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Posts tagged ‘pray’

Savor Lent, Savor Life, 2013 daily life retreat

For the next forty days I promise to do my best to post a daily meditation for the purpose of pause and ponder, meaning and significance, and becoming brave, more authentic, compassionate, and wildly human.

Fat Tuesday, 2013
I believe Lent, which means spring, is a time to deepen our inner aliveness—even in the midst of busy, demanding, productive lives. When I think back over the past twenty-five years, I remember a variety of years, times and places, what nourished me, how I needed challenge, or comfort.

I’d tossed this idea of an online retreat around in my thoughts, intended to offer something very structured, modeled after a book, Savor Lent, Savor Life, that I’ve not yet finished writing. Instead, it is Fat Tuesday, I’m home late from work, and received a Facebook private message from a special lady, a former student, asking where she could find my 2013 Lenten meditations I hinted at, online. And so, in spite of my resistance, more aptly described as asking myself with no small amount of incredulity, “are you nuts?” I say yes., I will. Do this. Small. Thing: A. Daily. Reflective. Post. For. Lent.

I dedicate these forthcoming reflections, however meaningful or meaningless, to her, and to everyone else that finds their way to this field of care and laughter. I’ll meet you here. Let’s journey together.

–Pegge, February 12, 2013, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Tip: Each daily post is located at my blog, eNewFields site. Please connect with the daily posts there.

Links
Savor Lent, Savor Life daily reflections
Ash Wednesday
Pray, Fast, Serve
Week One: “Take”
Desire for God ~ Day 6
Stillness ~ Day 7
Listen ~ Day 8
Being Present ~ Day 9
Free Will ~ Day 10
Savor ~ Day 11

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Stand Still. Appreciate a Tree.

Wilderness is a powerful teacher. In Alaska, the landscape is sturdy. Rugged. Every day a thousand trees remind me to stand still. Trees teach me tenacity. Trees teach me to grow roots, offer support, move without snapping, let go, and to hold onto myself. I live in a log home built of tree trunks. Burning branches provide wood stove heat, protecting me from bitter cold.

A Jewish friend told me that today is  Tu B’shvat–a holiday called New Year For Trees. I recalled a favorite poem, and want to share it with you. Lost reminds me to pause, be present and embodied in the here and now of time–where ever that may be. Perhaps it will speak to you, too.

Lost
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
— David Wagoner

Reflection
Please make time to appreciate your outer landscape. Look closely at a tree, go to a park,  take a walk. Then, stand still. Where are you? Really, where are you? Give thanks for life–however it lives in you today.

Please offer your thoughts and comments. What do you discover?

The line between good and evil is in …

Today amazon.com sent me “The Gulag Archipelago” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He’s the man who wrote,

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”

I believe this is true. Nearly twenty years ago I first pondered Solzhenitsyn’s insight. Again and again I need to revisit how I live, what I believe, how I speak.


The instigation for reading “The Gulag Archipelago” comes from the recent shooting in Arizona. I am aware that this is a lie: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Words–and names–do hurt, or heal. Words console, uplift, and inspire. Words instigate condemnation, contempt,  and violence. Physical violence always begins with words, first. So I ask:

  • What words do you choose to use?
  • How do your actions amplify your thoughts?
  • You are powerful–how can your personal power be life-giving?
  • Where is the line between good and evil drawn in your heart?

These are questions worth pondering. Please join me in asking them. Seek healing and wholeness, dignity and integrity. Right now, today.

Please offer a prayer for all victims of violence in our world–and all perpetrators. “May there be peace on earth, and may it begin with me.”

Grief and Loss: “I don’t know what to say.”

Last week I spoke at a church in town. They asked me to talk about grief and loss, for ten to fifteen minutes—make it personal. An icy, snowy night, by 7:00 p.m. it had been dark three hours. My stamina was in the single digits, and I was cold. A dark chocolate woven rabbit fur scarf wrapped my neck and shoulders.

Standing in the dim lit church, behind the podium, I fingered the scarf tails, felt warm breath flood my chest, whispered a prayer to God, and then surprised myself by speaking, “My name is Pegge. I don’t know what to say.”

My eyes traveled around the wood church pews. Men, women, and a few young people had gathered. They spaced themselves, some sitting together, others alone. I took another breath, and again spoke, my voice amplifying through silent attentiveness:

“I don’t know what to say. And this is the experience of grief.”

More words came, “We don’t know what to say, or how to act. We may be fatigued, not think clearly, forgetful, and have very little energy. Memories surge, catch us off-guard. Some full of sorrow, others with laughter. The ache—numb, raw, and stabbing comes and goes with no predictable time-frame. So we show up as best we can, take ourselves lightheartedly, give ourselves permission to rest, say no, and feel what we feel.”

I think words tumbled from me about how grief makes tracks through the chill of loss, of believing that we are not alone, being willing to receive from others, and ask for help. I know I said, “I trust God. I am not alone.” After ten minutes, I concluded, and breathed into the stillness of listening hearts. I walked back to the first pew, sat down, silent, remembering. A card laid in my open bible, a bookmark for the passage I’d planned to read. Two words: Only connect… . A cello played, candles flamed for loved ones who died.

