Living in the Now

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

A digitally created image of a large landscape of a mountain forest with a sun and moon.

Living in the Now

Time-Tested Wisdom
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Embrace the present moment as an ever-flowing source of holiness. —Jean Pierre de Caussade [1]

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment. —Eckhart Tolle [2]

Of all the things I have learned and taught over the years, I can think of nothing that could be of more help to you than living in the now. It is truly time-tested wisdom.

So many leaders in so many traditions have taught the same thing: Hindu masters, Zen and Tibetan Buddhists, Sufi poets, Jewish rabbis, and Christian mystics to name a few. In the Christian tradition, we have heard it from Augustine, the Franciscan Francisco de Osuna, the Carmelite Brother Lawrence, and more recently, Paul Tillich and Alan Watts. Contemporary teachers Thich Nhat Hanh and Ekhart Tolle have done much to help us understand the importance of living in the now.

Jesuit priest Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) called it the “sacrament of the present moment.” His book, Abandonment to Divine Providence, was the book most recommended by spiritual directors for many decades. His key theme is: “If we have abandoned ourselves to God, there is only one rule for us: the duty of the present moment.” To live in the present is finally what we mean by presence itself!

God is hidden in plain sight, yet religion seems determined to make it more complicated. Much of low-level religion suggests that to find God you need this morality and that behavior and this ritual and that performance and this belief system. Western Christianity has largely refused to allow God to be as simple, obvious, democratic, and available as God has made (and makes!) God’s self—right here and right now.

This is what Eckhart Tolle popularized in his bestselling book, The Power of Now. While it’s often found in the New Age section of most bookstores, Tolle’s message falls squarely in line with orthodox Christianity. And, as I said, it’s also in numerous other traditions. If it’s true, it’s true everywhere!

Gateway to Silence:
God is right here right now.

References:
[1] Jean Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence, trans. John Beevers (Image Books: 1975), 36.

[2] Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Penguin Books: 2005, 2016), 41.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Living the Eternal Now (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2005), CD, MP3 download

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The Power of the Moment

I’VE BEEN THINKING

The other day, I was sitting at lunch with my kids as they started to discuss the Texas shooting. They wondered why the news had moved on from this story so quickly.

My son said, “Wow, that Texas story was wild. Why aren’t more people talking about that? Isn’t it weird that it just came and went?”

I thought about that. Stories used to stop us all cold in our tracks. Now, they just seem to come and go. Moments that used to bring a collective sense of grief—a collective sense of oneness—now seem to come and go without landing.

I told my children what it used to be like when a big story like Columbine would dominate the news and our national conversation for weeks. We would come together to converse, to wonder, to express outrage or pain. Now, it seems that when a tragedy like the one in Las Vegas happens, we move on. When a tragedy like the one in Texas happens, we scroll by. And so it goes.

The stories of those who lost their lives in Texas still sit in my mind. The young mother who gave her life to protect her kids. The young daughter of the pastor whose bright future was gone in a moment. The shock, the trauma, and the grief: it still exists for those who were in that church, or who were at that Vegas concert, or who lived in the path of the hurricanes and fires. For them, this news doesn’t just come and go. It stays.

As we roll towards the holidays, my hope is that we can somehow slow down our scrolling and swiping and focus our attention on these monumental moments that are happening all around us. I hope we can also take a moment to embrace the magnificent chance at life that each and every one of us gets. Remember, life isn’t a guarantee for any of us. If you are blessed to celebrate a new year of life, it behooves you to think about owning it and making it matter. Why? Because you are one of the lucky ones.

May we all slow down and reflect on how life is unfolding around us. May we take a moment to think and wonder about stories of tragedies and sadness. May we consider what they mean, who was affected, and how we can work to move forward and hopefully one day prevent these things from happening.

At the same time, may we also stop and celebrate the moments of inspiring change and acceptance that are happening all around us. May we stop and celebrate individuals who are seizing their moment and doing what they can to make a difference and move humanity forward. Individuals like Danica Roem, whose election to the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday made her the first openly transgender woman to take state office. Or, Vito Perillo, a 93-year-old World War 2 veteran who had never run for office before, but on Tuesday, became the mayor of Tinton Falls, NJ. “I like for people to see that as old as I am, you can still do and accomplish things,” Perillo told his local NBC affiliate. I mean, wow. How amazing is that?

Life really is just a series of moments. A day is made up of 1440 minutes, each a moment to make our own. How many moments are in a life? None of us know.

