“Contemplative experience moves us from the intellectual idea of openness that we glimpse in fragments and in starts, to the meditative exercise of openness, and then to the orientation of our whole being toward surrender and receptivity.” – Beverly Lanzetta
Tree Woman 12/20
by Heather Thompson
Blue Phoenix Art
My truth today…
The pandemic is becoming more difficult, as infections and deaths hit closer to home. I am coming upon a nearly year in the quiet of seclusion – February 29th, 2020.
I’ve noticed myself growing more quiet this Fall, as each day is increasingly full of spiritual, physical and emotional complexity. The silence allows me to process – to empty – in the way I feel the most safe and expressive….ART. I haven’t been much for words lately.
It hasn’t been all somber either, as the animals provide abundant laughter every day. We’ve started a Farm Tales page on Instagram (Harvey Farms) to share just a taste of the joy we feel watching ducks, cats, goats and dog each day.
…but it’s also been a daily walk with the heaviness of the worldwide pandemic.
Just yesterday, I woke up in Middle School with my daughter’s remote learning (as I do every day). I’m a single mom with a disability helping her journey through an unprecedented time that will change the course of her life. We focus on the joy each day, the LOVE of family and friends, the reality of fears/grief/feelings, and the root of gratitude. Each day is both blessing and anxiety – allowing this reality to be what it is simply acknowledges what IS.
As I journey with my daughter, I have my own path that requires attention and love. Staying present in my life while journeying with her is trying to say the least.
This week I’m slowly coming to accept the reality of a new immune deficiency diagnosis, which may necessitate changes in my relationships with the animals for the time being. Remaining open to these feelings, even the anger and resistance, helps me stay open to the flow of Life. Allowing myself to feel the loss of Dr. Darold Treffert, who helped me understand my “new brain” post TBI – that I am an Acquired Savant – I feel both immense sadness that he’s gone and extraordinary gratitude that he came into my life. I wouldn’t be who I am without him. These are just two of the things that happened in the last day or so.
There is a lot each day, as is the case for most of the world right now. Thus, in these last days of Advent, I feel compelled to share some of my favorite theological insights that help remind me of the courage it takes to maintain an open heart.
Today I begin with a meditation from Beverly Lanzetta via Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Email.
“We empty ourselves to let the divine flood us with love. We are empty so we may be full.
Defined as the releasing of selfishness and ego attachments, loss of self is a central characteristic of spiritual life. Let us for now refer to emptying of the self in a twofold sense: as a breaking down of our cherished self-identities, wants, demands, and ego struggles; and as an openness of being, where all the doors and windows of the soul are thrown back to allow in the splendor of life. Since in a body we will always have elements of personality traits, self-emptying is not an absolute state but the practice of letting go. And this practice of detachment, in which we experience the fluidity of presence [that is deeper than identity, becomes the medium for the great transformation of being that demarcates a contemplative life. . . .
True emptiness is also an openness of being. It is an ongoing receptivity to the wonder of life. Having an ability to flow with what life offers, we are able to pass back and forth from the interior chambers where our soul and the Beloved meet into the world. Intimacy with the Divine offers a new quality of heart. The contemplative life teaches us how to sustain this openness that is natural to our natures, and how to employ spiritual disciplines to preserve and protect our vulnerability.
Contemplative experience moves us from the intellectual idea of openness that we glimpse in fragments and in starts, to the meditative exercise of openness, and then to the orientation of our whole being toward surrender and receptivity.
– Beverly Lanzetta
Thank you to Fr Richard Rohr, as this Daily Meditation gave me words that I needed this morning.