Today I am doing a nested share. I'm sharing something I wrote that is a sharing about something someone else wrote. And so, nested share.
At our website/blog, we have a daily practice. This is an open invitation daily practice. I try to write daily using the below pattern that has evolved for me over time. However, you are invited to submit your own daily practice at https://beguineagain.com/daily-practice-blog/. You will see a "Submit a Daily Practice" button on the upper right. I would LOVE to see your daily practice. Or weekly practice. Or monthly practice. Whatever gets you emotionally, spiritually, and physically through to the next day.
If you want to read the daily practices, you can visit the blog daily or subscribe to the Facebook groups that it feeds to: The Bardo Group Beguines, The BeZine 100TP, or CloakedMonk. There, it arrives daily automatically. Your reminder to click through to read the whole thing!
And without further ado, here is the daily practice for today.
Continuing to share items from The BeZine, our sister publication. Today's sharing is from James Cowles. I met James online somewhere. I saw how intelligent and thoughtful he was. And I saw the passion he put forth in his drive towards and away from bad theology. He is a skeptic/atheist and I am a Christian/theist. On paper, we are quite different. But every bad theology that he decries, I am also appalled by. So there is that.
While we were talking about his possible contribution to a Restorative Justice and Prison Culture issue, he thought he had nothing to give. Then he started talking about Pu’uhonua o Honaunau – in Hawaiian “the Refuge of Honaunau”. In fact, he did have quite a lot to say! (He always has quite a lot to say! That's why we love him.) I share with you an excerpt from his article, "Refuge, Reconciliation, and Recidivism."
Refuge, Reconciliation, and Recidivism, excerpt
by James Cowles
When I first set foot inside the precincts of the pu’uhonua¸ I was struck by a feeling, sheerly visceral, that to this day I find difficult to describe. Remember in what follow that, upon entering, I knew nothing of the PU’UHONUA in any discursive, rational sense. But what I feltwas – not fear, not intimidation, not “creeped out” in the Salem’s Lot sense, perhaps least of all threatened … none of that – but … Have you ever read Rudolf Otto’s classic The Idea of the Holy? If you have, you have encountered Otto’s no-less-classic description of the experience of the Holy as the mysterium tremendum et fascinans – literally “the Mystery that induces trembling (tremendum) and irresistible attraction (fascinans)”. In fact, like Otto’s generic description of the Holy, my description of the Holy – in Otto’s sense of the “numinous” – must be couched in terms of feeling / affect, not lexical rigor. I felt the Holy, the numinous at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. We wandered along the beach, observing and respecting the various rules of the place posted by the National Park Service on signs along the way, not even attempting to find a way inside the kapu(forbidden / taboo in Hawaiian) space of the inner sanctum. As we were leaving, I picked up a Park Service brochure and read it on the way back to our hotel – and discovered the reason for my feelings and why they were more than justified.
Scattered across the Hawaiian Islands, there are several dozen pu’uhonua – refuges – like Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. They were refuges in the sense that, if you committed a crime, you could escape the secular consequences if you could somehow walk, swim, or otherwise travel to a pu’uhonua and basically throw yourself on the mercy of the priest(s) of the refuge. As long as you were inside that sacred enclosure, the law could not touch you. Then the work began of your making restitution, and of re-integrating you into the society from which your crime had alienated you. This is where my knowledge of old Hawaiian ritual, custom, and religion gets diaphanously, unreliably thin. But, generically speaking, the priest(s) would require that, as the offender, you perform certain tasks, participate in certain rituals – rather like the great labors of Hercules in Greek mythology – that, once completed, would culminate in the slate being wiped clean and your readmission into society as a member in good standing. My understanding is that the labors could require anywhere from a few days to several years to accomplish, depending on the severity of the original offense. But regardless of the time required, this was not seen, described, or depicted as punishment, as recrimination, as retaliation, as retribution, as “You done somethin’ bad to us, so we’re gonna do somethin’ bad to you”. This is where the analogy with Hercules breaks down. The goddess Hera’s purpose was to punish and to torment Hercules. The purpose of the labors imposed on the offender, on the contrary, is restitution and re-integration … in other words, healing of all parties to the offense, the offender no less than the offended.
You can read the entire article at www.thebezine.com
How will you listen today?
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--hmmm
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, please share!
Kahuna Nui Hale Kealohalani Makua – “Love all you see, including yourself.” — Hale Makua
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up. I encourage you to fill this in however you see it.
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For the countries of Djibouti and Somalia. For the countries of ________________________
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for ________________________
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for ________________________
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.