Today, take a moment. Take one of those 1440 minutes to remember the lives behind the numbers, as well as the life that is still yours to embrace. Doing so is not only good for your own soul. It’s also good for the foundation of our collective community.

Tick tock. What are you going to do with your day?

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via Maria’s Sunday Paper: The Power of the Moment

The Power of Re-Evaluating Your Beliefs

I’VE BEEN THINKING

The news of the week, as it always does, got me thinking. It got me thinking about politics. Thinking about addiction. Thinking about success. Thinking about how to live one’s life.

Every new year, I usually do some kind of inventory of my own life. But I can’t wait until then. I just can’t. (Plus, my birthday is around the corner, so now is as good a time as any.)

And the truth is, it’s not just the news that has got me re-evaluating. My body has also been speaking to me to pay attention. My heart has been calling me out. My mind is telling me not to get caught up in the noise, but to instead step back and think about the effect that the noise has on my life, and on all of our lives. Plus, it’s all been giving me a complex migraine, complete with vertigo and vestibular damage (don’t ask).

As you can you see, it’s not just one thing that brought me to this moment again. It’s been a series of whispers and then a few 2x4s. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s to pay attention to the whispers and the 2x4s because they usually precede a knockout. (Speaking of knockouts, the voices of the Architects of Change featured in today’s Sunday Paper just blow me away. I love being in community with them and so many others that we have featured. They help me rise above the noise and inspire me to have hope and move forward.)

What also gives me hope is knowing that at any point in my life, I can change things that aren’t working. So here are a few things that the week’s headlines made me think about. I share them with you in hopes that they may give you something to think about in your own life as you move forward.

Success
I’ve made big misjudgments here. I used to think that if I were the anchor of a network news show that I would feel successful. Same with publishing a best-selling book. I was wrong. Success, I’ve learned, is an inside job. I didn’t grow up with that message, but I now know it to be true. The people who I now think are the most successful are the ones who have beautiful, loving families. They are the ones who love and are loved. Who toil quietly and patiently on the frontlines of life. Who recognize that a modest life is just as meaningful as one lived in the spotlight. (Boy, was I reminded of that this week when Albert Einstein’s notes on living a modest life sold for $1.6M. Check it out in the section below my essay.)

Politics
I used to think the Democratic Party had all of the answers. I was wrong. Both parties contribute to divisiveness, as we see each and every day in the news. Both parties have brought us to this mean-spirited, divided place. I left the Democratic Party a few years ago to register as an Independent. There lies my hope.

Work
I used to be so judgmental about people who weren’t working like maniacs. I was wrong. Working like a maniac makes you sick and is its an addiction. Put work in its proper place. Find balance. Your happiness depends on all parts of your life working together.

Rest (Mental and Physical)
In my home growing up, rest was a big no-no. My parents never rested, so neither did my brothers or I. Today, I know better. Rest is critical to your mental and physical well-being, so make time for it. No one else is going to give it to you.

Health
I used to think that I could eat whatever I wanted, for however long I wanted. I was wrong. Bad choices catch up to you. Before you know it, you could be that one that cancer decides to knockout. You could be the person that Alzheimer’s decides to take hold of. Make your health (especially your brain health) a priority. And, while you are at it, get to the bottom of your relationship with food. Cookies are not a substitute for real love. They don’t love you back. Trust me. Candy, cake and Swedish fish don’t either.

Fear
I used to view myself as fearless because I skied black diamond runs and jumped off cliffs. I spoke up and spoke out. But then I came face to face with how much fear I actually had deep down. Today, I work hard at pushing through the things that scare me emotionally, like sharing this list with you. Sometimes, I feel like I’m alone when I’m vulnerable or admitting that I’m scared. But, I now know that I’m not. (Speaking of fear, as I watched Sen. Jeff Flake give his speech this week on the Senate floor, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was feeling fear or afraid as he stood there so boldly making his public statement.)

Solitude
Speaking of fear, very few things scare me more than being in solitude. In order to not be alone, I often pack my life and my house full of people (I mean, lots of people). Because the truth is, I’m happiest when my house is filled with the people I love. But, I know that I’ve also done this because I’ve been afraid to look like I was alone or feel like I was alone. I’ve noticed, though, that the universe has a way of doing for you what you can’t or won’t do for yourself. Today, I spend quite a bit of time alone. (My son and niece who have been living with me for the last year are now both moving out.) I’m not saying that I love being alone, but I have realized that I’ve learned most of these truths that I’m sharing because I’ve spent time alone. I’ve spent time in silence. At the end, my takeaway is that we should all try and spend more time in solitude so that we’re comfortable with it when we have to be.

