Pray....And Things Happen!
PATHFINDERS - PATH Ministries (People Accepting Their Holiness)
Pray....And Things Happen!

June 2011

You're So Far Away....

Yesterday  I listened to the old Carole King song, Far Away, and I thought about how far away things sometime seem to us, even though they may be as close as a memory.  Sometimes even the Divine Spirit seems far away, too, even though it is only no more than a breath away. 

In the times when what we love or crave or need seems distant, we may feel lost, abandoned, alone, rejected, and unworthy.  What we forget is that there is no separation, except as our own perception dictates.  We have the power and potential within us to change our perception and transform it into the truth of what we know in our hearts---that we are all One! 

God and I and You and I and All and I are One in Spirit and in Truth.

Let's Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer...

As much as life can get twisted out of shape, so do we have the opportunity to use that twist to add shape to our lives.  New uses for old ideas, looking at something from a new point of view, seeing things with fresh eyes and newness of heart. 

This summer, when all of Nature is pouring forth her beauty and bounty, forms of life just jump out at us, begging to be noticed or seen anew.  With fresh eyes, open to the potential all around and focus, even momentarily, on what is and what can be in our lives. 

Our classroom surrounds us with teachers, teachable moments and object lessons.  The life force in everything--even what seem to be inanimate objects came from natural elements originally--screams at us to pay attention and learn and be blessed by our learning.  Use that learning to embellish your life's journey, to enhance your path, and to glorify the existence of Spirit as the integral, connecting part of all Creation!

Spirit at the heart of everything, come alive in me this summer and make your presence known in every step and every breath.  Wake me to Your brilliance all around me.  In you I live and move and have my being!

Barking Up the Right Tree

On pavements and the bark of trees I have found whole worlds.       

I like to think of this quotation as coming from the mind of someone looking at the world through a microscope, although I have little information on Mark Tobey, its author.  I find that when we examine anything up close it reveals to us the reflection of our own inner world. 

This amazing photo of tree bark shows my own roughness, my hills and valleys, my myriad colorations.  I see notches and pits and places that aren't pretty to look at individually, but together they create a patchwork of protection.  It reminds me of what the dark side of the moon might look like and what my own dark side is.  I see light and shadow and a plethora of hiding places. I see the scars from many ancient wounds that have been healed but still symbolize the experience of living.  I see something that grows on the outside as the inner also grows, stretching and extending its boundaries to encompass more and more of its expanding self.  I see the texture of life and the beauty of living.

Sweet Spirit of the Universe, let me look upon all Creation as a reflection of myself, and see there the beauty of both the rough spots and the smooth plains of being.  (Another place to learn about growth.)

Hug A Tree for Healing!

Being an avid tree hugger, this link immediately caught my eye on facebook and I thought I'd give you the link for the website.  There is no doubt in my mind about the healing nature of trees, and indeed of the healing qualities of all nature.  As we open our minds and hearts, we are filled with ancient knowledge that is just as valid now as it was then.  Consider that many modern medicines come from the natural world and have been passed down through the years through medicine men and shamans.  Aspirin is a good example, but scientists are finding new information every day from the rainforests to the vegetable garden about how plants can heal us.

Has it not crossed anyone else's mind that plants were put here for the express purpose of being healing agents?  

Then let us give thanks for our awakening vision of the created world having everything we need for our healing.  Those beautiful trees we see everyday all around us can be valuable tools to help in our healing processes.

Something more in woods....

You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.
         (Saint Bernard)                       
Saint Bernard used the metaphor of trees to help us understand that wisdom is not intellectual--it is experiential, organic, and natural.  The woods are a place where there may be darkness, dampness, and something scary or unknown around every bend in the path--if there even is a path!  When we open ourselves to the silent wisdom of Nature and drink in the refreshing waters that she provides, we drink of the wisdom of the natural world.             

Great American poet Walt Whitman understood when he said, "Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? "   Our task as spiritual beings is to be open to receiving those "melodious thoughts" and ponder them in our hearts.  This is what the masters do in order to become masters.  This is what we can do to focus on our own spiritual growth and development. 

Today I open my heart and mind to the Wisdom of the natural world and delight in the experience of growing wiser.  

