: "one atom of the smallest is greater than the greatest." Flashing with this moment of awareness, a synapse in your brain condenses all the light of the Milky Way. In one photon of your flesh, choir upon choir of heavenly beings stand in ranks of shimmering fire, like petals in a vast chrysanthemum.

This Sabbath morning, just for a few moments, honor the rising and falling of your chest. Glorify God in your body.

 

Chant: every cell of this body sings glory

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