Loyalty
I grew up in a family where loyalty was king. I heard about it all the time. Loyalty to family. Loyalty to friends. Loyalty to a particular faith, political party, or person. But, what I never heard about was loyalty to one’s self. It didn’t dawn on me that one could crush the other. Today, loyalty to myself is more important than my loyalty to anyone or anything else. I’ve learned it’s not selfish to put yourself at the center of your own life. I’ve learned that you must honor that person looking back at you in the mirror because the cost of not doing so is high.

Celebrating Life
Life is short. I grew up knowing this to be true, but now it seems like I’m reminded of it all the time. Healthy friends call and tell me they have stage 4 cancer. Someone else whispers to me that they have early-onset Alzheimer’s. Another person tells me about a crippling depression that makes life unlivable. And then, of course, there is the news. We don’t celebrate life enough. We don’t tell our loved ones what they mean to us enough. I’m not writing this because of my age (and because my birthday is on the horizon). I’m writing this because of my first-hand experiences. Honor your life. Celebrate your life. Enjoy your life. Do it now.

Re-evaluating—whether it’s on your birthday, New Year’s, or any other day—can be painful. But, it can also be incredibly liberating.

Every time I take inventory, I discover things I’m wrong about. But, I also discover that I’ve been right about more than I realize. I’ve been right about certain friends. Right about the importance of family. Right about my faith in a God larger than me or any one building. And, I’ve been right that there was something in me—and in you—that’s always worth fighting for.

That’s something none of us should ever have to re-evaluate.

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P.S. I’ll be sharing more thoughts like the above in my upcoming book that’s inspired by these essays. “I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers and Meditations” comes out February 27, 2018, and is available for pre-order now. I can’t wait for you to see it!

NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
Amidst the constant blare of the 24-hour news cycle, so many interesting stories don’t rise to the surface for us to enjoy. Here are a few that caught my attention this week that I wanted to share with you.

HAWKING’S THESIS: Shortly after the University of Cambridge put Stephen Hawking’s 1966 PhD thesis, “Properties of Expanding Universes,” on its open access repository Monday, the site crashed due to a high volume of demand. [READ MORE]

A NURSE’S HEARTBREAKING GOODBYE TO DYING PATIENT: A Nashville, Tennessee nurse was captured on video singing while holding the hands of her 63-year-old patient dying of cancer. [READ MORE]

GROOM EXCHANGES “VOWS” WITH BRIDE’S SISTER: On his wedding day, a young man not only married his wife, he also exchanged vows with her younger sister, who has Down syndrome. [READ MORE]

EINSTEIN’S NOTES: Two hand-written notes that Albert Einstein had given to a courier in 1922 fetched $1.6 million at auction. [READ MORE]

What People With Passion Have In Common

I’VE BEEN THINKING

This upcoming Saturday is National Make a Difference Day, but for me, every day is an opportunity to make a difference.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the people who are passionate about making a difference all have something in common: they have drive. They have a purpose. They have a goal.

I deeply believe that every one of us has a calling, a unique gift, and a specific reason for being here on this earth. I’ve spoken to so many people over the years who desperately want to find their passion, but can’t seem to land where they think they should. What I’ve learned, though, is that sometimes all you have to do is look within you, and around you.

Your purpose is usually in your own home or your own community. It’s usually connected to something that’s happened to you or something you’ve borne witness to and that you care passionately about. It usually starts small. My mother, in fact, started the Special Olympics as a camp in my backyard. Note to self: never be afraid of starting small.

I love to highlight the work of people who use their time here on earth to make a difference. It’s one of the many reasons I use my social platforms and The Sunday Paper, in particular, to highlight the work of people I call Architects of Change. Individuals like our Architect of Change of the Week Erin Schrode, whose voice we share with you here in The Sunday Paper today. It’s my hope that by sharing these individuals’ endeavors with you, it might inspire you to join in their effort, or to start something that speaks to you.

It’s also why I aim to share with you news stories that I feel rise “above the noise” of the everyday news cycle. Stories that you may have missed, like the one this week about Jacinda Ardern, who at 37, just became prime minister of Australia and the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years. I mean, how cool is that?

Over the years, I’ve met so many people who have said to me, “I want to make a difference, but I just don’t know how to do it.” As I say to my children, just take the first step. Help one person and see where that leads you. (I was reminded of that just last week when I spoke to Architect of Change Treger Strasberg, who said her nonprofit Humble Designs grew out of helping just one friend.)

