presence of the present or WHAT IS WATER?

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Our evening was really inspired by the “back to school” rush that many of us have or will go through in the next few weeks.  As rhythms return — or even if you are in a season with new rhythms (or no real rhythms) there will always remain a tendency for us to “sleepwalk” or numbingly go through our days.

Are we awake to the everyday?

Are we aware of the choice we have — every moment — to break out of the numbness and SEE life?

We dug into a few elements in order to consider it further tonight during our gathering . . .

 

WORDS

When we treat ‘Christian’ as a verb – a ‘doing word’ – instead of a noun, it changes everything. We stop saying ‘I am a Christian’, and start looking at how we can behave in Christian ways. The Christian faith is then seen as a spiritual practice rather than a belief system.  – Dave Tomlinson

The eye that sees nobility and beauty in what another would regard as ordinary is the eye of prayer. – Sister Wendy Beckett

Most of the time, most of us are unaware of this greater reality behind things. We are immersed in the mundane, preoccupied with the outward world. The interior or spiritual dimension remains hidden; God seems absent. Yet a mystic loiters within each of us, waiting to be noticed and nurtured. – Dave Tomlinson

This is our simple goal in self-reflection: to become conscious of our ‘selves’ – to better understand the flows and processes that make up who we are, and through this consciousness, to evolve into more responsible organisms that can then go on to help others achieve the same thing.  – Kester Brewin

 What stands out / shimmers about the quotes above?

 

WATCH 

THIS IS WATER •  excerpts of a speech by David Foster Wallace

What shimmers?  Why?
Describe what WATER is — for you?
What helps you consider the WATER of the everyday?

 

 

PRAYER PRACTICE
Awareness of the Future  •  Sadhana by Anthony De Mello

 

Starting from this present moment, go over the events of the day ahead of you, events that are likely to happen . . .

You cannot be quite sure, of course, but take those events that are likely to occur with a fair amount of probability: an interview with someone, your meals, your prayer time, your journey to and from work . . .

Observe each of these events as they are likely to happen . . .

Do not attempt to correct them or improve on them . . .

Only look. Only observe . . .

The next step:

Now go over those events again and see yourself behaving (thinking, feeling, reacting) the way you would like to behave . . .

No resolutions, please! Just SEE yourself in imagination behaving as you would like to behave . . .

Then see those events as you would like them to be . . .

The final step: 

Return to each of those events . . .  Find Christ and his action in each of them . . .  Return to the present moment and end the exercise with a prayer to Christ, who is present to you now . . .

Another variation: 

Reflect for a moment that you are a manifestation of God to the world. God appears to everyone you meet today in your form and figure . . .

Now go over those future events and see this manifestation of God in action  . . .  No condemnations and judgments! And, above all, no resolutions! Only look. Only see those events as they are likely to occur. Or as you would like them to occur . . .

 

 

STORY

-excerpt from JOHN 15 (The Message)

ABIDE = meno = To remain, to continue to be, to stay, to be present, to endure, to last

I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.  I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.  I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.

You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

But remember the root command: Love one another.

 

 CONSIDER

Jesus invites us into the CHOICE — a choice to engage in the larger reality we are made for — something beyond US beyond just ME — connecting with the larger reality of humanity, creation, and the Divine.  When we choose to be cut off — we choose less than the humanity we are made for.  Being cut off we miss the bottom line . . . which is LOVE.  Remaining connected is to SEE others to SEE self and to SEE God all around us.  Being at HOME is to be present and see people with the “nobility and beauty” that Sister Wendy Beckett speaks about above.

 

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