Thursday, July 29


Mindful Monday: Teacup Listening

Buddhism, contemplation, Lectionary, listen, mind, mindfulness, Scripture, Spirituality, United Church of Christ
This post is the first of three on the topic of mindfulness and listening. ~~~ "Now the Lord came again and stood there, calling as before, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, your servant is listening.'" (1 Samuel 3:10, NIV) For those who don’t know the context for this scripture, today’s daily lectionary selection, here’s a link to a brief explanation, written by Mary Luti for the United Church of Christ’s “Feed Your Soul Daily Devotional.” After an even briefer synopsis here, I’m going to consider one way that mindfulness and listening work together by relating a Buddhist story I just read. A twelve-year-old child, Samuel, heard someone calling him in the night. He believed that it was Eli, the priest under whom Samuel was training to be consecrated for service to God. Eli was g...

Mindfulness, Mercy, and Remembering (An Advent Reflection)

Advent, contemplation, Lectionary, Scripture, spirit, Spirituality
“My soul glorifies the Lord 47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, 49     for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. 50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. 51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” (Luke 1:46b-55) In reading the M...

Zen Mind, Child’s Mind (An Advent Reflection)

Advent, Lectionary, Love, mind, Scripture, Spirituality
So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. (Galatians 4:7) As I read this Scripture today, I thought, "Once an adult, what does it mean to be a child again?" Paul told the Galatians that they no longer needed to hew to the Law of Moses but to follow instead their faith in Christ. To adhere to Law unquestioningly, he suggested, is to choose to remain in bondage when freedom is spread before them. He urged the Galatians to be like children who, when loved well by their parents, love wholly in turn and implicitly trust their world. To be a child in Christ makes me think of “beginner’s mind” in Zen Buddhism. Rather than walking through the world following our usual rules, unaware of our long-held preconceptions and judgments, we could simply an...