It’s also important to know that passion and purpose may change over the course of your lifetime. As a young girl, I believed my purpose was to be a great journalist. I believed I was here to tell stories that weren’t being told. Ones that were both informative and inspiring.

Then, my focus and my purpose shifted to being a mother. When I became First Lady of California, my passion and purpose broadened yet again, this time to being of service to my state, as well as to women and those living on the margins.

Now, my mind is focused on wiping out Alzheimer’s through The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and trying to figure how why two out of every three brains that are diagnosed with this mind-blowing disease belong to women. Focusing my mind on this question doesn’t wipe out the other things I’ve been passionate about throughout my life. In fact, it builds on them and brings all of my passions together. It just gives me a bigger mission. It gives me a bigger North Star.

Trying to make a difference requires patience and perseverance. It requires having a vision for oneself. I’ve found that having a vision for your future helps you stay fighting forward in the present.

And so, when I get down or feel discouraged, as we all do from time to time, I try to imagine myself 10 years into the future standing in what I call “The Open Field.” My children are all around me with their families. I feel at peace knowing they are loved, that they are happy and that my relationship with them and their significant others is loving and good.

I imagine that I’m calm. (Anyone who knows me knows that this is my imagination at work ☺ .) But, I know I will be because I believe that by that time, someone will have discovered a cure for Alzheimer’s. Millions of families are going to be spared from confronting this mind-blowing disease when this happens, and I believe that it can happen in our lifetime. I’ll be able to breathe because I’ll know that my voice and my work in this space, and in others, made a difference.

I also imagine myself healthy and happy. I pray that I’m surrounded by people who understand me and who accept me. People who believe in me and who aren’t scared to stand in this vision with me.

I have faith in this dream and I’m focused on making it a reality. You, too, can have your own vision of The Open Field. Close your eyes and allow yourself to imagine 10, 20 or 30 years in the future. Imagine how you want to feel. What difference would you have liked to have made in your life? Who will be standing there with you? Will you be able to take a deep breath and feel calm and proud of where you stand on that day?

Reflect on these questions and allow the answers to rise up from within. Then, open your eyes and go make your calling your reality.

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The Power of No

I’VE BEEN THINKING

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the word “no.”

No is a word that has great power in our lives and in our society. And yet, it’s one of the most challenging words in our vocabulary.

Every time I’ve heard “no” in my professional life, I’ve challenged myself to defy it. To go around it. I’ve used it as fuel to keep fighting—whether it’s in chasing a hard-to-get interview, or in proving to doctors and researchers that Alzheimer’s does indeed discriminate against women, even when they told me it doesn’t.

In fact, all of the Architects of Change we feature in this week’s Sunday Paper have heard the word “no” at some point. Some have heard it from others, who told them that what they wanted to achieve could not be done. Others have said it themselves, declaring that one thing or another in our society is unacceptable and that they won’t rest until they’ve done something to change it.

Jane Goodall pushed back when she was told, “No, silly girl. Chimps don’t have feelings.” Treger Strasberg said, “No, this woman is not going to be homeless and live in a shelter. I’m going to create a welcoming home for her and now hundreds of others.” My friend Devon Franklin has used the word “no” to stay focused on his personal path to success and also preaches how saying “no” can lead you to the right yes. I love that.

No is a word that, if you push past it, can propel you forward. It’s also a word that can empower you to take ownership over your life and define it by your own terms.

When I went to a retreat earlier this year, one of the lines that stuck with me the most was this: “For your yes to mean something, so must your no.”

Bam.

No has power. No can mean something isn’t right for you. It can mean, “I have a boundary and don’t you dare cross it.” Or, “Don’t talk to me like that.” “No, I don’t deserve that.” “No, I’m not going to stand for that.” “No, I can’t make that event this evening. I need time for myself.”

You have to be strong and confident to use your no. You have to be brave, just as so many women were this week when speaking out against a Hollywood power player. You have to believe in yourself against all odds, just as those who have come up against climate change naysayers and politics-as-usual have done. You have to never give up, even if you hear the word again and again. I was reminded of that this week when the women of Saudi Arabia earned the right to drive. They started fighting for that right in 1990 and were shunned for nearly three decades. Now, this month, they finally get to celebrate that the ban has ended.

No is a word that does not come easily to most people. I know it’s been hard for me at different times in my life. I’ve struggled to put my foot down in situations where I knew I should have. I’ve struggled to say no to my children. I’ve struggled to say no to worthy causes that have asked for my time. I’ve struggled to say no when I just didn’t want to go to a party or an event, but I did it anyway because I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. 

