Category Archives: Religion

STOP THINKING SO MUCH!!

The silence of no thought

It speaks with increasing volume
Enticing me . . .

“Wanna figure it out?”
“No thought”
“Wanna change?”
“No thought”
“Wanna create?”
“No thought”
“Wanna love?”
“No thought”
“Wanna live well?”
“No thought”
“Wanna die well?”
“No thought”

In this silence, the song rises in my heart again
And I am made new.


I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!

As I continue “Just Sitting” – my Zazen practice – I remain intrigued by what it’s doing, yet at the same time trying to be unattached from expectation that anything will come of it. This simple (and not so simple!) opening of the body, spirit and mind connects us directly to Source Energy, God, Spirit and when you think about it, that’s freak’n amazing!! I find myself more aware, looking to see what this silence will bring.

Most of the time I find it difficult not to think, and simply concentrate on my breathing. The mind, the ego will not easily shut up. It does NOT want to give up control! Yet, what a relief it is to stop the incessant chatter within! I can only imagine what this must do to the brain. I can’t help but believe that in the process of this silence of the mind, the brain is literally making new connections. I am convinced that in this silence I am more lined up with Source, and Divine will becomes my will. In this silence the ego is shut up and I somehow feel more directly connected to God – I let go of control. I get out of the way. Maybe that’s what “let go, and let God” means. Normally when I give up control, I find myself, at least apprehensive, if not downright fearful. Yet as a result of this silence I find myself looking forward in hopeful expectation to see what will unfold in my life – and that of the world (because it‘s not just about my life, but affecting the world). Instead of a problem to be solved, life is becoming a Mystery to be lived. I look forward to the journey!


IN THE ARMS OF YOUR SILENT EMBRACE

Today I was meditating, and, as often is the case, my mind gets going and I want to get up and start getting something done that I’m thinking about. Sometimes it is “work” just to sit there. Funny huh? “Work” just to sit there?

The White Robed Monks call this “Just Sitting,” a practice adopted from Zen, where one simply sits 15 minutes a day, concentrating on the breath and clearing the mind of all thought. When we do this our mind, our ego revolts. That little voice in our heads just doesn’t want to leave us alone.

What struck me this morning again is that when I want to heed that voice within, when I want to get up and start moving and stop this sitting – I am not trusting! In essence, when I break the meditation and start running, I am saying that I trust more in myself than I do in Divine Power. My experience, however, says that when I stay with this “work,” when I simply sit and make an empty space in my mind, I connect directly with Source Energy, God, the Spirit. Suddenly my work is given energy and much more is accomplished – and somehow – directly as a result of thinking no-thing, my thoughts are clarified and my life is given meaning and direction. It’s like I have suddenly been plugged in!

Can I trust enough to stay with the silent embrace and make a space in my life to connect with Source? Try it. And see what happens!


THE CHURCH IS A BULLY!

OK, I don’t want to get into church bashing, because many churches do wonderful things, and, gratefully, some are growing in their acceptance of gays and lesbians, just as they are. However, the messages sent by many churches which directly say or which make gays and lesbians feel fundamentally flawed, if not evil add to or are themselves directly responsible for bullying that goes on, which sometimes ends in death. Can you imagine the pressure a gay child or adolescent must feel if they are constantly absorbing messages from their churches and their families that they are flawed, deviant, an abomination? At the minimum, life is an uphill battle for them.

What about the other side of that equation? Such messages only provide fuel and fan the flames of righteousness within those who do unimaginable verbal and physical harm to gay and lesbian people. How justified their actions must feel in the light of God’s condemnation!

That’s one of the reasons I began these writings. . . To add my voice to sane religious and spiritual voices who speak the truth of God‘s love, and who know it in their hearts. No matter what anyone else says, I know in my heart. All else that I have done in my life would pale in comparison to saving just one person’s life or spirit because they found here a voice which spoke to them of Divine love, instead of Divine retribution. A place where instead of feeling like trash, they can feel whole, loved and spoken into being – just as they are by God.

