The original material I had planned for this week’s blog just doesn’t seem to fit anymore. So much has changed since last week. So much is afoot and, literally, ablaze in our world. So I’ll leave those ideas for another week. Here are some thoughts:
Contemplation in and for Solidarity
We’ve discussed Lectio Divina in these emails before, and if you didn’t get that email or didn’t have time to explore, Contemplative Outreach has a wonderful and straightforward description of the practice on their website. What’s different this go-round is that I am suggesting a scripture passage too, and hoping some of you will find a way to share some of the thoughts, words, and images that resonated with you if you choose to engage this text. This scripture was on my heart all last week, and I’m linking here to a translation from The Message by Eugene Peterson, which is very contemporary but one of my all-time favorites (I recommend using whatever translation works best for you). It’s just so RIGHT NOW to me, and if you engage this practice alone or with others, please do share what comes up for you if you have a minute. My heart is full to know what we all find “in the middle.”
Something we can do together, apart
I took part in a beautiful candlelight vigil tonight virtually that I discovered per recommendation of one of our young adult community builders. Organized by the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, it is a weekly gathering they host to remember the lives of incarcerated Californians lost to COVID, and extended this week to include the recent wave of deaths in our country as a result of police violence. Here is a link they used where each person present could share their intention and altar space. Walking through the ritual via Zoom was more powerful than I imagined, and it did the heart and body good to feel connected around both grief and hope during these days. In a time where I think many of us feel helpless, and when so many in our country are turning to violence as an answer to violence, I’m curious to learn more about how we harness the power of nonviolence and compassion to create spaces of spiritual strength to guide, sustain, and connect us in this time of turning. If anyone would like to host a similar vigil for their community, or participate in a vigil, I’m happy to share anything I learned as an observer and participant with the fine folks in California or see if we can seek outside resources to do a community pop-up around these practices. Holler if you’re interested!
Food for our hearts and minds this week:
This week’s verse:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Matthew 14:27)
This week’s poem (in relationship to this week’s quote):
From Martin Luther King, Jr: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”
From Mary Karr: Who the Meek Are Not
This week’s song:
“Beatitudes/Peace” by Sweet Honey in the Rock, here if you use Spotify or here via You Tube.
Grace and peace be with each of you this week and in our midst!