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​Spiritual Friday: Awareness

Last Friday, we focused our topic on awareness and the Eleventh Step. We all decided we could spend a month of Fridays on this step because it touches upon so many things! What does conscious contact feel like? Who is the G-d of your understanding? What is prayer? Meditation? Are you awake?

We began in our usual way with the ringing of bells, slow, deep breaths, and a lovely song, “Just to Know You” by Snatum Kaur.

“Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us…” -Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

There were a lot of great readings this week:

“See nothing, look at nothing but your goal, ever shining before you.
The things that happen to us do not matter; what we become through them does.
Each day accept everything as coming to you from G-d.
At night, give everything back into His hands.”
-Sri Gyanamata

“The secret of meditation is simple: you become what you meditate on.”
-Eknath Easwaran

We then asked, “What are you meditating on? Are you meditating on fear, anger, regret, and sadness, or love, peace, kindness, and compassion?”

We passed around our “If” Questions:

Q: If you could say what the true source of happiness is, what would you say?
Freedom and love.

Q: If you could name your biggest fear, what would it be?
Being alone.

Q: If you could say what you least agree with in any religion, what would it be?
Self martyrdom in extremist groups.

Q: If you could say what you hate most about yourself, how would you answer?
When I pass judgment on others.

Q: What do you love most about yourself?
When I do things for others.

We ended with this prayer:

Dear G-d,
We struggle, we grow weary, we grow tired.
We are exhausted, we are distressed, we
despair. We give up, we fall down, we let go. We cry. We are empty, we grow calm, we are ready,
We wait quietly.
A small, shy truth arrives. Arrives from without and within. Arrives and is born. Simple, steady, clear. Like a mirror, like a bell, like a flame. Like rain in summer. A precious truth arrives and is born within us. Within our emptiness.
We accept it, we observe it, we absorb it.
We surrender to our bare truth. We are nourished, we are changed. We are blessed. We rise up.
For this we give thanks.

-Michael Leunig, A Common Prayer

At the end of the session, we gave each patient a copy of “The Prayer of Saint Francis”.

Blessed awakenings.

Reverend Laurie Durgan