September 15, 2017
"To remake ourselves, we don't have to bring goodness, love, fearlessness, and the like from without and stuff them all into ourselves somehow. They are already present in us, deep in our consciousness; that is why we can never really rest content with being anything less than the perfection we were created to express and be. If we work to remove the impediments that have built up over many years of conditioning, to dislodge all the old resentments and fears and selfish desires, our life will become like a fountain of living waters, as it was meant to be.
An old fountain may be so clogged with rubbish that not a drop of water can get through. But with a lot of cleaning, you can get the water to start playing again. Then grass and flowers will grow around it, and birds will come there to have their bath. Just so, love can flow from us as from a living fountain, and those we live and work with will come to us to be refreshed." - Eknath Easwaran
Our topic last Friday was “connection” and how to make a connection with the Spirit already within us. Rather than dividing up into individual groups, we stayed together because it was Family Week, which can be a difficult, painful, and exhausting (yet productive!!) time. I wanted to give the patients some time to relax, rest, and experience the peace that can be found in connection – with their Higher Power, themselves, and each other. It was a spiritual experience.
Four Stone Meditation Practice
As the patients entered, they were asked to select four stones (to be used in meditation) and to either sit or lay on the floor. We meditated on the four qualities of love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace, each represented by a stone.
Making connection: The patients were asked to hold each stone and focus on generating that quality from within and without, for themselves and for others. They were asked to focus on love and compassion for themselves while placing their hand over their hearts as an expression of self-acceptance and blessing. This was also an expression of opening to self-forgiveness and forgiveness of others – a sense of peace. As love and compassion grows, as we open to forgiveness, those parts of us that have been neglected and hurt begin to heal and the person we have wanted to be becomes real. In this moment, there is love, compassion, forgiveness, and peace. The patients were guided to send those four spiritual qualities to everyone in the room and then out to all living beings. They were also given a bag to keep their stones in and were encouraged to continue this practice on their own.
One of our patients read the following:
"Namaste” is a Sanskrit word that means, "the G-d (Light) in me salutes the G-d (Light) in you." It is a recognition that the real beauty in life is within one another. Yet we often forget it. Saint Augustine wrote about how we marvel at mountains, waves, the ocean, and stars, and yet we pass by one another with the least bit of wonder.
Too often we isolate and build prisons around our hearts. The basic message Jesus was trying to teach was about oneness, with Spirit and each other. He challenged us to see the divinity in all people and to treat all people with love, honor and respect.
It really doesn't take much effort to spread some kindness. Everyone who reads this knows someone who could use a lift right now. Why not make a call, write a note, pay a visit, or send a card. A small effort can mean so much." - Science of Mind Magazine, June 2105
I played a couple videos for the patients on the topic of spiritual connection. Given the comments that day, patients were inspired to open their hearts and minds to new possibility and new ways to connect to a Power and Presence within them and all around them.
I love how G-d is described in the second video, "G-d is that personal journey we all want to be on... to be inspired... to feel like we're connected..."
In truth, our past has nothing to do with the truth of who we really are. We are so much more than we think or believe ourselves to be. And, we are not our experiences. The challenge is to silence the voice of the past so we can hear the still small voice of the present that guides us back home, to love.
We may not know our next step and we may not know where we are going, but we are deeply loved by the One who does. Pray, meditate, listen, read, help, give, thank, and love – make the connection now.
Reverend Laurie Durgan