Sunday 11-27-16 Thank You

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~ A.A. Milne
Happy Sunday!
And thank you.
It is once again the week of Thanksgiving as well as my birthday week. My heart is filled with gratitude for everything that I experience: my family, friends, internal life of reflection and writing, my external life of work and home. Just about everything that comes forward in my experience I find so much to be thankful for.
The phrase ‘Thank you’ has held great power for me these last few weeks. This autumn I put my attention on learning from the Christian saints and mystics. I get daily inspirations from Fr. Richard Rohr and have read a couple of his books. These led me to Cynthia Bourgeault and her books on Mary Magdelene as well as one on the Trinity. Before I chose Richard to lead the way I considered Father Thomas Keating. I didn’t feel inspired when looking at his books but I felt that he had something to offer in the future. That thing came about a month ago in learning about Centering Prayer.
Besides reading the authors I mention above I also would watch Youtube videos of their sermons and lectures. On the side bar of suggested videos Fr. Keating would regularly appear as a suggestion. I noticed the headings about ‘centering prayer’ and also had references to it made by the others so my interest was raised to know more. I watched an instructional video from Fr. Keating about what it is. This is my description: it is taking a 20 minute meditation period to clear your mind, at the start he said to choose a sacred word and then during the meditation each time you find your mind has wandered you bring yourself back to your sacred word.
This sounded OK to me but it was still meditation which I kind of do. Recently I have given up on the yogic practice that has all of the regiments of proper posture and clearing of mind to be on the long path of enlightenment. If my personal practice has been anything it has been that there is an easier, comfortable, loving way to be with God. I recognize all of the epiphanies and breakthroughs I have through reflective thought, reading, and writing AND I know where all paths lead, so I have chosen to go with ease. Would God really want anything more?
No pressure!
Just following my watching Fr. Keating teach the methods of centering prayer I watched a video wherein Cynthia spoke about the practice and some of Fr. Keating’s own elaborations. She repeated a story he told from one of his seminars about a woman (she might have been a nun) who was upset with herself. She told him that during the 20 minute meditation she must have had to return to her sacred work 10,000 times because her mind kept drifting. Fr. Keating said to her what a wonderful blessing for her to be able to return to God 10,000 times!
Wow! What a fabulous practice! It’s like a reward for letting the mind wander. Actually it is coming to acceptance for what the mind does as well as receiving moments of bliss when you catch yourself and come back to God.
This reminded me of the Sufi practice of working on speaking the name ‘Allah’ throughout the day to build up your relationship with the beloved. I always liked the idea of that and had tried it but ‘Allah’ is not my word, it doesn’t hold the love and significance it should to bring me on the journey. And, to just say ‘God’ doesn’t really work as our culture has our using that word for all kinds of exclamations both good and bad.
Centering prayer. I brought it to my prayer/meditation practice but also thought to expand it throughout my day just as the Sufi’s do to stay connected to the beloved Creator throughout the daily chores.
So then I had to choose my sacred word, what would it be? I settled on ‘thank you’. It has the best effect over repeating names for God.
gratitude ty
Thank you!
Thank you for the journey of my mind. Thank you for receiving me back. Thank you for always being there.
Even now as I say it I feel the energy of the Creator moving through me, reminding me that I am a piece, although miniscule, of the greatness of All That Is.
For the past three years, on this my birthday weekend, I have written about the things I am grateful for in my life over the past year. This year, instead of settling for 54 instances of gratitude, my heart is swollen large. It swells with gratitude far in excess of 10,000 ‘thank you’s’ for all the ways God tells me that we are connected.
“Prayer is sitting in the silence until it silences us, choosing gratitude until we are grateful, and praising God until we ourselves are an act of praise.”  ~ Fr. Richard Rohr

One thought on “Sunday 11-27-16 Thank You

  1. Pingback: Sunday 4-9-17 Who is God? Spirituality - Tricia Today!Tricia Today!

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