Tonight, what chimes for me again, is that whether we are the one grieving, or the one who accompanies a friend or loved one, there will be times when words do not, should not, and will not suffice. Dense bone weariness grows. Or, memories of play and joy surface with vivid intensity. At times like these, I pray we may give ourselves permission to be still. Breathe. Simply be present to ourselves, and one another, with gentleness, compassion, kindness.

–Pegge, December 16, 2010

Be Still, Go Fishing

Today I went fishing, unexpectedly.

Hustling aboard a boat, no time to reload coffee & creme into an almost empty mug, my skin prickled a shiver, even beneath three layers and a wool cap. I hadn’t intended to fish, and was merely loading boats–helping out in a fishing derby. Instead, a seat and invitation opened; I jumped in.

After a hello to our fishing guide and two girlfriends,  I turned, lifting my gaze, upstream.

The river caught my pulse.

A  forgotten prayer pattern erupted within me–my old friend, psalm 46:10a:

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

“Be still and know that I am.”

“Be still and know”

“Be still”

“Be”

Today, an unexpected fishing pulse catches me, still. Life is prayer. Simply, be.

I’m hooked.

ps: guess what’s for dinner?

What hooks your attention?
Please add your reply


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.

Poetry Inspires Life Dance

Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, California

Are you passionate about being alive?

Words and rhythm grab me. I realize I’ve always enveloped this perspective, even as a pigtailed girl on the lookout for ladybugs. I never want to become jaded and bitter, sightless. I want to wake up with fresh eyes every day, orientate toward appreciation, and know that the world conspires with us and for us, not against us. I seek meaning and significance in the ordinary.
Maybe you think and feel the same way I do.

Poetry opens portals to appreciation, to seeing. The shape of words in my mouth, together with images and sensation in my body guide and provoke aliveness. Some poets have a particular gift of vision. Mary Oliver is tops in my world. I discovered her when I attended the University of California, Irvine, and enrolled in a poetry class with professor and poet Michael Ryan. That was eighteen years ago. I relish every one of her books, period.

Oliver’s book, Evidence: Poems arrived to me in Alaska this week. I am slowly inhaling the pages. I’ve belly-laughed—startling my dogs. I’ve wept. With very few words, Oliver paints reality. Her artistry accompanies me in my workshop preparation for “Learning to Trust Love” that will be offered at WOMENSPEAK 2010, an international gathering of women in Mobile, Alabama, March 12-14, 2010 .

I share this poem, and encourage you to discover poets that inspire a life dance in you.

Prayer
May I never not be frisky,
May I never not be risqué.

May my ashes, when you have them, friend,
and give them to the ocean,

leap in the froth of the waves,
still loving movement,

still ready, beyond all else,
to dance for the world.

–Mary Oliver, Evidence: Poems, 2010

This is my prayer, too. I want to “dance for the world.”
What prays alive in you?
Who are the poets that accompany you?

Survival, Reunion. A new year story to remember.

Reflecting over the past decade, I remember the best New Year, ever. After the worst year, ever. Here's the remarkable story:

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Christmas—Giving Birth to Love

Christians begin celebrating the feast of Christmas today. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays rings throughout homes, in cars, on radios, in shopping malls, through halls and walls of buildings and businesses, on computer and cell phone screens. Merry Christmas reigns in streets where kids die, and where poverty, abandonment and abuse deepens. For practicing Christians, Christmas is a time to engage the significance of the incarnation, the birth of Jesus Christ in everyday life.

The invitation for us to ponder at Christmas could begin as simple as this,

How might love want to birth within me?

The cosmic Christmas tree star cluster

The Gift

God did not come into the world wrapped with a shiny red bow, pretty and perfect, labeled precisely. No, God came as a vulnerable, helpless infant who needs us as much as we need God. Emmanuel, “God-With-Us” is birthed, unwrapped, and encountered within us and through our own ordinary and mysterious life experience. In the article “The Eternal Christ in the Cosmic Story” Richard Rohr, OFM, explains, “… Christianity is not just that we believe in God. The mystery we are about is much more than that: It’s that the material and the spiritual coexist. It’s the mystery of the Incarnation. Once we restore the idea that the Incarnation means God truly loves creation then we restore the sacred dimension to nature.”

Celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas!

Christmas is not over on December 26. The Feast of Christmas begins on December 25, and culminates January 6, on the Feast of Epiphany. Every day is an opportunity to say yes to love, and wake up to the present moment. For the Twelve Days of Christmas we can practice genuine delight and forgiveness. We can gaze at people and our world with wonder and reverence. We can play with our family and friends. We can be willing to reach out with compassion to a stranger or someone in need. We can offer understanding and courage in difficult situations. We can receive, celebrate, feast, and rejoice in the reality that the material and the spiritual coexist, and that “the word became flesh.” We can become grateful for the gift of the incarnation of God!

Please join the many spiritual seekers who want to unwrap the ever-deepening meaning of “Yes, I will give birth to love. There is room and desire within me.”

Merry Christmas, Joy to the World!

Where Are You From?

Where are you from? Who are the people, places and experiences that shape and form the amazing critter of you? My son, Justin, wrote these words two months before he died.

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