Monday, October 25, 2010

Lectio for October 25

Life is neither meaningful nor meaningless. Meaning and its absence are given to life by language and imagination. We are linguistic beings who inhabit a reality in which it makes sense to make sense. For life to make sense it needs purpose....Such resolve entails aspiration, appreciation, and conviction. Aspiration is as much a bodily longing as an intellectual desire; appreciation as much a passion as a preference; conviction as much an intuition as a rational conclusion. --Stephen Bachelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs

1 Samuel, Chapter 2
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.
At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4Then the Lord called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’* and he said, ‘Here I am!’ 5and ran to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call; lie down again.’ So he went and lay down. 6The Lord called again, ‘Samuel!’ Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ But he said, ‘I did not call, my son; lie down again.’ 7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’ Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” ’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening.’ 11Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.

O God of peace, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the empowering of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God, Amen

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lectio From October 18

Ordinary Mindfulness, Lectio, October 18, 2010

Being alive is itself an expression of mystery. The clues to our real nature are always around us. When the mind opens, the body changes, or the heart is touched, all the elements of spiritual life are revealed. Great questioning, unexpected suffering, original innocence--any of these can require us to open beyond our daily routine, to 'step out of the bureaucracy of ego,' as the Tibetan teacher Chogyam Trunpa counseled. Every day brings its own calls back to the spirit, some small, some large, some surprising, some ordinary. --Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry

The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
~ William Stafford ~

I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid
From the Gospel of John, chapter 14

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lectio for October 11

The first quote below has become a kind of proverb. It's both a description of and a prescription for a bigger heart and a bigger mind. This saying of Jesus is also like of koan--in one way it can't be done, in another it's the best thing in the world to do.

Read each of these quotes and sit a minute with whatever it is they invite you to think and feel.

1.But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.


2.At the heart of the deepest spiritual understanding and experience is paradox. There is so much we want to exclude, yet at the heart of reality, in the heart of God, everything belongs.

--Richard Rohr (Everything Belongs, [paraphrased])

3. I want to tell you right now that the basis of this whole teaching is that you’re never going to get everything together. As long as you’re wanting to be thinner, smarter, more enlightened, less uptight, or whatever it might be, somehow you’re always going to be approaching your problem with the very same logic that created it to begin with: you’re not good enough. As long as you’re wanting yourself to get better, you won’t. As long as you have an orientation toward the future, you can never just relax into what you already have or already are. To me it seems that at the root of healing, at the root of feeling like a fully adult person, is the premise that you’re not going to try to make anything go away, that what you have is worth appreciating. But this is hard to swallow if what you have is pain.

--Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lectio for October 4

Loving God and others can be more more basic than we imagine.

Start Where You Are, Pema Chodron
The basic ground of compassionate action is the importance of working with rather than struggling against, and what I mean by that is working with your own unwanted, unacceptable stuff, so that when the unacceptable and unwanted appears out there, you relate to it based on having worked with loving-kindness for yourself. Then there is no condescension. This non-dualistic approach is true to the heart because it's based on our kinship with each other. We know what to say, because we have experienced closing down, shutting off, being angry, hurt, rebellious, and so forth, and have made a relationship with those things in ourselves.

Welcome and entertain them all, even if they are a crowd of sorrows that violently sweep your house empty of its furniture. Still, treat each guest honorably.

Mark 12:28-31
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."