Peace in Every Step

French Vietnamese monk Thich Nat Hahn is a model for conscious awareness in our lives.  He teaches how to be in this life but not of it, as Jesus did.  I have found great comfort and solice in his walking meditations that focus on constant awareness of one's footfall on the ground and contact with the earth.  With each step we connect with all beings who make our planet their home.  Now living at his community Plum Village in France, this Spiritual Master is a Divine Messenger of the way of peace in our everyday lives, in every breath and every step.  As the leaves fell from this tree and landed softly on the ground below, so are our footprints to leave a gentle footprint on our sacred planet.  

Let me be aware of every step I take and its impact on the earth and all its inhabitants.  May I remember that I am standing on holy ground wherever I am and honor my connection with that presence of the sacred.

Let your dragon off the hook!

This dragon tree symbolizes for me the dragon that still lives within me.  Fortunately, after many years of prayer, counseling, and willpower, my dragon comes to life only once in a great while. When life and/or people (usually people) get to me, sometimes the dragon will rear its ugly head and breathe fire for a little while.  It's not pretty and it's not pleasant for me or anyone else around.  Afterward, I suffer from guilt and shame and just plain exhaustion.

We all have inner dragons, no matter how "holy" we think we've become.  It's the human, reptilian part of our brain that gets fired up (pardon the pun) and lashes out in anger, rage, and fury.  It often follows a disappointment, unmet expectation, letdown, or some other form of frustration. 

When it comes out, what do we do?  Like most challenges, there is no magic formula--contrary to what some new age gurus would gladly sell you and tell you.  Self-examination followed by meditation in the Silence takes some time--and it works.  Of course, the ultimate solution would be to eliminate the dragon completely once and for all--a noble purpose.  But it has been my experience that this type of spiritual growth takes some time and practice, and then it also takes more time to transfer to our physical reactions and responses.  When it still occurs, we have to forgive ourselves for not yet acting perfectly in this world.  We have to let the dragon off the hook....and pray for its healing.

Holy Spirit, let me remember that it may take some time to align my human reactions to my spiritual nature.  In the meantime, let me heal myself through prayer and forgiveness.

Bigger Than Life and Yet Life Itself

Amazing!  Huge!  Gargantuan!
At the center of human life, this great baobob tree commands attention, much like the way God gets our being bigger than life and yet life itself. 

Just think--we are made in the image of something so grand and glorious...and do we act that way?  Do we realize our own splendor?  What if we saw ourselves as commanding and powerful as this tree is to these villagers?  Their daily lives seem to revolve around its majesty.  What if we discovered the majesty of our Maker in ourselves and expressed it? 

To rephrase poet Joyce Kilmer, "I think that I shall never be a thing as mighty as a tree."  We do have that power and that presence within us however, and it wants to stand up and shout, "I am mighty!"  Let us open our mouths to proclaim the Truth of who and what we are--powerful beings made in the image and likeness of God. 

Spirit of all living things, remind us of your legacy in our lives that we may live up to our full potential in this world.

Strength through Surrender

Storms of life sometimes blow us over with their blustery force and focused zeal.  Even when we feel as if we can't get up, that it will just take too much out of us, we find the will and the strength to recover once more.
The truth is that we can only survive the winds of change if we bend to them, rather than resisting them.  Our resilience comes in our ability to be flexible.  While we may not stand straight and tall, we do get a new viewpoint of the world around us, and eventually new shoots and limbs and leaves will once more reach for the sun in an upward direction. 

Spirit of the Wind, use me, shape me, strengthen me through surrender.

Entwined Lives

Just returned from our trip to Louisville to visit my husband's brother's widow.  Like these twisted trees, human relationships and the events of our lives are intertwined.  Lives begin, lives continue, lives end, and still the complex interconnectedness continues.  We are creatures who are meant to interface with each communicate, to empathize, to comfort and console.  We always learn from each other, in crisis or in celebration, in wealth or in poverty; we are, in a sense, married to each other.  When one family member marries or divorces or passes from life in the body, the entire family undergoes the change and the adjustment to it. 

It is clear to me that life is unending and that some of the energy of a person lingers on in this place even after their spirit has departed.  That person's presence can be felt, can be sensed, can be heard.  Perhaps it is like the dew on the plants after the dawn.  We are reminded of the cool, refreshing transformation and the nourishment that stays on. 

Spirit of the Universe, of all living beings, of all life everywhere--let us recognize and acknowledge the ongoing ness of life and the presence of those we love, even in their seeming absence.

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