But, over the years, I’ve come to realize how empowering the word “no” can be. It is a way to speak up. It is a way to speak out. We may feel vulnerable when we say it, but in doing so, we will feel liberated by speaking our truth. Thanks to various experiences and wise teachers, I’ve learned that embracing “no” makes my “yes” all the more meaningful.

So, if you are struggling with your no, allow yourself to be inspired by these Architects of Change. Allow yourself to use the word in small ways. (No, you can’t talk to me like that… No, that’s not what I said… No, unfortunately, I can’t make that…) Doing so will help you when you really have to put your foot down.

And, if you hear that two letter word from someone else, remember to use it as fuel to change the world.

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The Power of One

I’VE BEEN THINKING

I’ve been thinking all week about the power of one. One moment. One person. One action. Any of these can change your life forever.

It takes one person to fall in love with you to change your whole world around for the better. It also takes just one person with violent intentions to turn your world upside down.

All week long, we have listened and read stories of heartbreak, anguish, and pain about beautiful lives that were cut short. Lives forever altered. Families forever changed. Love stories that will never get their happy endings.

All week long, we have also listened and read stories about individuals who stepped into the line of fire to save someone. Often, these were total strangers who risked their own lives to save another. Individuals like concertgoer Jonathan Smith, who raced to rescue at least 30 people from the scene in Las Vegas. He was struck by two bullets in the process, then had his own life saved by another brave individual, off-duty officer Tom McGrath.

We’ve seen so many stories like this one come out of the tragedy in Las Vegas this week. We’ve also seen so many stories about individuals in the hurricane-ravaged areas of our world who have stepped up to help. We’ve seen stories of everyday people rising to the occasion, just because they care. We’ve seen stories of doctors, nurses and law enforcement officials who have served and protected because that’s who they are, at their core. We’ve even seen our five living ex-presidents unite to plan a hurricane relief benefit set for October 21. (This has given me great hope. Maybe they’ll continue to work together and do something to help out with our nation’s other great challenges, like health care.)

In the last few months, we have been inundated with stories about everything that is wrong with this great country. Yes, as I wrote last week, we do have a lot of work to do. We need to do a better job when it comes to racism and police brutality. We need to do a better job when it comes to our health care. This week, we are reminded that we also need to do a way better job addressing senseless violence and gun control.

Now, before you shake your head at the mere mention of gun control, please pause for one minute. No one wants to live next door to a neighbor who has dozens of assault weapons in their home. No one needs to own a silencer. And, for God’s sake, no one certainly needs to own a bump stock.

That’s not gun control. Those are gun rights out of control. 

So, let’s lay down our arms in this debate for a moment and think. We haven’t made any progress, and our neighbors are dying at the hands of people who have no business having a gun. Do we really want to stand witness to one more tragedy like the one we just watched unfold in Las Vegas?

I know the good men and women of this country don’t want to see this happen again. I also know that the number of Americans who want to put an end to this type of tragedy far outweigh those who are okay with things the way they are. So, think about your voice in this space. Take a moment to think sensibly about what’s going on, and to ask yourself what each of us can be doing to make a difference.

As we work to solve these great challenges of our time, I know that I want to use my voice to keep writing about the overwhelming good that exists in our country. We certainly need to focus more on that.

Today, I won’t mention the name of the man who brought about pain, grief, and unimaginable horror to so many innocent lives. Instead, I will call out the miraculous human beings who stepped up to save others. Those who stood with others so they wouldn’t die alone. Those who are still working around the clock to make sure that the number of fatalities doesn’t increase from 59 to 60, and beyond.

On this day, at this moment, let’s devote ourselves to focusing on the powerful good that is out there showing itself to us day in and day out.

We can each do what we can to keep the light on. Otherwise, we will surely lose hope.

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Now This Is an Idea Worth Fighting For

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A man kneels with a folded U.S. flag as the POTUS motorcade
passes him in Indianapolis. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

I’VE BEEN THINKING

“America is an idea. America is the greatest idea that the world ever came up with.” — Bono

I just love that quote from Bono because it’s so true. America is definitely the greatest idea that the world has ever come up with.

Now, that doesn’t mean our nation is perfect. It doesn’t mean we don’t have problems. It doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t keep striving to do better. It just means that the idea that defines the bedrock of this great nation is still the greatest idea ever. May we not lose sight of that.

America was founded upon an idea. We were also founded by people who took a stand. That’s our heritage, and it’s part of what makes the idea of this nation so great.

