profound intent & the journey of devotion

the sweet mystery

a spiritual sister’s words resonate…..

The intention to live according to Buddhist precepts has had a profound effect & created a holding within which the spiritual has become integral to the everyday: an embodied, engaged spirituality. From a younger need for intensity & extreme experience I seem to have moved into a certain level of simplicity, where “chopping wood & carrying water” have become the staple of the spiritual life. Here, a place of needing less & appreciating more, deep experiences of interconnectedness take their place & are making sense of the Christian message as I am hearing it afresh going to my local church. While some of the language feels dualistic, the underlying meaning & experience is of untiy. I sometimes struggle with the forms Christian worship takes, & at the same time feel rooted by the sense of tradition & community in the Christian tradition. I would dearly like to find some gathering of friends where I would no longer need to ‘reinterpret’ the language of the Christian religion to make it possible for me to relate it to my embodied experience……Maxine Linnell

beautifully written & almost pleading…..where can we truly & gently find connection?….how do we choose gracefully? how do we engage with religion in community? ….a sincere wish to soften boundaries calls up our intent…

all of us have deeply personal stories centered around our ideals…our unique histories….our old souls ruminating….together…always together…

I offer a poem….

When the Little Bird Sings

This chromed edge of prayer

echoed under my breath,

has a yielding rhythm, centuries old,

a cadence not unlike

my grandmother’s rosary beads.

With intentional serenity of knees

under heart, my head bowed,

the hard shell of pity blossoms,

indescribable without sweet scent;

Padre Pio’s roses lift despair.

I imagine this is eternity’s gift,

a lilt in the soul, like morning glow

dissolving edges, reminding the weary

to look up with shadowed grace

when the little bird sings.

ode to the ineffable…. 

8 thoughts on “profound intent & the journey of devotion

  1. I think the christian teaching were intentionally moved in the direction of duality as the centuries rolled past, for many reason, but I the consequences are what we see today, division between political parties, between churches, between nations …. yes, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden …

    • oh & it’s so true…so needed to get back to this essential beauty…the essential needs in all of us…& the beauty & the heart of tradtiion…thanks for sharing…

  2. This is interesting to me, having grown up in extreme Christianity and just now embracing principles that are perhaps more Buddhist in nature. I think the hardest part of this reconciliation is the two approaches to thought and living. One is about answers; the other questions. One is about the pursuit of holiness, while the other embraces humanity a bit more. One is about what will be, while the other focuses on being in the present tense. For me, peace is coming by both being willing to experience changing perspectives and beliefs without fear, and by embracing these principles and seeking for their evidence in Christianity. Beyond the theology, the principles of love, compassion, awareness and acceptance exist in both religions, I think. For me, it’s helped to question interpretations of tenets or scripture that have been long-held or handed to me by others, and simply be open to wherever it leads me.

    • I, too, follow my instincts. I don’t ‘worry’ about how it’s supposed to be. I make religion/spirituality my own, trusting my intuition, listening deeply & respectfully to the tenets given, but carefully challenging human folly. You broke down some key differences very well…..those of us, myself included, who have grown up in extreme Christian faiths, have a unique perspective….I think one of great value for ‘decoding’ dogma vs. true faith. You/we face the extreme & ultimate challenge of facing fear….that’s the part that has little value in moving forward into light. Thank you so much for sharing these valuable insights….Blessings….

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