I am focusing on using people's vision words for 2016 for a few daily prayers. Today, I am using "retreat" from Cindy to guide my selections. If you share your word, I will use it over the next few days!
I am inspired by the music of the Holly Near, the poetry of Wendell Berry, and sacred words from Albert Camus.
Usually, I have a routine in the morning (it may be considered a mini-retreat). I open my computer, I put music on, I open the word list, and then I start composing the daily prayer practice. Afterwards, I go bounce around on Facebook and visiting with friends via electronics. Today, I broke my own rule, I went to Facebook before beginning the daily practice process. The order was open the word list, don't look at the word list, open the internet to start the daily practice, get distracted, bounce to Facebook and see what Lisa had to say and found that she tagged me in a piece of beautiful music (below) and asked the question, "Can we take this into detention somehow? For worship or a retreat?" My immediate response was, "Yes! We need to do a retreat with the kids in juvenile detention soon."
Then, I played the piece of music and bounced back to do my daily practice. I found the next word on the list: retreat. Maybe I am a bit goofy, but sequence of choices this morning made me smile. I wonder what it looks like to consider daily practices a moments of retreat? Typically, we think of retreats as a big get-away. That is not easily accessible most of the time. My daily practice, though it is done for me and the world, is a get-away within the daily structure of life. What if a yoga practice is considered a retreat? Or 30 minutes of beloved music? It is a little like capturing Sabbath moments. Maybe if we all retreated more, we advance less? Meaning, the world is full of aggressive advances. Perhaps retreat(ing) gives us the strength to stand strong in face of overwhelming horror in the world.
Sometimes, standing strong in our own pea patch, is all that is needed to bring loving kindness into the world.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBO: Breath In, Breath Out--shhhh
I am Willing, by Holly Near
I am open and I am willing
To be hopeless would seem so strange
It dishonors those who go before us
So lift me up to the light of change
from Wendell Berry
How long does it take to make the woods?
As long as it takes to make the world.
The woods is present as the world is, the presence
of all its past, and of all its time to come.
It is always finished, it is always being made, the act
of its making forever greater than the act of its destruction.
It is a part of eternity, for its end and beginning
belong to the end and beginning of all things,
the beginning lost in the end, the end in the beginning.
What is the way to the woods, how do you go there?
By climbing up through the six days’ field,
kept in all the body’s years, the body’s
sorrow, weariness, and joy. By passing through
the narrow gate on the far side of that field
where the pasture grass of the body’s life gives way
to the high, original standing of the trees.
By coming into the shadow, the shadow
of the grace of the strait way’s ending,
the shadow of the mercy of light.
Why must the gate be narrow?
Because you cannot pass beyond it burdened.
To come in among these trees you must leave behind
the six days’ world, all of it, all of its plans and hopes.
You must come without weapon or tool, alone,
expecting nothing, remembering nothing,
into the ease of sight, the brotherhood of eye and leaf.
from This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. Those selected here are chosen from the Christian scripture cycle of daily readings, the Daily Lectionary, at commontexts.org
“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion." -- Albert Camus
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for atrocities everywhere, especially the South Sudan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, and the US
for Finland's decision to not allow Syrian families to settle there
for the declaration that the Syrian peace talks are unlikely to succeed
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours, 279 incidents, 80 killed, 195 injured
and 13 mass shootings so far this year
For signs of hope and peace,
for the discovery of a new, large pride of lions in Ethiopia
for Arish Singh who held up a sign reading "Stop Hate" at a political campaign
for courageous art activists, especially Islam Gawish, Ai Weiwei and Banksy
for those who seek to retreat, especially Cindy
For Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.
"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove