The theme for September is vulnerability. Alas, when I saw that, I did not go, "Oh, goodie!!!" 😏
Being firmly grounded in relationship with a Higher Power (God, Spirit, Universe, Divine Love, Gladys, Ralph--whatever you want to call It) is a key ingredient in being able to be vulnerable in this life. From Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation of August 30 are these words by Mirabai Starr about the joy of a life of contemplation and meditation:
Contemplative life flows in a circular pattern: awe provokes introspection, which invokes awe.
Maybe you’re making dinner and you step outside to snip chives from the kitchen garden just as the harvest moon is rising over the eastern slopes. She is full and golden, like one of those pregnant women who radiates from within. Suddenly you cannot bear the beauty. Scissors suspended in your hand, tears pooling at the corners of your eyes, you nearly quit breathing. Your gaze softens, and the edges of your individual identity fade. You are absorbed into the heart of the moon. It feels natural, and there is no other place you’d rather be. But the onions are burning, and so you turn away and cut your herbs and go back inside. You resume stirring the sauce and setting the table.
This is not the first time you have disappeared into something beautiful. You have experienced the unfettering of the subject-object distinction while holding your daughter’s hand as she labored to give birth to your grandson; when curled up in bed with your dying friend …; while yielding to your lover’s lips. You have lost yourself in heartbreak, then lost the desire to ever regain yourself, then lost your fear of death. You long ago relinquished your need for cosmic order and personal control. You welcome unknowingness.
Which is why seemingly ordinary moments like moonrises and lovemaking undo you. The veil has been pulled back. Everything feels inexhaustibly holy. This is not what they taught you in the church of your childhood. Your soul has been formed in the forge of life’s losses, galvanized in the crucible of community, fertilized by the rain of relationship, blessed by your intimacy with Mother Earth. You have glimpsed the face of the Divine where you least expected it.
And this is why you cultivate contemplative practice. The more you intentionally turn inward, the more available the sacred becomes. When you sit in silence and turn your gaze toward the Holy Mystery you once called God, the Mystery follows you back out into the world. When you walk with a purposeful focus on breath and birdsong, your breathing and the twitter of the chickadee reveal themselves as a miracle….
So you sit down to meditate not only because it helps you to find rest in the arms of the formless Beloved but also because it increases your chances of being stunned by beauty when you get back up. Encounters with the sacred that radiate from the core of the ordinary embolden you to cultivate stillness and simple awareness. In the midst of a world that is begging you to distract yourself, this is no easy practice. Yet you keep showing up. You are indomitable. You are thirsty for wonder.
Practice, practice, practice,
|More beauty at the CSU Gardens|