There is nothing like facing my own mortality to get me back into focusing on my priorities. The challenge is now I have to figure out what those priorities really are so, it is time to listen. My morning routine has been filled with at least an hour of trying to focus on my breathing and noting the occasional thoughts I find helpful during those times. I am trying to listen to my heart. As I go through this, I am watching my daughter as she works through the challenges and struggles of her own spiritual awakening. She is coming to the realization that it is a lot of work and in her case, at such a young age, there are a lot of emotions to work through. Fear and anxiety reign as they fight to pull her back, clutching at her shirt tails to keep her from a breakthrough. I pray and wish for her the courage, confidence and an ability to let go to help her through. All I can really do is be there for her and share whatever I can to help. At the same time I need to temper my frustration and let her live the experience.
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” Thich Nhat Hahn
She and I are not alone. We live in very difficult times within a world struggling to manage a pandemic and a social and political climate that is forcing past transgressions to the surface, not letting us ignore it any further. There is pain in the U.S. and it is clear that unless we face it and resolve properly, it is not just going to go away until the next horrible death of an innocent person of color. We must be reminded of the unfinished business of the past 300 plus years of this country’s existence and it is time for contrition and healing, no matter how difficult that may be. Being quarantined has left us stir crazy and fearful as we watch millions fall into illness and tens of thousands slip silently to their deaths. We are cursed with a useless leader who thinks nothing of the good of humanity, but their own personal gain. He cannot possibly reverse the damage already done with much more to come. Enough…enough of this negativity. The important part is that many of us are feeling a shift and understanding there is a shift underway. As a result of my own personal experience and trials, as well as dealing with the current environment I am reverting to the tools that have helped me through difficult or significant times of change.
Reading and Writing
This morning, I reverted to a prior method of focus that I have enjoyed in the past. I called in Divine Direction Through Reading. I pull a few books from my shelf, whatever strikes my attention, randomly open them up and read what draws my eyes and make my notes. Surprisingly, more often than not, I almost always hit a theme and then I reflect on those themes during the rest of my meditation and lift myself up in either broad or specific ways. This morning I decided to grab a copy of The Message, a modern day version of the Bible and a copy of Colman Barks interpretation of RUMI. Here are the following passages I have pulled:
“But things have changed. I’m taking the side of my core surviving people: Sowing and harvesting will resume, vines will grow grapes, gardens will flourish, dew and rain will make everything green. My core survivors will get everything they need and more.” Zechariaha 8: 11-3 The Message
“If you are honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things. If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will be in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses. He’ll either hate the first and love the second. You cannot serve both God and the bank.” Luke 16: 10-13 The Message
“Look at this figure of a man on horseback, his turban with gold thread, striking a gallant pose, asking “Where is death? Show me!” He seems powerful, but he’s a fake. Death attacks from six sides. Hello jackass. Where’s your magnetism now, the famous temperament? The jokes you told, the carpets you gave relatives?
It is not enough to spend your life turning bread into dung
To me the messages seem clear: do not waste my time I have been able to secure on my second mountain. With all honesty and sincerity, I must discover where my time is most valuable and required…where do I invest it? In the right space, all will fall into place. So, my focus will be here over the next while as I listen, ask and as I search for my signs and answers. I will continue to read, write, share, pray, breathe and be as kind as I can. I am opening up my journal to my blog so that I may share this journey and you may take if you want. Let’s see how that works out.
“Polishing the Heart” – Going within to quietness and meditation that helps the soul grow generous and handsome. Coleman Barks