Sunday, April 18, 2021

Travel; Don't Chase

"The day we take to meditation, we begin the long process of breaking through our obsessive identification with the body. At first this may produce a cry of protest. The senses will complain that they are being starved; the body will tell us that all the fun has gone out of life; the mind will complain that it's restless and doesn't want to quiet down. It is like trying to train a dog when you have always let him chase cars, sleep on the couch, and run freely all night."
   
Like A Thousand Suns, The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living, Volume 2 (page 37)
Eknath Easwaran    
   
photograph:  San Leandro, April 2018  

I have entitled this photograph "Not Morocco". The picture does give me a sense of Morocco.  No, I have never travelled to Morocco.  Just in case I do get to travel to Morocco, which I think I would like to do, I want to be clear that this is not from Morocco.  I have learned, however, that there is a rose festival in May in Morocco in May. I feel I have just taken a trip. I am grateful for the guidance of our neighborhood flowers that take my imagination to beautiful lands.      
  
Blessings to you all this Sunday and always.  May your mind, heart, and soul know peace. May we travel, not chase. 
 
Love,

Sue Ann     

 


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Pondering John 20:27

 "Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 

Jesus     

  
"To feed the hungry means to do away with militarism. To bless the children means to leave the trees standing for them."

Dorothee Soelle  as quoted in Meister Eckhart, Matthew Fox 


We are called to touch the wounds of Christ.         


     


photograph:  San Leandro, April 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Peony 2, A Lesson in Not Blooming

 I walked by the peony yesterday (the one I have written about before) and as I expected, the blooms are gone.  However, not blooming  does not seem to damper its enthusiasm for being in this world.  

 
When I first began to gather people for meditation, I expected to be reading from either Father John Main, Father Lawrence Freeman, or Father Thomas Keeting.  They all have written much on the subject of Christian meditation.  Yet, I find myself returning to poetry for the sense of space  that poetry so graciously provides.   Such openings are  where we can let the Spirit in.  That is surely why we meditate.  Matthew Fox quotes Meister Eckhart: "The Holy Spirit, the energy of God in us, is the true door."*

Here is the poem I shared this week:  
   
HOW THEN CAN WE ARGUE?  
 
Having lunch in a field one day, I troubled an ant with a 
question. I asked of him humbly, 
 
"Have you ever been to Paris?" 
And he replied, "No, but I wouldn't mind going."  And then he asked me 
if I had ever been to a famous ant city.  And I regretted that I 
hadn't, and was quick to add, "I wouldn't mind, too!"    
    
This led to a conclusion: There is life that we do not know of. 
How aware are we of all consciousness 
in this universe?  
  
What percent of space is this earth in the infinite realm?
What percent of time is one second 
in eternity?   
  
Less than that is our 
knowledge of    
 
God.  
   
How then can we ever 
argue about 
    
Him?   
     
Meister Eckhart  as translated by Daniel Ladinsky 
Love Poems from God     
  
*Mester Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Times, Matthew Fox, page 48   







  
photograph:  San Leandro, April 2021    


  
If you would like to meditate with us, there are two sessions available:  one on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 and one on Wednesday evening at 7:30, Pacific Time.  Let me know if you would like the Zoom link.  Blessings on  wherever the Spirit of God takes you.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Rise To Love

 Love God  as God is - a not-God, not- mind, not-person, not-image - even more, as he is a pure, clear One, separate from all twoness.  

Meister Eckhart as quoted in Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Times, Matthew Fox    
    
Let us let  Christ live in us and through us on this day and always. 





  
photograph:  San Leandro, April 2016

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Beyond

 "Beyond the grandeur is God."  

Rabbi Heschel 
  
"God... always creates in the present. The act of creation does not fade into the past but is always in the beginning and in process and new...There is no standing still for us in any path in this life, and there never has been for any person, no matter how advanced one might be."
Meister Ekhart     
  
Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Times (p.12)  
Matthew Fox 

  
    
   
     


photograph:  San Leandro, March 2021  
When I walk past this peony today, it will be changing.  So will I.    

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Wonderful

 A friend recently suggested that I might like the book, Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Times by Matthew Fox.  At least I think this is the book she was suggesting; it is easy to get lost when ordering online.  In the first chapter entitled, "The God of Awe, Wonder, Radical Amazement, and Justice: Meister Eckhart Meets Rabbi Heschel", Fox writes, "We need wonder to restart culture because the modern agenda started philosophy not with awe and wonder but with doubt. Heschel claims that this is destructive because 'wonder rather than doubt is the root of knowledge. ' Merkle [John C. Merkle, Genesis of Faith] comments that a philosophy 'that begins in doubt will find it difficult, if not impossible, to include wonder.' This explains why we live in a society that is less and less wonder oriented, and why our educational systems are failing - and boring - our young  people. Heschel makes the point that there is no word in biblical Hebrew for doubt - but there are many words for wonder (9).        

Granted there are some pretty sweeping statements here that I will probably never be prepared enough to defend or argue.  Yet, having started way too many projects in the spirit of doubt, I know there is some deep truth here, and I just felt my life shift.  Jesus often lamented the doubt that would periodically take root in the hearts of those around him.   When we doubt, we listen too much to our own fears.  Wonder opens us to new possibilities.   Wonder leaves room for God. 


photograph:  San Leandro, March, 2021 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Yes, it Matters

 When I first read this poem, I could feel the pear in my hand.  I touched  the burro's ears with happiness.   I could see the kindly monk who would occasionally drop by.  I find this to be a humbling reminder that it matters how we treat the world.  It matters what we plant and what we eat.  It matters what we buy and what we throw away.  Who and what we care for.   What work we ask our fellow creatures (including humans)  to do day in and day out.  It matters how we tend to our souls because that is how we tend to all.  

Our bee population is having to carry their burdens further and further  because we forget to create way stations for them.  Plant something, and herbs will do nicely,  to lessen  the distance the little bee must  travel. Put some stones in your bird baths so they can pause and take a drink.  Even these simple steps will help us all taste the sacredness of  a really good pear.   

    
Love Does That  
 
All day long a little burro labors, sometimes 
with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries 
about things that bother only 
burros.   
  
And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting 
than physical labor. 
  
Once in awhile a kind monk comes 
to her stable and brings 
a pear, but more than that, 
  
he looks into the burro's eyes and touches her ears 
  
and for a few seconds the burro is free 
and even seems to laugh, 
  
because love does 
that.    
 
Love frees.        
   
Meister Eckart, translated by Daniel Ladinsky in Love Poems from God   







   
photograph:  San Leandro, March 2021