inner resources

July-August 2019 (Vol. XXXII, No. 7)

Dear Friends ~ This past weekend we led an intergenerational retreat called "Children of the Earth." One activity was a story or guided meditation about an imaginary hike through the woods to a grove of gnarly oaks, tall poplars, and aromatic pines. At the base of each tree was a backpack with someone's name on it. Wild ones gave earthly gifts to add to the backpacks. Chickadee gave a seed to remind the children of their inner resourcefulness, bear gave mud tracks to remind them of strength and courage to defend those they love, owl a feather to remind them to be attentive to the mysterious wonders of the night. We all need a "backpack" of resources to help us on our path. Contemplation and action, pastoral care and prophetic witness, spirituality and service —we all need both so that the inner wisdom that sustains us and keeps us going ensures that the outer work comes from the heart and is done with love.

The stream of life that runs through the world

The same stream of life that runs through the world runs through my veins night and day and dances in rhythmic measure. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the Earth into the numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of flowers.

~ Rabindranath Tagore
The Heart of God: Prayers of Rabindranath Tagore
By Herbert F. Vetter, Rabindranath Tagore

The dream of my life

The dream of my life
Is to lie down by a slow river
And stare at the light in the trees —
To learn something by being nothing
A little while but the rich
Lens of attention.

~ Mary Oliver

If we fall in love with creation

If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion.
~ Hildegard of Bingen

An ecological spirituality

An ecological spirituality needs to be built on three premises: the transience of selves, the living interdependency of all things, and the value of the personal in communion. Many spiritual traditions have emphasized the need to "let go of ego" but in ways that diminished the value of the person, undercutting particularly those, like women, who scarcely have been allowed individuated personhood at all. We need to "let go of the ego" in a different sense. We are called to affirm the integrity of our personal center of being, in mutuality with the personal centers of all other beings across species and, at the same time, accept the transience of these personal selves.

~from GAIA AND GOD by Rosemary Radford Ruether

Overdosed on data and underfed on the mysterious

We are overdosed on data and underfed on the mysterious. Our brains inflate while our souls wither. Constant interference by interpreting and explaining can distance us from life itself. God woos us into the wildness of unknowing where we are tempted by deeper senses.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, by Marv and Nancy Hiles

Compassion is not a luxury

We live in a time when science is validating what humans have known throughout the ages: that compassion is not a luxury; it is a necessity for our well-being, resilience, and survival.

~ Roshi Joan Halifax as quoted in EVERYDAY GRATITUDE

I seem a small child playing on a beach

I know not how others see me, but to myself I seem a small child playing on a beach, delighted at the discovery of a shiny stone or shell, while an entire ocean of Truth lay undiscovered before my eyes.

~ Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
By James Gleick

All the small and lovely truths of life

"First, my child," said Old Turtle, "remember that there are truths all around us, and within us. They twinkle in the night sky and bloom upon the earth. They fall upon us every day, silent as the snow and gentle as the rain. The people, clutching their one truth, forget that it is a part of all the small and lovely truths of life."

~ from OLD TURTLE AND THE BROKEN TRUTH by Douglas Wood
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