Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I have been thinking a lot lately, and writing a lot lately, about the need to go inside. To go to the core of who we are, and find there the sacred presence that is there, and connect with that presence, and then, in the context of that connection, seek to find one's deepest self.  I have become convinced this is the key to spirituality, and to becoming what we were created to be.  As Paul writes, "The secret is this, Christ in us the hope of glory."  (Colossians 1)

Many years ago Elizabeth O'Conner wrote a wonderful book about getting to a place where one can live a life of meaning.  The title?  "Journey Inward, Journey Outward".  First we must go to our core!

Christopher Germer in his book about self-compassion talks about going inside while focusing on one's breathe, and using phrases to comfort one's self when one is struggling.  During one "tough patch" I decided to use a walk as a way to try and get in touch with my own center.  I have trouble sometimes practicing what I preach, and sometimes getting outside and getting into nature helps me center.
As I walked I began to develop a set of phrases that I used as a tool to get in touch with my inner self.  I walked, and breathed, and repeated the phrases.  And it made a difference.

The phrases were loosely based on the metta phrases that come out of the Buddhist tradition.  I framed them in the context of my own faith, but one could change the first two phrases in many ways, to fit many different forms of spirituality.  

At any rate, I thought I might share them.  Play with them.  See if they might have some meaning for you.

May I find the Christ within
May I find myself in Him
In the context of extravagant love
May my soul be healed
May my heart be healed
May my mind be healed
May my body be healed
May I be at ease (or peace)

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