Non-Meditation – Prayerful Tuesday

Sunset 08.22.2013

In the last couple of weeks I have been reading a book by Jay Michaelson, Everything is God, The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism[1], who described a prayer practice I have been using for many years but didn’t know it was a prayer practice, Non-Distracted, Non-Meditation.  This prayer practice, as Michaelson describes it, has no focus, no sense of meditation, where you simply become very aware that you are aware.  This is not exactly mindfulness rather this is simply opening up and letting the world around impact your senses in sound, sight, smell, taste and touch.  It is becoming aware of who you are.  Sounds a bit contradictory doesn’t it?

I have been practicing this manner of prayer for many years not knowing I was opening up to the Divine and letting Her in to the deep places of my heart.  Sometimes I am just plain clueless about what I am really doing and who I am!  I am by nature an introvert, a strong introvert, who is often very unwilling to let anyone into my space and awareness. This practice, however, opens doors, well maybe a window, where I become aware of the beauty of what surrounds me.  The beauty of my grandchildren playing, my husband fussing in the other room, the softness of Suzies fur or the way sunlight plays on the water in Puget Sound.  Most times I push those things away but when I sit and relax and open up for just a moment I am amazed by how they sweep over me in gentle waves.  I am astounded by what I discover that I have been hiding from my own awareness.  It has allowed me to rest in this place and simply be.  It is being aware that I am part of the universe, becoming aware that my DNA sings the same song the stars do.  It is awakening all of my senses to what G-d has created and knowing I belong here, in this place.

So how does the practice work?  Well Michaelson says it best, “ … sit with eyes open, just relax into awareness, with nothing to do and nowhere to go … just, for a moment drop what is in your mind and become aware of awareness itself; inhabiting it, and [letting it] speak”  It’s like sitting in your backyard  with nice cold drink in your hand, not thinking, nowhere to go, nothing to do, just being.

You can practice this at anytime, anywhere, whenever you want, just stop, take a deep breath, and for a moment become aware of your surroundings, relaxing your body and refreshing your mind. You might say it’s a 5 minute vacation for heart, mind and soul.

May you find peace where ever you are, may the Holy Spirit sit with you as you both enjoy the view.

Ruth Jewell, ©July 29, 2014

 

[1] Michaelson, Jay: Everything is God, The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism, Trumpeter, Boston MA, 2009

 

Surrender – Prayerful Tuesday

Surrender to the Journey
Surrender to the Journey

“. . . too often we resist the urge to turn our hearts to God, for this might entail some serious and inconvenient changes in our lives.”  Jamal Rahman, Out of Darkness into Light

This past week has been interesting.  You see I am coming to a place where I have to let go of some goals and turn my resulting life, that will be, over to God.  Now I am a stubborn person, and I LIKE being in control of my journey, but, I am discovering I control nothing. Nothing in my life is predictable, except when I surrender my will to God.

The above words of Jamal Rahman really hit home for me, because surrendering to God does mean my life changes dramatically.  The number one in my life can no longer be me, but God.   It means everything I do take’s on a sacred attribute because I’m not doing it for myself; I am doing nothing, because you see everything is for and through God.

When I give up and let go of the reins I am clutching in my white knuckled hand my life focus changes from “it’s all about me” to it is all about what God wants of me; doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8).  While Micah’s words sound simple they are not easy and I am consciously, continually, moving into them bit by painful bit.

One of my first steps in surrendering to God began with (or I should say begins with) a practice of examining the unease I have with my life and then holding it to as I find the root cause. I allow myself to kind to me as I acknowledge and hold the energy the cause has over me, offering it up in prayer for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

So I offer Surrender as our spiritual practice of the week.   When you feel something is wrong in your life do not ignore or deny it.  Instead sit quietly and hold the feeling in your heart, listen to it and search from where it comes.  Then as you hold the feelings in your heart pray to God for strength and mercy, asking for God to walk with you as you go deeper into the feeling and surrender the cause to God in prayer.  Over time as you repeat this practice you may discover your connection and relationship with God growing ever stronger.

Surrender may be difficult but not impossible when you remember the words of Jesus who said “do not be afraid, for I am with you always.” (Matthew 28:10).

