Monday, March 1
Shadow

Daily Practice for 2016.02.05

Word:

Whew! I'm back. Four days doing course intensives for my doctoral was draining. I confess to a slow rising today. I posted the prayers directly to Facebook because it was too difficult to access internet resources. Then, yesterday, my computer wouldn't start at all! I have a Surface. It wouldn't turn on. Nothing. I felt like yelling! Luckily, I save everything to the cloud so nothing was lost. Then we took my Surface to Microsoft (it is one of their products). My dear husband took it in the building,  put it on the network, pressed the power button..and Lo!..resurrection. I was shaking my head at the mystery. There is one strange side effect left from the Surface's confrontation with death. She is running one hour behind in her clock now. Weird. Anyway, enough about me...

I am focusing on using people's vision words for 2016 for a few daily prayers. Today, I am using "alight" from Margeurite to guide my selections. If you share your word, I will use it over the next few days! I will be taking a break from words during Lent to focus on Lenten words.

I am inspired by the music of Owl City, the poetry of Jamie Dedes, and sacred words from Plato. And a random urge to write a meditative exercise.

For whatever reason, when I think of the word alight, I think of fireflies. They flit around, enchanting everyone, descending briefly to land here-and-there. It is one of the things I miss the most in the PNW. In the NE where I am from, fireflies were abundant. I have never seen one since. There is such a joy and lightness of being in alight. This almost seems to be a visual meditation on letting go, reaching out, and finding lightness.

Take a moment, standing if you like, imagine yourself firmly grounded. The grass beneath your feet. The smell of freshness in the air. Dusk approaching.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

In your image, imagine yourself standing on your toes. You can lift your arms upward towards the sky. Arch your back a little so your face and upper chest are leading your body upward. Connecting your heart center with the infinite cosmos above. Place your hands on your heart, feeling love and invitation.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

Let your hands extend out to each side (like a T). Keep your face turned upward with a slight arch as comfortable. Imagine letting go of the earth. Your toes moving away from the earth. This could be a terrifying moment of ambiguity. Neither grounded nor in flight.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

Now, fly! Keep breathing. Imagine where you would soar to. Is it through the gardens to the wider world? To become a witness to tragedy and suffering? Imagine the delight of a suffering child when you, a firefly of light, swoop down and alight on his arm for a moment to give him love. What can you bring a lightness of being to? Is it Flint, Michigan? Syrian children? Homeless encampments? Youth in detention? Be a witness to their sadness and offer love and joy.  ...  and peace  ...  As you swoop, feel free to move your body and arms in whatever way is comfortable.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

It's time to come home. What do you notice about the flight homeward? Who among the lost, the least, and the lonely can you invite along the journey? Let them join your joy and lightness. Entering your experience. And the hard part. Enter their experience. Hold their pain. My arms feel a little heavier. Fuller.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

Bring yourself to your body. Relax your feet. Put your hands on your heart.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat 3-5 times.

What or who chose you? What can you do about it?

Now, go! Be love in action.

Onward!

Opening:

Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBO: Breath In, Breath Out--roar

Music:

Fireflies, by Owl City

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

Readings:

Fifty Shades of Joy by Jamie Dedes

. . . . . . . Resting. . .

where blue meets green, where the endless sky meets
the ocean wave, where the plump blue berry meets the
thin green leaf, where illumination gifts fifty shades of joy.

. . . . . .  . Breathing and breathing and never minding

the house begging for repair, the lawn wanting a trim.
Never minding the floors awaiting the broom, the
accounts begging for their balance . . .

. . .. . . . . . Only joy ...

from the quiet mind, and the still hand,
Joy! beaming from the tranquil heart
Resting on the limb of a moonlighted tree . . .

. . . . .pondering light ...

. . . . . . . . . Light!

. . . . . . . . . .  . More Light

© 2016, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day), All rights reserved, reprinted with permission

Sacred Text 

Ecclesiastes 2:12-17
Matthew 5:13-16
Psalm 27

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

Sacred Quotable

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when [people] are afraid of the light.”  Plato

Prayers:

2016.02.05

For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the 15,000 refugees massed at Turkey's border 
for African Union troops leaving Somalia and the immediate loss of the port city of Merca 
for the rescue underway after a mine collapsed in South Africa and
for the injustice of South African gold being mined by an Australian company
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours, 228 incidents, 54 killed, 128 injured
and remembering today would have been Trayvon Martin's 21st birthday
For signs of hope and peace,
for the sea lion pup rescued in San Diego 
for Pope Frances and Patriarch Kirill meeting for the first time since the 11th c.
for the extraordinary story of Noela Rukundo
for those who seek to alight, especially Margeurite
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.

Lord’s Prayer:

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.

2016 02 05

Notes:
"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

bibo

News Notes:
Mass shooting resource
Wars in the World
Prayer cycle of the world's countries
Good news

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