Heart murmuring

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  Alex Markovich, Photographer

As we listen to our heart we hear our spirit speak.  Our heart’s life is of the spirit.  The murmuring heart is constantly in dialogue speaking to us of things not known by the mind. These very moments often leave a marked impression, but may remain hidden and mysterious.

We are body and spirit. Yet so many of us do not engage in an ongoing relationship with the spirit.  We talk about spiritualities and religions as things out there. We objectify and distance them. Yet the spirit is the life force of the body.

We must learn to be sensitive to the spirit within us, to respond and embrace the realitity of the unique way in which each of us come into being in both body and spirit. This is our wholeness; the union and acceptance of our undivided unity of spirit.

Daily we cultivate this personal relationship with our spirit and come to recognise and relate to the spiritual.   God in all cultures is Spirit.  This Spirit is the dynamic life of creation within all matter.   In this Spirit we live and move and have our being.

Most people have knowingly  had a spiritual experience, or several. These often remain dormant memories whose significance and beauty is forgotten.

I find people have difficulty in expressing the spiritual dimension of their life. The qualities of mystery and the immaterial is somewhat confounding or disarming. Without sharing, understanding and support, our interior experiences and spiritual knowing are not realised in our lives and their very gift of our capacity for transcendence unrecognized.

We may infer from a sensing, an intuition or inspiration, a flow of creativity, a serendipitious happening, that these are but adjuncts to our material world.  At another level, uncertainty may give rise to fears, scepticism and denial of the spiritual life.

Thus we conform to an outer material world without integrating our spirit. We dismiss the core of our being, which is spirit, and deny our capacity to transcend a corporeal existence.  This disconnect leaves a void of personal meaning. Accepting this spirit within, enables us to embrace a greater wholeness of our self and a greater reconciliation of our life within creation.

“Deep within myself, and because I have felt its power, I know that a real and specifically new wind has just breathed over the sould of man.   … To share in a hallowed unity, even for a split second, is enough to enable us to glimpse the future promised to our species, and to find the road that will lead us to it.”

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin’s essay “The Promised Land”

Do not be afraid to acknowledge the Spirit at work in you, gifting you with all good things, guiding you, showing you the way and speaking to your heart truth that sets you free.  As you acknowledge that you too have known this power on you,  you too have felt this mystery move in your life –  continue to let these truths be the foundation of your search for integration of the body and spirit in one with the Holy Spirit.

On the eve of the feast of Pentecost in the Christian calendar, we are encouraged to accept the Holy One in the Spirit.   Accept God’s gift to each one of us as the Spirit.   The Spirit of God is Holy  —   be not afraid  —     Let the Spirit of God come to you and grow in you that you may know how wonderfully you are made.  Let the mystery become a divine wonder… a daily gift of your life  –   a life of spirit -lived personally and openly.

Fan into a flame the truth of your lived experiences of the spirit. Let your life in the Spirit truly be at the heart of what leads you and guides you on your.  You are spiritual.

Our ability to be aware, to be attentive, to see and to hear and to intuit-all come more fully alive when they flow out of a quiet, receptive heart.  And so, our participaton in on-gloing creation is predicated on our commitment ot silence-to cultivating a listening heart and a peaceful spirit.

Judy Cannato, ” Radical Amazement”. Notre Dame, Indiana. 2006.

Our heritage is rich in traditions of spiritual awakening and guides.  Each one is called to come into this fullness of the Life in the Spirit of God. Spiritual wholeness and vitality grows within us, and within healthy spiritual communities. We are made for communion in one spirit.


Image Zen Postcard 7  by Russian Photographer Alex Markovich Photo Art WordPress, used with permission.

 

Love you

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It has been with me for a very long time this heart.

It turned up one day in my breakfast bowl.  Just as it is.

And it has stayed. It has remained.

I found I really liked it.  It was quirky, unusual and I didn’t ask for it.

It was gift.  I have rejoiced each morning since.

I wonder if it will loose its shape with all the rough and tumble –

the jostling in and out.

So it helps me daily to be grateful  …

to smile at the quirky and the unexpected.

 

Today may you enjoy the poetry of E.E. Cummings

 A Miscellany Revised

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us

is something valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.

Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder,

spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

 

Anybody can learn to think, or believe, or know,

but not a single human being can be taught to feel…

the moment you feel, you’re nobody ―  but  yourself  ―

in a world which is doing its best, night and day,

to make you everybody else ―

means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight,

and never stop fighting.

 

Excerpt  Introduction for New Poems E.E. Cummins

We can never be born enough.

We are human beings; for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery,

the mystery of growing:

which happens only and whenever we are faithful to ourselves.

You and I wear the dangerous looseness of doom and find it becoming.

Life, for eternal us, is ‘now’ and now is much too busy being

a little more than everything to seem anything,

catastrophic included.

 

 

PONDER AND WONDER

daysW

Cartoon used with permission Michael Leunig

Time draws in on us

Maybe we can draw up time   to ponder and wonder

Just maybe it is time    to make time   to have time

Take time to wonder and to ponder

Allow wonder to take you to a new place

Allow it to be   …   in you and with you

Allow a space  where wonder is

and becomes a realm of your reality.

Ponder and Wonder     ….  

graces to be received and felt within.

 

 

Mystery

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YOUR POWER SOURCE

Knowingly or unknowingly, we live a faith filled life.

The plumb line cannot measure the depths of mystery in which we exist.

As children and in some cultures  – mystery, the unseen and the life of spirit are the context of our experience.  Reality is, we are each  part of something beyond ourselves and our comprehension.  We swim in the unknown.

“The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake. To luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out; it is an experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery. “

Quote from the character John Keats in the movie "Bright Star". 

This quote speaks to me of our choices in our attitudes particularly to our spiritual life. Do we want to grab and capture everything, name it, define it and somehow be in control of it?  Is our approach to mystery one of conquest as we seek to taste the mystery ?

There is a wry paradox in trying to explain or detail the eternal ever present mystery. It seems so deficient that we should trade the magnitude of the wonder of the unknowable for a set answers of history, science or doctrine.

Rarefied are the species who wait expectantly on faith and providence –  or enter  the realms of the intangible.  Yet countless scientiests, spiritual wayfarers, contemplatitives and creatives attest to the reality and fullness of a spirit led life.

The mind is but a visitor;
it thinks us out of our world.

Each mind fabricates itself.
We sense it limits,  for we have made them.
And just when we would flee them, you come
and make of yourself an offering.

I don’t want to think a place for you.
Speak to me from everywhere.
Your Gospel can be comprehended
without looking for its source.

When I go toward you
it is with my whole life.

Extract from Rainer Maria Rilke – “Love poems to God”

Be still and know that I am God.

Gradually we become more present and receptive to our God -the One who cannot be named or contained.

To be open to God is to be open to the Mystery of our being, beyond limits.


 

FURTHER READING:   I recommend to you today Dylan Raines who is about to commence a walk for water in 3 days.   …    He has a  most interesting blog on using meditation to make yourself happy.

Extract from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God    Translated by Anita Barrows & Joanna Macy.

 

You and I

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4th Week Lent
Today’s Readings: Is 49:8-15   Jn 5:17-30

‘I require a You to become.
In becoming I,
I say You.
All actual life is encounter.’

‘The Thou encounters me by grace — it cannot be found by seeking. But that I speak the basic word to it is a deed of my whole being, is my essential deed.’

P O E T        W R I T E R      T H E O L O G I A N       S C H O L A R
P H I L O S O P H E R

MARTIN   BUBER

I wish to introduce new footholds  for the spiritual journey.  Whilst we may feel  the spiritual  defies our attempts  to express our inner sensing, or grasp the ineffable; Martin Buber’s life works exhort us to embrace our relationship with the spirit, as the essence of the journey.

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”

His many works give us a new dialogue of  inclusive relationship between  human and other …  Most particularly he speaks of the sacred relationship of “I and Thou”.

“Spirit is not in the I but between I and You. It is not like the blood that circulates in you but like the air in which you breathe. Man lives in the spirit when he is able to respond to his You. He is able to do that when he enters into this relation with his whole being. It is solely by virtue of his power to relate that man is able to live in the spirit.”

Being consciously engaged with our spiritual life centres us in our full humanity.

Extract from:

 “Power and Love” by Martin Buber

‘Every morning
I shall concern myself anew about the boundary
Between the love-deed-Yes, and the power-deed-No
And pressing forward honour reality.

We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And might in contradiction,
Love powerfully.’

 

‘As we live, we grow and our beliefs change. They must change. So I think we should live with this constant discovery. We should be open to this adventure in heightened awareness of living. We should stake our whole existence on our willingness to explore and experience.’

