I have done physical spiritual practices recently: healing, karate, biodanza, clowning, all involving body-consciousness and minimising the critical mind. And this morning I returned to the Quaker meeting, and our particular spiritual way.
I have borrowed “Living from the Center”, a Pendle Hill pamphlet by Valerie Brown, which I sat to read before meeting started, and I got to thinking how different this spiritual experience is: most of us have degrees, a lot of us are academics, we are good with words, and when we minister in meeting we produce well-constructed paragraphs. And I want to bring the physical, body spirituality here.
Then I realise I can. Here is that flower on the table- I always sit close to the table, where I may look at the flower(s), and even the grain on the bench is beautiful. And I am projecting onto Friends: I want to unite these aspects of spirituality in Me, not in the Religious Society. And I can unite my intellect in my body work too: making that karate move, or dancing, while it is inappropriate for the conscious mind to seek to control or judge it, my intellect may appreciate it.
So it was a joyous meeting for me, of appreciation, integration and unity. It felt like a Leading. I thought of speaking it in ministry: but I felt no leading to that, why should I preach at my friends? It was a message just for me. Also, I thought of two recent facebook shares:
For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.- Cynthia Occelli.
The truth will set you free- but first it will piss you off.
Being broken in order to grow is such a common topic in spiritual writing, and a common spiritual experience. It is a way I have appreciated certain hurts, which have appeared strongly linked to my conscious growth moments- and I thought this morning that it is a way to accept and appreciate and value all my hurts, all my history. There was a light, joyous feeling in the room at the end of meeting, others noticed it too, not just me. We can come to feel together, though we sit in the same place, not touching, not speaking.
And- it was nice, sitting in the meeting room before meeting, when that couple walked in. All queers together- just, nice.
I have two spiritual practices in my ritual space at the moment. I perform metta meditation:
May I be safe and protected May I be peaceful and happy May I be healthy and strong May I have ease of wellbeing
Just for me, and not for others, at the moment. I am sufficiently socialised, perhaps being too socialised is part of the problem; and I am hurt, and need to value myself. The pther practice is to feel the flow of Qi in my chakras, to invoke it, perhaps to bring it to myself. I intend to consider other options for spiritual practices. So I am grateful for the words of others, leading me towards the centre.
Monday: I kneel in my ritual space, my bear beside me. My friend gave him to me to console me in hospital, so I received him in Love, and now he sits in my ritual space, holding the silence, meditating whether I am there or not. Also I have a timer, for fifteen minutes’ meditation. I will not look at the timer, I will rise refreshed after my fifteen minutes. So “Not looking at the timer” becomes an illustration of my ego’s inadequacy, in its inability to achieve an unnecessary aim. I hurt and I fear, and I struggle.