Listening As Spiritual Hospitality: A Gift from Henri Nouwen

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This little piece from Henri Nouwen has  much power and offers us a way to break away from the grip of the recent campaign and election.

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

Henri Nouwen

http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/listening-spiritual-hospitality/

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Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock Portrait 3-22-16

My boy is huuuuge and as sweet as can be.  This morning he taught me for the hundredth time to be brave and patient and take myself less seriously.

 

Spiritual Sleuthing

Sherlock sits somnolently in the spotlight
Of brilliant morning sun-
Until an orange fur fluff catches his eye
And he leaps head over heals to bring it down.
Such a vigilant sleuth, in sooth.

When last did I leap head over heels?
I will wait for a spiritbeam to burst
Through this hungry chink in my soul
Then spring into action like a gangly tween
Desperately tumbling toward her one true BFF.
Such a rollercoaster, this thing we call the Spiritual Path.

© Rita h kowats November 25, 2016

The Space of Potential Presence

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“The eye with which God sees me is the same eye with which I see God.
God’s eye and my eye are one eye.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.”

Meister Eckhart

If you are one who grieves the election of Donald Trump you may want to assess where you are in that process before you read this post; grief has no set linear plan for the stages it lives.  If “RAW” describes where you are you may want to read this at a later time.

There is a space of potential presence where we can reside in peace with another even if we cannot be with them in any other place:  in God’s eye.  I am preparing my soul for the moment when I can share that space with Donald Trump.  Who knows what can happen?  Here is a spiritual practice which is slowly working its way into my being. Maybe it will be a help to you as well:

                                Potential Presence Mantra

 

The eye with which God sees me is the same eye with which I see God.
The eye with which God sees Donald Trump is the same eye with which Donald Trump sees God.

My eye and Donald Trump’s eye are one.
One seeing, one knowing, one loving.
One in humanity, growing into divinity.

May it be so.  Amen.

 

In her article, “The Divine Dynamism:  Being and Becoming,” ( in A Matter of Spirit,Winter 2014, available at http://www.ipjc.org/journal/index.htm) Gail Worcelo, SGM, says, “As we begin to meet each other beyond the boundaries of the separate sense of self, a new, enlightened space opens up between us, bringing with it the capacity for deeper relationality and depth.”

Post Election Grief

nude in the desert framed

In solidarity with those who grieve the American election results:

When Great Trees Fall
Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.

Día de Muertos-Day of the Dead

dofd-collage

I dedicate this post to a friend whose death is close.  He has chosen to die at this time rather than wait. Being kept alive by extraordinary means at an advanced age seems counterproductive to him when he could be dancing with the dead!  

Enjoy this extraordinary film of the life cycle of nature in Alaska, remembering that we are nature. Today is a day to celebrate the cycle.