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Posts tagged ‘grateful’

Do Meditation and Prayer Include Tears?

Do you think that meditation and prayer eventually encompasses all of our emotions, thoughts, experiences, and patterns of being in the world? Do you believe that prayer can simply begin when we yearn, notice, or respond in some way, to someone, or something? What does this thought evoke in you:

“If you haven’t cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn’t really begun.” – Ajahn Chah

When we bubble with joy, ripple with grief, wrestle with angst, or shower care, forgiveness, and concern, we pray. When we notice what grabs our heart and won’t let go, listen and respond to an invitation toward love, healing and forgiveness, we pray. When we encounter our self, another person, or a world concern with vulnerability and compassion, we pray. When we put skin on our inner conviction and choose loving actions, we pray with our life. When we celebrate each other, prayer can erupt!

Prayer is an opening and an encounter that brings us to truly love our selves and one another, even in times of inner aridity, uncertainty, and darkness. Meditation and prayer have the possibility to become a gift for the world, binding us together, creating community, hope and transformation. Prayer can offer a sheltering embrace, a joyful surrender, a passionate conviction.

About those tears…
Tears can erupt in us when we are deeply moved, inspired, or even surprised. Tears show us our angst, radical joy, overwhelming empathy, gratefulness. Tears are tender. Tears teach us how and where we may need to respond. Let us give thanks for our tears, for the clues they offer about what we value, for our caring hearts, for listening to our life and the world we inhabit.

Five minute pause
Pause for five minutes and breathe deeply. Listen to your heartbeat. Be in the present time of now. Allow your inner spirit to connect to what you know to be Sacred, and to the world around you. What do you notice? What bubbles up in you?

Be still. Be grateful. Listen. Then, give thanks for life, no matter what condition it is, on this day, in present time.

  • What tears rise in you–will you give your tears permission to speak your truth?
  • Do you believe that your tears can be a powerful prayer?

Please share.

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Good, enough? Give thanks.

A few nights ago, during a telephone conversation, a friend in his twenties shared, “You’re telling me I’m good enough just the way I am? That’s hard for me to believe. How come we never hear that message?”
I am sad. His words ring true.
I encouraged, “You are good enough. Just like this, right now. You are, and I am. We all are. No matter the circumstance. Certainly we can always be better, and there is value in striving for more. But, today, right now, you are good, enough.”

His words and my response  wrestle in me during this week of thanksgiving. I ponder, “what is good, enough?”

Then I remember “Wild Geese” a favorite Mary Oliver poem  found in Dream Works (1994). I dare you to toss her words into your heart. Give thanks.

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
–Mary Oliver

Giving Thanks
I gaze into my own heart, notice the specific people in my life, and the increasing thirst in the world for healing and hope.  I am grateful, for my life and yours, for breath and  life, no matter how abundant or fragmented.
It is time to announce our place in the world, invite others in out of the cold to break bread, gather at our table. There is enough when we share with love. Let us love what we love, and love one another with welcoming presence. We all belong. This starting place is good, enough.

Who will you invite in out of the cold to join you at table?
What lives in your heart of thanksgiving?