Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Checking back in...

Please forgive me for my extended absence. I've allowed the distractions of life to hold my attention while neglecting this form of communication with my spiritual friends. Just a few notes to touch base with everyone. I've finished my second year of Divinity School at Vanderbilt, and have one more year to go. I've been working all summer on my out-of-parish field education credit which has been centered on volunteer work to help Nashville recover from the historic flood of May 2010. I have seen and heard many heartbreaking things over the past months, and I'm thankful for my Centering Prayer discipline which has helped me listen to a lot of hurts, questions and anger.

I use to try and rationalize all the difficulties of the world and find scapegoats on which to blame such tragedies, but through the deep solidarity contemplation has developed in me, I've found it much easier to avoid the troubling questions of theodicy. I have discovered more joy in relating to people in the midst of tribulations and helping them recover through simple acts of manual labor and emotional support. My restful practice has noticeably nurtured my active discipleship!

Also, I just got back from a trip to San Francisco where I took some time to visit several sacred spaces. I visited Glide Memorial UMC, Howard Thurman's Church for the Fellowship of all the People, St. Peter and Paul's Church, Grace Cathedral, Old St. Mary's Cathedral, St. Patrick's Church, and the Contemporary Jewish Museum. It was a thrill to see all these sacred spots. My most memorable experience was at Grace Cathedral. I had the joy of walking the indoor labyrinth at Grace Cathedral. I also did a Centering Prayer session in the pew of the sanctuary. It was nice to steal away from the busy city and find some solitude in this large vaulted cathedral. It was also special sitting outside The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. I took a class last year entitle Liberation & Spirituality in which we studied Thurman and read his autobiography. It was moving to be at the spot I had read so much about! Unfortunately, the church was closed when I visited it, but I did create a mini centering moment outside by the flower bed!

I hope that the coming year will be less busy; drop me an email or post a "loving" Facebook message on my wall if I make myself too absent again! :-)

Blessings for the remainder of all your summers.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Content and Attentive

So often I am focused, active, moving. However, recently for about two weeks a deep sense of contentedness flowed over me. There was a tangible experience of belonging to God and being loved by God. As Julian of Norwich said "All is well and all manner of things shall be well".

Towards the end of that season I noticed a sense of complacency creeping up on me. A book came across my path - "The Attentive Life" - which follows much of the same theme as Bro Lawrence "Practicing the Presence".

The two themes have woven themselves into my life and are a rich, deep, delightful combination - content with where I am and whose I am yet expectantly alert and watchful for glimpses of the holy in everyday life. In a way my Centering practice is the same - sit and be content if nothing happens, yet being watchful for what God might be up to.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Silence and Writing

Greetings, Spiritual Friends. I am posting a poem I wrote some time ago about silence and writing. Blessings to all, Rickey


Yes, I submit to you, silence,
and gladly, too.
I have learned that those
who would use words well
must understand what words cannot do,
must realize that words
emerge from silence
and must find the ground of their meaning
in their silent source.
Perhaps later I will write.
But now I will sit in your presence,
still and open,
resting in your quiet embrace.

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