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We all feel the stress, the squeeze, the stretching.

We all feel the stress, the squeeze, the stretching. . . in very similar and collective ways as well as very different and particular ways. I trust you are finding your own way with tending to your being and stewarding your atmosphere. I hope the practices I shared the past four weeks are of some use for you in this endeavor and that you will continue to let go of that which is unnecessary in order to make space for what is essential.

The collective contemplative pauses are meant to be a gathering together to reground in a space that is supportive and organizing for your being. As we gather in the stillness for chanting and centering prayer (or other silent meditation) we slowly drop below the busyness of the mind, the range of emotional experiences, and the tensions of the body. We allow ourselves to rest in the fullness of Heart that can make space for what is, cultivate surrender, and practice presence. Being ‘here’ most prepares us for ‘there,’ wherever ‘there’ is.

For the rest of this month continue to work with this check in. Pause for a minute or two—it may take longer at first—to do the following practice before you are going to turn on the television, jump on your phone, or engage any type of social media.

This practice is a slight variation of a practice taught to me by Deborah Rose Longo, a Gurdjieff Movements teacher and mentor.

~ Pause and follow your breath in and out a few times while engaging your environment through your senses. Notice what you see, hear and sense with your skin. Then follow a few more breaths while sensing into your body, locating it in time and space. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the places in your body that are already at ease and allow them to grow, supporting the release of any unnecessary tension present. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the place in your mind that is still underneath the thoughts and allow this place to take up more space, supporting the letting go of any unnecessary thinking. ~ Take a moment to consciously notice the place in your heart that is soft and open underneath the emotions and feelings allowing it to grow and supporting the settling or moving through of any unnecessary emotions. ~ Stay in this three centered awareness and from a more open state of ease in your body, a quieter mind, access a feeling of gratitude—an inner “thank you”—and follow a few more of your breaths while you remember yourself.

May your mind be open. May your heart be wide. May your body be at ease. May you re-member yourself.

Here are a few readings from this week: " is all too easy to understate and miss that hope is not intended to be an extraordinary infusion, ‘but an abiding state of being.’ We lose sight of the invitation - and in fact, our ‘responsibility,’ as stewards of creation - to develop a conscious and permanent connection to this wellspring. We miss the call to become a vessel, to become a chalice into which this divine energy can pour; a lamp through which it can shine." "We ourselves are not the ‘source’ of that hope; we do not manufacture it. But the source dwells deep within us and flows to us with an unstinting abundance, so much so that in fact it might be more accurate to say we dwell within ‘it.’” — Cynthia Bourgeault "Yeshua says... If your spiritual guides say to you, "Look, the Divine Realm is in the sky," well then the birds will get there ahead of you. If they say, "It is in the sea," then the fish will precede you. No, divine Reality exists inside and all around you. Only when you have come to know your true Self will you be fully known—realizing at last that you are a child of the Living One. . ." — Logion 3, Gospel of Thomas “The cosmos is for me. We often think that God is oppositional to our own emergence, but hey, what would be the point of that?” “We realize that we do live in a vast relational web that’s receiving us at every level so deeply and the only reason we miss it is because the only possible place that I can unfold is in the present, and that’s exactly the place where we mostly never are." — Cynthia Bourgeault "...Any solitary work of prayer is ultimately communal, and in a powerful though mysterious way it upholds and maintains the life of this planet at an energetic level. Prayer, "piercing prayer"—as Julian of Norwich, another legendary hermit called it—affects something mightily. It pierces to the heart of God, like a strong electric current coursing through the Mercy, subtly rearranging and revivifying everything" — Cynthia Bourgeault ‘Activity in God’ To love is to live in God. Loving is activity in God, so that every thought and action is in God - not in the world. When you love you no longer respond to the vibrations of destruction and death, but to those of the more abundant life. — White Eagle "All the great teachers and practitioners of prayer tell us that true prayer involves a “recentering of subjectivity” from the self to God. Here we not only “see” that we are not the central attraction but also willingly realign ourselves or allow ourselves to be realigned so that the centripetal and centrifugal force in our lives is the Divine... the spiritual life is rooted in our response and participation in the action of the Spirit alive in our lives and in the world. This is the dance we are invited to dance. This is our prayer. When in contemplative prayer we open ourselves to this fundamental restructuring at the center of our being, we experience a radical shift of perception. We begin to see from the divine perspective. It’s no longer simply or solely about “me,” about my needs and my wants and instead about being on the lookout for where the Spirit is moving, and joining ourselves to that grace-filled movement (however awkward or painful the dance)." — Daniel J. Miller

With love, Heather


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