Friday, November 9, 2018

Holding It All

This song by Sleeping at Last (the name used by singer-songwriter Ryan O'Neal) both gently challenges and deeply encourages me. The song mirrors my own history of believing I had to try harder, run faster, do more. . . .and reminds us that we cannot and do not need to "earn God's favor."

It's been a very busy week in the world- the US election (with attendant celebrations and disappointments;) the heartbreaking losses at the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks; the fires sweeping through California threatening lives and homes. I cannot think of any of these without feeling both the impulse to pray for those most directly affected and to take a moment, a day. . . to rest and replenish. (Happily one does not preclude the other.)

As O'Neal sings at the end of the song:

I'll hold it all more
loosely, and yet somehow
much more dearly,
'cause I've spent my
whole life searching
to find out grace requires nothing
of me

In the end grace is a gift, an opportunity to be touched by that which is larger, to live it all, to help each other where we can, to take turns so we can both rest and love deeply by participating in the world with kindness. . . to be the flawed and fabulous human beings we are. ~Oriah

Here's the link to the song:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Learning To Live

What if you were sent here by something larger
Not against your will or wishes
But in alignment with your deepest longing
What if it was as simple as finding what you love
And letting it teach you how to live.
                                     ~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

Photo by Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Healing Ourselves and Our World

When I told my story of being beaten and raped as a young woman, my mother said I was "just looking for attention."

Telling my story helped me heal anyway.

I pray that this is true for Dr, Christine Blasey Ford, no matter how the vote in the US Senate goes.

When I hear women say that if Ford drank at a party she "deserved whatever she got" I wonder what happened to them when they were young, and how much pain is buried deep so they can say such a thing about a fifteen year old girl.

Let's not call each other dehumanizing names, even in our own minds. Because if we can only work for fairness by making those who disagree with us something less than fellow human beings, on some level we lose the shared humanity that will let us go forward together.

When I was a child, I was taught that Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." Even then I knew it was a revolutionary idea and something very hard to do. I also knew it did not mean being passive, but meant participating fully in shaping our shared world.

I pray we can find ways to stop injustice and work for real peace without putting the other out of our hearts. I know it's hard. If it wasn't hard I wouldn't have to pray about it.

When I told my story of being beaten and raped as a young woman, my mother said I was "just looking for attention."

Telling my story helped me heal anyway.

~Oriah "Mountain Dreamer" House

What Moves Through Us

Some days we find ourselves agitated no matter what is happening (and let's face it, if we are agitated we can always find something to pin it on.) Other days- like today for me- we find ourselves sitting with equanimity and calm for no apparent reason. Which is to say that although we can cultivate agitation or equanimity, these feeling states also seem to arise at least in part independent of our efforts and conditions. It's tricky, but probably best not to identify too strongly with what arises either way. Still, we can enjoy a little (mysterious) equanimity as I am today, when it arises, while it lasts. :-) ~Oriah

I am reminded by the photos of Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming to see what arises within or around me as weather. That's not to say I am passive in response- if it rains I open my umbrella; if I am agitated I do not listen to the news but put some music on instead- but the idea of weather helps me not take what is arising within or around me, quite so personally.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Letting Grace Find Us

Recently I did a bit of a solitary retreat- fasting (from social media, news reports, socializing, food etc.) and taking much more time with my daily practices of prayer, meditation and writing. One of the first things that came up was a question of availability- how available am I to the guidance of Spirit, the movement of the Mystery, the Grace of that which is larger? It's so easy not to be available- to fill our days and our moments with movement, sound, conversation, media. . . with a lot of distractions. What happens when we are not distracted? When we are still and quiet? Can we be quiet when there is noise we can't control? (I ask this as the concrete next to my apartment building is being mechanically pulverized.)

I had just finished reading "Falling Into Grace" by Adyashanti, which no doubt help prompt these ruminations. Grace- unearned blessings that come to us (not always in the form we hope they will)- has to be received. We have to be available to grace. And I realized that that was really what my daily practices were- ways to make myself available to a grace beyond my comprehension.

Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming takes magnificent photos like this one. I am guessing that going out to the wilder places and being fully present to take these photos is one of the ways in which she makes herself available to grace- and I am grateful. ~Oriah

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Crack Between The Worlds

Oh how I love the liminal seasons, the places inbetween where change is observable, daily, and spectacular. Spring and autumn start today (depending where you are on our tiny blue-green planet.) Here the temperatures have mercifully dropped, and the first leaves are spiralling to the ground. Today, the darkness and the light are equal, a great day to ask ourselves where we are out of balance, where we need more time dreaming in the dark or dancing in the light. So may it be. ~Oriah

Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming photographs so many spectacular images of dusk and dawn- the daily liminal. I am grateful as her photos always remind me of the crack between the worlds where magic lives.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Magic of Stillness

Sometimes when I am quiet enough, when I have let all my seeking and trying come to stillness like small children who have played hard all day and now tumble down to the ground around me finding sweet rest,

sometimes in those moments, I feel a spaciousness that is both what I am and that Sacred Mystery which is larger.

In those moments, living with a heart open to all of it, loving myself and each other and the world as we are right now, feels surprisingly possible and magnificently healing. ~Oriah

With gratitude to Karen Davis for this photo from Open Door Dreaming