Sue Monk Kidd

When practicing mindful meditation we aren't striving to do anything

Mindfulness is an ancient form of meditation in which one pays attention to the present moment and all that's unfolding in that moment, both within and around one. It's known also as conscious living because the person practicing it is forming an aware and intimate relationship with each moment.

When practicing mindful meditation we aren't striving to do anything, we aren't grasping, struggling, thinking, expecting, or wanting but simply letting whatever is there be there and paying attention to it in a non-judgmental way. We come to terms with reality as it is, bringing all our awareness to it, breathing with it, attending it.

~ from THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER by Sue Monk Kidd

Forgiving in bits and pieces

Perhaps it's possible to forgive in one grand swoop, but I didn't experience it that way. I did it in bits and pieces. You forgive what you can, when you can. To forgive does not mean overlooking the offense and pretending it never happened. Forgiveness means releasing our rage and our need to retaliate, no longer dwelling on the offense, the offender, and the suffering, and rising to a higher love. It is an act of letting go so that we can go on.

~ from THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER by Sue Monk Kidd

Going to the Deep Ground that underlies all things

A circle of trees . . . I felt I was bringing the journey home to the ordinary dimensions of my life, rooting it in the place I lived every day.  I lay back on the earth and looked up through the branches of an oak, feeling suddenly like the sun was my own heart pulsing up there with light.  Wind swirled, and it seemed to me it was my own breath billowing through the branches.  The crocus bulbs were buried in my tissue, the cedars growing from my body.  The birds flew inside me.  Stones sat along my bones . . . a jubilant, stunning loss of boundary, a deeper sense of oneness than I’d ever felt.

I knew that I was part of one vast, universal quilt; I knew that this quilt was itself, the Holy Thing, the manifestation of the Divine One.  And I loved this universal quilt, every stitch, color, and fiber, with a heartbreaking love.  It was one clear moment in time, like going to the Deep Ground that underlies all things and seeing, really seeing, what is and being pierced by the unbounded nature of it.

~ from THE DANCE OF THE DISSIDENT DAUGHTER by Sue Monk Kidd

Swirling changewinds call us to undertake a new passage of the spiritual journey

When changewinds swirl through our lives, they often call us to undertake a new passage of the spiritual journey: that of confronting the lost and counterfeit places within us and releasing our deeper, innermost self–our true selves. They call us to come home to ourselves, to become who we really are.

~ from WHEN THE HEART WAITS by Sue Monk Kidd

A strange gracing of my darkness

I was caught suddenly by a sweep of reverence, by a sensation that made me want to sink to my knees. For somehow I knew that I had stumbled upon an epiphany, a strange gracing of my darkness... That was the moment the knowledge descended into my heart and I understood. REALLY understood. Crisis, change, all the myriad upheavals that blister the spirit and leave us groping — they aren't voices simply of pain but also of creativity. And if we would only listen, we might hear such times as beckoning us to a season of waiting, to the place of fertile emptiness.

~ from WHEN THE HEART WAITS by Sue Monk Kidd

Contemplative waiting is consenting to be where we really are

As the conversation turned to waiting, Brother Anthony leaned forward in his chair. "Contemplative waiting is consenting to be where we really are," he explained. "People recoil from it because they don't want to be present to themselves. Such waiting causes a deep existential loneliness to surface, a feeling of being disconnected from oneself and God. At the depths there is fear, fear of the dark chaos within ourselves.

Brother Anthony was exactly right. Ultimately, we are fleeing our own dark chaos. We are fleeing ourselves.

~ from WHEN THE HEART WAITS by Sue Monk Kidd

The spiritual journey is an expanding awareness of the Divine as all in all

The spiritual journey is an expanding awareness of the Divine as all in all, vividly and actually present in all external reality, without dualistic separations. Here is the simple truth I keep trying to own, the one that breaks the bounds of beauty: everything is in God, and God is in everything. Think of it. There is no separation, no conflict, no obstruction between the world and the Divine. All that exists is penetrated with divinity. Creation, matter, our bodies -- everything is a vast incarnation or manifestation of Real Presence.

~ from "Silence in the Midst of Noise" by Sue Monk Kidd given at the Schola Retreat Conference

Like the tree, we wait for the sap to rise

There are some things that we simply must wait in silence to receive. We live our questions and wait for the knowing to happen. Like the tree, we wait for the sap to rise.

~ from WHEN THE HEART WAITS by Sue Monk Kidd
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