These quotes by Martin Buber were retrieved on 8.3.2016 from https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/539106-ich-und-du  
http://www.azquotes.com/author/2101https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/I_and_Thou

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS REFERENCED ARE:
" I & Thou" by Martin Buber Walter Kaufmann translator) NY: Charles Scribner 1970
"Martin Buber : An Intimate Portrait" by Aubrey Hodes, Viking Press 1971

Inner sense

Week 3 Lent Today’s Readings: Deut 4:1,5-9 Matt 5:17-19

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Innocence

in a sense

is like incense      ….   innocence…  

it rises up and offers something of its very being

to inner sense

innocence   –   seemingly elusive   yet

my inner sense

in a sense  –  it touches me  …  I behold it,

in a sense – I perceive its vapour,

I am in sense  arising  inner sense

an incense

to my being in innocence.

I wrote this verse as the word ‘innocence’ invited me this morning to ‘feel out’ its dimensions within me. In rising awareness of the work of Michael Leunig – artist, poet, philospher and officially declared Australian Living Treasure in 1999,   I sought out an image and had NO knowledge of what follows.  All within me blossomed as I discovered a gem -an extract follows from:

 “Ideas of Spirituality, Art and Innocence”  by Michael Leunig*:

“Why do I choose to put together this wonderful holy trinity of spirituality, art and innocence?  … The simple truth is that I believe these things are treasures that matter hugely to the health of the individual and society…

I have come to understand my spirituality as an ongoing internal lyrical state of consciousness, semi-consciousness and unconsciousness in which I find meaning, comfort, refuge, inspiration, mystery and strength. …

With spirit, one is able to have and hold many feelings, and live a felt life. The spirit supports and negotiates between our feelings, instincts and intuitions …

I cannot help but think that a rich and confident spiritual life is a form of genius.  …

The spirit lies at the heart of our character and personality; our individual, divine self, which is one of the greatest treasures we will ever have access to. …

Any thoughts of spirituality lead me quite naturally to the idea of art because in my view, and in my experience, art is an aspect or an expression of our individual spiritual reality.

I make the point that mystery is not confusion, rather it is an enchantment of the imagination and spirit. Indeed art is a spiritual project.  …

In essence, spirituality and art are interwoven in their raw searching, in their expression, in their courageous unknowing, in their joy and darkness and in their radiant innocent strength which finds its way into the human heart. …

A direct link to the wondrous, innocent experiences of childhood might, in mature age, be called mature innocence.  … I have found some of my most meaningful, useful and joyous work there. It is my studio within my studio. We might also understand mature innocence as mindfulness.”

I encourage you to visit the site for his full essay given as keynote presentation at 10th Dialogue Australasia Network Conference, 11 April 2015.  http://www.leunig.com.au/ideas/spirituality-art-innocence?showall=1&limitstart=   Words and image provided with gracious courtesy of Michael Leunig.

Feral Thoughts

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Week 2 Lent Today’s Scriptures: Isa 1:10,16-20 Matt:23;1-12

Someone recently described parts of one of my artworks as being scattered in a disordered manner….  It made me quizical …

I thought…’oh, I term that random…and isn’t that the nature of things?’ After all, we do put our own order on things and try to make them fit our sense of propriety.  And then I enjoyed the remark ..

I smirked inside knowing there is something about the serendipitous and unexepected that delights my sense of adventure.  It suggests the advent of something new; something no eye has seen or mind has known.

Random thoughts seem a little feral at times…running their own course… but then maybe they just have the “insider running” – so to speak. As things unfold, just sometimes we surprise ourselves to find the very thing that came from our mouth was indeed  a bit of “insider knowledge“.

We all have it…the subtext of the Spirit…talking through us…and the glee when we hear our own words  showing forth a gleam of brilliance or unexpected wit.

We may spend lifetimes trying to fathom the secrets of the universe and the laws…yet nothing eclipses  the awe and wonder of the unfolding mystery of  creation in all its forms.

Randomness may be termed  disorder, but I prefer to see it as a frivolity of nature and Spirit.   The Holy Spirit hovers over chaos and in time,  brings forth a sense of meaning and connectedness that we alone are unable to perceive.

Maybe it is feral what we don’t understand…the untamed thoughts and works…It is not unusual in art to find the artist is engaged in a process of self discovery and revelation. It  is easy to cling to a lifeline of a description or interpretation thrown our way to bring order  when we flounder  fathomless in our own depths.

Befriending our  feral, allows it all to be as it is – an agency for the insider knowledge ripening to bear fruit.

Patience is the gift of  which we stand much in need.  It is only in patience with ourselves that we can enter deep reaches of  compassionate understanding and tolerance.

The fruit of compassion – bearing with suffering – grows from the same Greek root of pathos – to suffer .  Our patient, long suffering and silent vigil prepares and tames  our hearts for the outer growth in works of genuine compassion.