Friday, September 18
Shadow

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

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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 and without opinion note life arising before us just as it is. We could try to inhabit the mind of a captivated young child, endlessly curious about what s/he sees, unlike how we are as older children and adults, hardly noticing the "same old, same old."

Can you be open to what's around you without critique or expectation? Can you be like a small child who sees with fresh eyes and curiosity? Can you let go of believing that you have to know rather than simply behold and appreciate? We can choose to open to possibility, amazed, given the unlikely odds that we were born at all, that we get to see Earth's beauty and strangeness each day, and gifted by the love that freely infuses the universe.

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Shunryu-Suzuki-quote

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What are you noticing today?

Post 26b in the Crystallize Meaning through Creativity: An Advent Event
Scripture: Galatians 4:7
Please offer a link to your Advent Reflection using the comments or feel free to leave your thoughts.

© 2013, post, Donna Pierce
© 2010, art, Nicole Apodaca Photography (child)
© 2012, art, Elena Ray (Suzuki quote)

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