This week, there has been a lot of discussion about taking a knee and locking arms. There has been a lot of discussion about how to respect our flag and our “National Anthem,” about how to acknowledge and address racism, and about how to define what it really means to be an American.

There have been people taking stands everywhere—from Capitol Hill, to sports fields, to TV screens (thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for using your platform to take a stand on health care).

I’ve been asked countless times, “What’s going on? Why is this happening? What would you do?” I’ve been thinking about it all week, and I don’t have all of the answers, but here is what I know for sure: I am proud to be an American. I respect our flag and those who fought for our great country. I also believe that when it comes to race relations, we can and must do better.

I understand why so many athletes took a knee. Personally, I preferred the way the Dallas Cowboys’ managed the situation—by locking arms, kneeling, and then standing for the “National Anthem.” To me, that was an acknowledgment of what is, as well as a sign of respect for who we are as a country. I also appreciated how the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears handled it Thursday night—by locking arms and then encouraging fans of both teams to do the same. It’s an example of inclusivity that’s worth recognizing.

Personally, I don’t believe that people who take a knee don’t love their country. I think you can both love your country and take a knee to acknowledge what is, while committing to doing better.

What would I have done? I would have taken a knee. Actually, I would have knelt on both my knees because I believe that if we want to fulfill the idea of us, then we have got to get humble. We have got to get real. And, we have got to stop segregating ourselves from one another. Nothing good or productive ever came from inciting our neighbors or calling them names.

I want people who have the pulpit to use it for good. I want them to use it to calm fears, not incite them. I want them to lead us forward with intelligence of the mind and heart, not continue to divide us and tear away at the idea of us.

Words matter. Tone matters. Awareness matters.

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve become older (and hopefully wiser), is that life is a lot more gray than we are led to believe. You can protest and still be patriotic. You can be a good Catholic and take birth control. You can be smart, even if you didn’t do well in school. You can be divorced and still believe in marriage. You can be married, and still feel lonely. You can be old in numbers and young in spirit.

I’d much prefer to see someone vote and protest, then see someone not vote at all and still stand for the flag. So, let’s get above the noise and allow our fellow Americans to use their voices, without judgment.

Change is often messy, but if we are going to seek change, then we must first seek to better understand. We don’t have to trash talk our way to change. We don’t have to denigrate others to change. We don’t have to divide.

We cannot and should not let one person decide what it means to be an American. We should not let one person decide what’s right and wrong. No one person or party owns the American flag or our country.

You can, in fact, take a knee and still respect your country. They are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are part of the big idea.

 

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Richard Rohr Meditation: Mysticism: Week 1 Summary

Mysticism: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, September 24-Friday, September 29, 2017

“Institutional Christianity has hardly contemplated the possibility that the consciousness of Jesus might be the consciousness of the Christian, that the whole point of the Gospel is that everyone may experience union with God in the same way as Jesus himself.” —Alan Watts (Sunday)

Jesus offered the world full and final participation union with God, union with neighbor, union with creation, union with oneself, and even union with enemy. The net and sweep of participation was total. (Monday)

We can now make use of the unique contribution of every era to enjoy intuitive and body knowledge, along with rational critique and deeper synthesis, thus encouraging both intelligent and heartfelt participation “with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.” (Tuesday)

“O Holy Spirit, you are the mighty way in which every thing that is in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” —Hildegard of Bingen (Wednesday)

Building on a basic awareness of God’s participation and revelation in nature, Meister Eckhart believed humans have a special role in celebrating this gift of creation and adding to its beauty and diversity. (Thursday)

“The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me: my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, and one love.” —Meister Eckhart (Friday)

Practice: Being Fully Present

Only when heart, mind, and body are open—simultaneously—can we truly experience God. From childhood, we’re trained to protect ourselves by closing off one or more of these channels. Perhaps this was a necessary coping mechanism. But to develop a mature, holistic faith, we must learn to embrace and listen to each part in the safety of God’s presence. We each depend on certain areas more than others. It will take some “exercise” to develop the neglected muscle of body, heart, or mind. Below are some practices to nurture each area of being.

Heart: loving-kindness meditation, deep listening, community, journaling, creating art or poetry
Mind: lectio divina (sacred reading), writing, dialectic argument, study
Body: ecstatic dance, mindful breathing, yoga, meditative walking, chant, Tai Chi, or simply observing your body (from toes to head)

Gateway to Silence:
Practice being present.

Source: Richard Rohr Meditation: Mysticism: Week 1 Summary