Monday, January 26, 2009

Life and Death

I was intrigued by the dead snags on the bluff above the monastery...beautifully polished by the wind and sun. They reminded me of drift wood at the beach only these stood proud and purposeful...still full of life in death. Birds, insects, lizards, and snakes found shelter and substance...desert flowers, fungi, and lichens nestled in the organic debris that collected in the crooks and crevices. In death, it was teeming with life.

I'm reminded of a couple of quotes that I'll pass on...I'm still cogitating on both of them but beginning to see the truth in them.

"Until we see life and death as equal, we live in fear."
Byron Katie
"Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite.
The opposite of death is birth.

Life is eternal."
Eckhart Tolle

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coming to Faith

"The functional definition of faith is accepting reality". (Unknown)

I was confused by this statement when I first heard it 5 or 6 years ago. I could see that it took faith to accept or face reality, but faith being "an acceptance of reality" didn't make sense to me. I actually was a bit resistant to the idea; something about it agitated me. I still can't say that I understand it but but for some reason, the statement now is intriguing and hopeful to me. Perhaps it has to do with coming to a new understanding of faith that makes me feel as though I am coming to faith for the first time.

a free fall
vulnerable yet unafraid
clarity in uncertainty
all that is needed has been freely given
no longer contending
without resistance, without striving...
open and receptive
embracing this place, this time
all is gift
untethering beliefs
opening to true faith
ultimate, daring trust
sustaining, upholding
all that is...
one with God...
coming to faith for the first time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Back Home With Me

A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, "Father, give me my portion of the inheritance." So the father divided what he had and gave the son his share. Not long after that, the younger son gathered up his portion and took a journey into a far country. There he wasted what he had with riotous living. After he had spent all he had, bad times hit and he was in great need. The only work he could find was feeding pigs who ate better than he did. No one would help him. Then he came to himself and said, "How many hired servants of my father's have more than enough to eat, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'" So, he traveled back home to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring my best robe, and put it on him; put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet: And bring the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
Luke 15:11-24

I have come to see that I do the same thing as the prodigal...I'm not sure why, but over and over, I leave home in a similar manner. I leave that place within where I am loved and nurtured and filled, where I am connected to the Source of all goodness and life. But for some reason, I regularly leave this place to travel to a "far country" and end up losing myself in "riotous living"...personally destructive and diminishing. It isn't really living since I lose touch with who I am and become disconnected from the Source of true life. Thankfully, when the hunger hits, I "come to myself" and know what to do: I must return home. And there, back home with me, I am met with compassion and joy...I reconnect to the Source of all that I need and all that I am. The Kingdom of God within is restored...until I wander again to a far country...

Yes, Dear One, do you see that when you look to others for affirmation or attention, you have turned away and abandoned yourself (home) for a far country? With love and compassion, turn back to home and gaze upon the wonder and beauty of your own Being in God's presence.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Trees Have A Lot to Teach Us"

“We can learn a lot from trees:

they're always grounded

but never stop reaching heavenward.”


Mom's Tree

Life has

slowed and narrowed…

so it seems…

Mom’s tree silhouettes the sky…

here and there…


brown and gold,

silently quiver.

Lying in her bed,

resting in her chair,

sitting at her table,

she gazes at her tree,

through the seasons.

I worry…

Is she withdrawing

from life?

Then I wonder…

maybe it’s

the other way around…

Is she embracing life

in a way I have not?

So we sit together

with her tree.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Like A Child

"You need to turn and become like a child in order to enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

To become like a child is about living in the present of ego, open and receptive and unencumbered by thoughts and worries. A child doesn't live in the past or the future but enters fully into life in the present moment.

When we become like a child in this of in the present moment...we enter the kingdom of heaven.

Walking Through the Crowd

"All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way." Luke 4:28-30

Here's the key, Dear One. Don't allow the angry destructive thoughts or the desires or intentions of others possess you. Don't resist, don't become defensive or guarded...if they are insistent, let them take you to the brow of the hill...above the pettiness, above the illusions, above thought, above ego...and there, go your way, walking through the crowd.

"Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp." John 10:39

And remember: When angry destructive thoughts come (either through you or others) to seize you, you also can escape their grasp.