An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh divine master grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

Numinous Experience

Here at the edge of the world, where men reach into the the sea with heavy line and glittering tackle attempting to join the massive Oneness of the ocean by removing from it those that truly belong, I find a sure and sudden calm as if sedated yet awake and aware. Fully aware.

I have spent so little time in my life by the ocean though I have always heard its call. A gentle tugging. It is the lure, I am the fish, and it is trying as hard to be a part of me as those men standing on the edge of this expansive pier are trying to be part of it.

In 1917 Rudlof Otto wrote Das Heilge, which appeared in English in 1923 as The Idea of the Holy. He suggests that while the concept of “the Holy” is often used to convey moral perfection It also contains another distinct element, beyond the ethical sphere, for which he uses the term “Numinous” and defines it as “non-rational, non-sensory experience or the feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self.” (Thank you Wikipedia)

I won’t go into the whole Jungian psychology surrounding the archetypes and Numinous because I believe I can sum it up in this one example: An artist creates a sculpture to give form to something that has taken life inside him. What he feels is Numinous, the influence of something “other” than himself. Years later I see his sculpture and literally feel the spirit he has put into the stone looking back at me.

This is the Numinous Experience.

I look into the ocean, this beautiful and powerful creation of the Divine, and see it looking back at me. Calling me. Reaching into me and igniting a spirit within me which I release onto the page of this blog where it lives and, hopefully, reaches into you and ignites the “other” that lives within you.

Life is truly a spiritual experience if we allow it to be.

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Image by JMGreff at the end of the Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores, AL

Beaver Moon

There’s a full moon tonight. It is a moon of introspection. A time when impulse gives way to doubt. Doubt gives way to resistance. Resistance gives way to rebellion.

If, however, we are able to separate our feelings of rebellion from a need for change we open ourselves to new ways of communicating because it is also a time of inspiration, security, steadfastness, and loyalty.

If you find yourself ready to bolt today, from whatever it is that feeds that resistance, whether it be work or a relationship or yourself, then stand back. Take a breath. View the situation in its entirety. And be grateful.

I spent a couple hours at the beach earlier. I felt alone. Truly alone. I wanted to run. To hide. I was balled up tight and wondering why I would feel that way in the presence of such shear power and beauty.

I straightened up. Put myself in a meditative position; back straight, palms upwards in my lap, shoulders relaxed, jaw loose. I breathed in that amazing energy. Connected to those feelings of insecurity. Embraced them. Listened to them. Loved them.

In loving myself I released those feelings and found that sense of security that lay just under the surface.

I wish I could share this with you. The feeling that everything will be okay because I feel those same doubts coming from you.

Relax. Breathe deep. Feel yourself connect to the earth through your feet and the base of your spine. Breathe deep and long, filling your lungs from the bottom up. Then release the air, squeeszing it out from the bottom up.

Focus on a point in front of you. Just in front of your eyes whether slightly open or loosely closed. Imagine a white dot of light there. The light moves and when it moves it makes the slightest sound. Listen to it. Feel it. Let it expand. Allow it to envelop you. When your thoughts stray listen to them, release them, then return to that point of light.

That light is surety. Stability. It is the strength of the Universe that lives within you. It is your divine spark. It is you and it is telling you everything is going to be okay.

Tonight the moon is full and so are you. There’s nothing to run from.

Melancholia

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Still as my breath
Slow as my step
Yet I wander
Lost in thoughts
That invade

A silent army
Of recollection
That tramples my peace
Despite the calm

I turn 54 today. My body turns 54, I’m not sure, cant be certain, how old my soul is. Surely, it is far older.

Today I feel the age.

I have pushed myself
Let myself go
Gave in to the ways
I put to the side
In favor of ways
Better

I thought they were better. Maybe they were just different. I do that sometimes; change ways simply because I know the way I was traveling was somehow wrong. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the new way is right. Just different.

My eyes in a glaze
Peer through the haze
Of what i thought was wrong to see right

Here I am. Full and alive. Willing. Capable. I see where I am going. Know each step. Know where they lead. Know.

Nothing
Not whether I will breathe another breath
Take another step
Type another word

I’m okay with that. Really, I am. I think it might be worse if I did know. I commit to the path I chose with faith.

Today I am 54. My body is, anyway.

My soul
Ripe fruit
Flowering vine
Thicket
Bramble
Branch
Leaf
That reaches for the light of the Divine
And breathes
Every second with joy
Ignites the heart
That lives within this withering shell
And maybe burns it a little
Like fragile paper
Left too long in the sun
Still
I breath
And still as my breath
My step
Slowed
My mind
Gathered
i look only to a future
Of my making
And smile

 

Happy birthday, James.

Smile

orion_by_Liu.Yu.jpg

I’m not sure when I scribbled this poem on a loose sheaf of note paper (now in the “Final” file along with empty cans and banana peals as all illegible scribbles later clarified end) that suggests there was at one time more to it. Still, it stands on it’s own as a contemplative piece.


Smile

Fall
Through memory
Catching on the web of it
Hurtling through the thick of it

Down
In to the past
Hanged on every word of it
Passing through the heart of it

Hurt
By the act
Bleeding with the pain of it
Shooting past that part of it
To someplace better

sometimes
I find
that stepping to the side
of the ongoing ride
to watch it rolling by
while I
frozen in a space
about the size of nothing
and staring
at the slowly melting something
leaving just the core
while the unreality of it all
falls away
just makes me want to smile

 


 

Image: “Orion” by Liu Yu

Full Moon in Pisces

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I step into the frigid air. My breath a misty apparition. The morning is lit by the warm blue glow of the full moon. Huge and bright.

This is the Corn Moon. Black Moon Lilith. Selene in the house of Pisces aligned with Neptune.

It is a time of deep spiritual growth, creativity, expectancy, forgiveness. The Divine Feminine is within reach, her hands outstretched. Now is the time to claim your rightful place in her loving embrace.

It is a time where should haves and might haves need to be put aside. When all those things that have been viewed as wishes and dreams are simply done.

Your soul is speaking loud and clear of passion and unity. It wants you to be the best you possible.

Listen to it.

Let its voice become yours.

Let this blessed full moon be a sign of how full your life can be.

 

 

A Promised View

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She sits at the edge of the world
Unconcerned with my silent inquiry
In peaceful examen
Contemplating All
Serene in her surrender
To the known and unknown
Welcoming a future
She creates with intention
Every thought with purpose
Every movement decided
Every word chosen
Mindful and accepting
She gazes out upon her world
Created with the meaning she gives it
Surveying beyond the smoky skies
To a place where a promised view
Of the Milky Way
Conforming to her vision
Overlays the grey-blue background
With colors of her choosing
Where eagles glide
On winds that whisper the Sopurkh
While harmonizing
With the mystic forest below
Home to true magick
Where compassion is spoken
Not only when needed
Because compassion is always needed
But with consistent care and kindness
Where passion is more than a line in book
Or a poem
But resides in every touch
Every look
Every kiss
Because passion belongs everywhere
In everything
To everyone
Where Love is tangible
Something she can see
Touch
Smell
Taste
Drink
Something to be shared
.
I see her world merge with my own
It is a world
Where the promise of a view of the Milky Way
Is kept
If only in her heart
and in a picture I take of her unaware
.
.
.
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If you’re not familiar with the So Purkh a good explanation and recording can be found here: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index.php/so-purkh/