Ruth Jewell, ©March 10, 2014

PRAYERFUL TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2013

A PRAYER FOR PEACE

Genesis 9:13
Genesis 9:13

I have set my bow in the clouds and it will serve as a sign
of the covenant between Me and the Earth Genesis 9:13 (Torah)

This last past week has been especially disturbing with gun violence in so many places that I have lost track of where they all are.   I can’t even be sure that all have been reported by the ever present Sad News Division of our national media.  There have been simply too many acts of violence to report.

All I can do is offer prayers of comfort and safety for every person on the planet because I can’t name all the communities, families and individuals affected by gun violence this week.   I don’t think that has ever happened before.  One of my greatest fears is that massive gun violence, or violence in any form will become the “new normal” for our lives and we will begin to ignore these incidents because they become common.

Every day I pray to the Divine Spirit of us all that we will stop killing each other long enough to recognize we are brothers and sisters.  I pray that, knowing that while my prayers may be heard by the Spirit there is little hope of them being answered unless we all of us, hear that prayer and yell “ENOUGH!”   The killing will not stop until we, the people, say we have had our fill of guns in the hands of the mentally ill, of the glorifying war and banditry to entice our children into these acts as play, and of having our children shot, bombed, starved, and abused all for the glory of some pathetic so called religious or political despot.   So today on this our Prayerful Tuesday I would like to offer the following prayer of peace, petition and intercession. It is called the Caim, the encircling prayer, a form of prayer used by early Celtic Christians.

Circle Prayer of Peace, Petition and Intercession

Putting Ourselves in the Holy Spirit’s presence

Circle me, O Holy Spirit;
encircle me with your presence.
Keep joy within, keep bitterness out;
Keep generosity within, keep greed out;
Keep wholeness within, keep sickness out;
Keep wisdom within, keep folly out;
Keep strength within, keep weariness out;
Keep truth within, keep falsehood out;
Keep compassion within, keep hard-heartedness out;
Keep hope within, keep despair out;
Keep peace within, keep turmoil out;
Keep love within, keep self-seeking out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.

In the name of the Sacred Three, the Parent, Child and Holy Spirit, Amen

Prayer for those in my heart

Circle, O Holy Spirit, (name[s]),
encircle them with your presence.
Keep joy within, keep bitterness out;
Keep generosity within, keep greed out;
Keep wholeness within, keep sickness out;
Keep wisdom within, keep folly out;
Keep strength within, keep weariness out;
Keep truth within, keep falsehood out;
Keep compassion within, keep hard-heartedness out;
Keep hope within, keep despair out;
Keep peace within, keep turmoil out;
Keep love within, keep self-seeking out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.

In the name of the Sacred Three, the Parent, Child and Holy Spirit, Amen

Prayer for Peacemakers

Circle, O Holy Spirit, those who work for peace,
encircle them with your presence.
Keep wisdom within, keep folly out;
Keep strength within, keep weariness out;
Keep generosity within, keep greed out;
Keep truth within, keep falsehood out;
Keep compassion within, keep hard-heartedness out;
Keep hope within, keep despair out;
Keep love within, keep self-seeking out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.

In the name of the Sacred Three, the Parent, Child and Holy Spirit, Amen

Circle those who are victims of violence and injustice

Circle, O Holy Spirit, (name people and places),
encircle them with your presence.
Keep truth within, keep falsehood out;
Keep compassion within, keep hard-heartedness out;
Keep strength within, keep weariness out;
Keep truth within, keep falsehood out;
Keep compassion within, keep hard-heartedness out;
Keep courage within, keep fear out;
Keep peace within, keep turmoil out;
Keep love within, keep hatred out;
Keep light within, keep darkness out.

In the name of the Sacred Three, the Parent, Child and Holy Spirit, Amen

Circle those who commit acts of violence and injustice

Circle, O Holy Spirit, (offer name[s]),
encircle them with your presence.
Help them to see the truth and to turn away from falsehood;
Help them to learn compassion and leave hard-heartedness behind;
Help them find the courage to turn away from evil;
May they feel your love in a world filled with hate;
Help them to see your light in the darkness.
In the name of the Sacred Three, the Parent, Child, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Prayer of Blessing
The peace of the earth be upon you
The peace of the sky be upon you
The peace of the sea be upon you
The peace of the holy Spirit be upon you
upon you and all of G-ds creation

The love of the earth be yours
The love of the sky be yours
The love of the sea be yours
The love of G-d, Christ, and Holy Spirit be yours
and all of children of the Holy One.

AMEN

Ruth Jewell, ©September 24, 2013