So what’s the good news?

Despite loud voices which bellow messages of abomination I recently read an article which surveyed young Evangelicals/Fundamentalists. The NUMBER ONE complaint or point of disagreement they had with their churches was their church’s negative stance on homosexuality. The NUMBER ONE point of disagreement! Can you imagine? That’s great news! Somehow, despite loud voices, young evangelicals are simply not buying it! Thank God!

But let’s not be so naïve as to think that people are not suffering. This year again, we heard of young gay people being bullied to the point of taking their own lives or being killed. And so, I write.

If you are one such person who has been swallowing the poison of religious messages, I pray that you are lead here or to the growing number of churches and religious voices who embrace you in love.


I WANT LOTS OF SEX!

OK, now that I have your attention . . .

It’s true. I really do want lots of sex – but not just the hot, passionate, genital kind.

I’m re-reading a book by Ron Rolheiser called The Holy Longing: The Search For a Christian Spirituality. In it, he has a great chapter on sexuality. I’d like to quote one of his definitions of sexuality:

“Sexuality is an all encompassing energy inside of us. In one sense, it is identifiable with the principle of life itself. It is the drive for love, communion, community, friendship, family, affection, wholeness, consummation, creativity, self-perpetuation, immortality, joy, delight, humor and self-transcendence (p.194).”

That’s the kinda sex I want! It’s about being connected on a wide variety of levels. It’s about connection and creativity, about living life fully!

I find that some, even me (yes me, can you believe it?? LOL!) collapse the totality of what sexuality is into simply its genital expression. Over indulgence in porn or sex has the potential of actually sapping our life energy, instead of adding to it. It can leave us empty and only half a person. Instead of feeling more connected to life, we can end up feeling separate and alone. Ultimately we seek connection – that sense of eternity and wholeness we once had before we were born into this physical universe. And on this side of life, we seek and find this wholeness in creative energies, art, music, friendship, family, solitude, life giving work and self giving love. It is when I am balanced on lots of these levels that I feel the most whole and horny – in a healthy, life giving way.

So I say, bring it on baby! That’s the kinda sex I want – and I want LOTS of it!


“Contemplation Is the Highest Form of Activity”

I was recently watching a program on PBS called “Excuses Be Gone” featuring Wayne Dyer. In it, he quotes Aristotle as saying:

“Contemplation is the highest form of activity.”

I so resonate with that statement! I am wired differently from what society, corporations and even churches applaud and hold up as good. “Idleness is the devil’s workshop” we were often told as kids. Certainly that was the message in the church and family in which I was raised. For me, the opposite is true.

The more “activity” I am involved in – the less I do – and the quality of anything that I do, and even the person I am, suffers greatly! It is in the silence of nothingness, in time, seemingly wasted – where great things are born within me. When I don’t take time to be, read, write, pray, listen to music – my life and work suffer. When I have, or take this time – despite great pressure not to do so – then my work finds life and creativity and I am a decent person to be around.

I find this is not very much appreciated either in society or the church. Produce! Produce! Produce! This is the message that most of us receive. It’s funny. I don’t find society, churches or countries any the better for all the incessant activity! Perhaps we would be wise to slow down, take stock. I recently heard these very words in a church, coming from a man who’s an unredeemed, angry workaholic whose toxic energy is oppressive to his staff and his church. He does a tremendous amount of work; but I don’t know of anyone (who really knows him) who looks up to him or actually wants to spend time with him. How sad. But I believe, like all addicts, he’s basically a good person at heart. Perhaps he just needs to slow down and take stock.


Supernova

Like a dying star
Convulsing – trying to hold on
The heat – intense as gravity folds in on itself and energy ceases
Unable to escape the intensity – I collapse inward and finally explode

Will I fall into the inescapable darkness?

Or find myself thrust outward in a burst of creative energy
Forced and forged by this seeming death
Exploding into newness – Supernova my name?

Elements strong and bright
Silver and gold are forged in this heat
Gravity’s intense pressure – beauty’s unlikely birthplace