Tag Archives: meditation

Ruminate, Recalibrate, Renew

compass wendybattino comI know I’m not the only one, but I have times when a day is so “busy” I can hardly remember what I’ve done in it, which end is up; times when I wish I slow down the pace of life so I can take a deep breath and take stock.  Sometimes I wish I had the time and the energy – at the same time – just to chew on an idea that’s been floating in and out of consciousness.  I want to step out of “regular time” with all that “has to be done” and be in a different kind of time,  in which I can just Be.

I do have those moments – when I remember to make time for them, when I am willing to let go of what I have become convinced are “have-to-dos”.  They give me a sense of connection to all that is; touch the infinite.  In these moments everything is whole and balanced, (sometimes it’s called ‘kairos’ time)*.  You probably have them too.  That quiet of the very early morning, sitting at night watching the stars, a child sleeping.  It’s that moment at the end of yoga, the ‘resting’ pose.  In kairos time, I remember, as a colleague once put it, that I am “a  human Being, not a human Doing”.

Lots of images: compasses need to be re-calibrated to True North. Wilderness time to let go of distractions that hold one captive. Leaving a field fallow to give the land a chance to renew.  Making Sabbath – a time to “do no work” – those chores that lead us into that go-go-go pace – and reorient to the vision of how the world could be if Compassion was our guiding principle for our actions.  Steeping oneself in Living Water, being nourished by Bread of Life.  A time to understand the holy message: Do not fear.

So this leave I am on is your gift to me of time away from “regular duties”.  It am offered the freedom to make space for this kairos time.  It’ll be like slowing down the merry-go-round – not because the ride isn’t enjoyable, but to see who else is on it, explore what other features there are, be fascinated by the tune of the calliope. A time to reboot, to nourish my spirit, mind and body which (like most other people) the run-of-life interferes with.

The “plan” is to ruminate on ideas I’ve only had a chance to skim; literally to chew on ideas that are trying to germinate.  To renew some disciplines in order to harness my energy differently so I can use it more effectively in my service here. To clear out some of the physical and internal detritus that makes me feel separated from the Holy, that inhibits me (or at least makes me unsure and unsteady) “shining my little light” in a good way. To recalibrate to my call of being here.

You folks of Cornerstone have given me this gift of sabbatical time; I do not take lightly.  I am profoundly grateful for this time to renew, to reboot, and be ready to come back to the work that I am called here to do.  Thank you.

~ ~ ~

*Mckinely Valentine has a great blog on “Kairos time”, which she describes as “the moment  after you’ve inhaled and are just about to exhale”; check it out mckinleyvalentine.com/kairos

** Image from: wendybattino.com




Time stands still

I was at a conference during which we were asked to team up in pairs, and ask each other some of those Big Reflective Questions in life: when did you feel most alive? what is something in your life you are proud of? is there anyone you would want to apologize to?  We didn’t know each other and here we were, giving up some of our most vulnerable memories. After the exercise, we were asked to reflect on the experience; one of my colleagues said “This was holy time”.

Holy Time. The person who said that was a spiritual care worker; I wanted to ask others what word they would use to describe that experience. Over lunch, I asked a people in other professions and they all said, though “holy” wasn’t part of their professional (or personal) vocabulary, it was “exactly the right word to describe it”.  I agree with them; of course, I asked why.

I’m still reflecting… I can’t report word-for-word, but we shared a general sense that each of us was “right there” with the person telling the story.  We weren’t distracted, even though we were in a noisy room.  When we were Listener, it felt important, the stories “weighty” and precious; we were aware that these stories may never have been shared before.  When we were Teller, we were Heard.  We were truly present to one another; all that existed was the other person speaking and us listening.  We saw, we heard, we held their soul – and they ours.  Holy time.

It was as if time stood still; holy time becomes wholly Time.

My yoga instructor used to make our class holy time by reminding us “there is only here, only now”, and that in this time we had set apart we had “no where else to go, nothing else to do but to be here”.  Holy means “set apart”.  It is when we are fully present, focused, on where we are and what we’re doing. That what we are engaged in is important enough to set aside distraction.  Holy time.

I experience such holy time when I focus on what, or who, is before me.  goldfinch gardenofaaron com.jpgWhether it is watching the birds, or listening to the lawnmower next door, or sitting on an amusement ride, I realize that I am not individual, but am Connected.  That in this moment we breathe the same air, are occupying the same moment in time together, that the same Life-force runs in every living thing.  It’s like I am turned inside-out – I am not just me, I am Part of It All, and It is Part of Me. We are Connected at a molecular level.  In that moment of awareness, I am touched by a sense of the Divine Present with me.  Holy, Awe-filled, God-filled time.  It is a blessing beyond words.

It sometimes happens when I am intentionally meditating and mindful.  Sometimes it takes me by surprise (like yesterday, when through the fine mist of rain the neon brightness of a male goldfinch in the deep green of freshly mown ‘grass’ jumped out at me)*.  Holy Moment.  God was Present.

May you have many holy moments during your summer-time.  And may their blessing infuse you with Life in its Abundance, just like Jesus promised they would.

(*As I’m no photographer, thanks to gardenofaaron.com for a similar experience.)