[Meditation is] the detachment from the confusion all around us in order to have a richer attachment to God
ChrisGribble.comBe yourself – Everyone else is taken (Oscar Wilde)
“Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover others’ faults. Be like running water for generosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the Earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear.”
It’s almost impossible to say anything online with which someone won’t have a swift and left-field passionate and damning objection.
An Excerpt from The Hidden Power of the Gospels: Four Questions, Four Paths, One Journey by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy
“The wisdom teachings in Matthew contain such an abundance of sensible counsel that we would do well to keep them close. They are a poetic guide to the promises and the dangers that greet us on the first path. The recommendations and responses they hold are truly Be-Attitudes designed to move us forward. They challenge us to:
• “Accept that we do not and will not know results in advance. We often feel ‘poor in spirit.’
• “Make farewells to our yesterdays and embrace the grief we feel.
• “Be humble in our willingness to journey. Yielding to exile will yield riches of Spirit.
• “Know that our true hunger and thirst are for Spirit, and only Spirit, despite all trials and temptations.
• “Greet all we encounter, within and without, in mercy, and reap the rewards of gratitude. Recognize that mercy derives from merces, a Latin word that translates as ‘reward.’ (It continued into French as merci, meaning ‘thanks,’ or ‘gratitude.’)
• “Be full of heart. Do not seek to remove any thought, any feeling, or any person from our inner life. Each is an aspect of Spirit. Welcome them all.
• “Believe in ‘Jeru-Shalom’ as a home of welcome that accommodates the true peace of respect for differing voices, if we will but listen.
• “Accept inner and outer hardship as needed for the sake of living a new life in the presence of God. Power and applause are not what we seek. Our journey leads instead to humility and service.
• “Anticipate lack of esteem. Be prepared instead for conflict — and meet it with respect and love.
“The nine Beatitudes reflect diverse parts of a harmonious unity which I endlessly reflect and touch each other as we go through our lives. At the very heart of Jesus’s teachings, their practice opens us to compassion. If we are able to place these on our hearts, walk with them on our feet, hold them in our hands, and seal them in our thoughts, we will have more insight along our journey. They will become our walking staff and guide for the arduous times we will face.
“We can certainly find equal relevance in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. All of us have ‘heard it said’ — by parents, by friends, by society, by religious institutions — that we ought to ‘do this’ or ‘avoid that.’ Unreflectively, we may have accepted or rejected what we have heard. Jesus’s words ask us to become more conscious. He tells us that truth is not found on the surface. We are encouraged to explore the original purpose and meanings of the things we have been told, as well as their genuine truth and relevance in our hearts and lives today.
“We have talked about the risk of returning to older, seemingly simpler ways, but an equal peril lurks within this first path: the urge to rush in the opposite direction. Our ego-mind can just as readily deceive us into thinking that all of yesterday’s wisdom is empty folly — that nothing we have ever learned or been told has merit or benefit; that we are without guidance. Rejecting everything and racing off to the ‘new and better’ can be a sprint to isolation and despair. Either one of these extreme positions is only a trick, not a truth. Quadratos requires that we ignore these deceptions and dig deeper, explore further. Although many people and institutions have become protectors of empty practices, there are others who still hold truthful, living attitudes of heart. We are on a journey to discover which have real veracity for us and endeavor to claim them in our own personal way.”
I Am Dead Because I Lack Desire
— Rene Daumal
“I am dead because I lack desire;
I lack desire because I think I possess;
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are
Seeing you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.”
From “The Dream Weaver”
I was eating lunch with a friend who has a PhD in leadership development, I asked him, “Based on all your research and experience, what would you say is the most important secret to developing world class leaders?”
He put his fork down. “Well its not a course, a lecture or a book,” he said. He then picked up his fork and started eating again.
His answer intrigued me. I asked him to explain.
“The single best way to develop leaders,” he said, “is to take people out of their safe environment and away from the people they know, and to throw them into a new arena that they know little about. Way over their head, preferably. In fact the more demanding their challenges the more pressure and risk they face, the more likely a dynamic leader will emerge.”
At first his theory surprised me. It sounded unsafe and unkind. But on second thought, it reminded me of many of my own experiences in the wasteland.
In fact God used a similar approach to raise up a leader in the wilderness, on the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land.
Even when you have made mistakes, God has loved you totally. Even when you have betrayed yourself, God has loved you totally. Even when you have transgressed against others, God has loved you totally. Even when you have hated Him, God has loved you totally. And that is how He would have us love… Those who are mistaken about you, love them totally. Those who judge you, love them totally. Those who betray you, love them totally. Those who despise you, love them totally. That does not mean you should give them your keys, or surrender boundaries or any of that. It means only that love —and only total love — lifts us above the darkness of the world. When we think as God thinks, and love as God loves, we are given wings and a mantle of light to protect us and bless us all ways, on all days. For such is the power of Love. Amen