Every year everything I have ever learned in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation, whose meaning none of us will ever know. Mary Oliver: In Blackwater Woods I was listening to Radio 3 over breakfast on Wednesday. Bryn Terfel was interviewed and … Continue reading Lass auch Dir die Brust bewegen, Liebchen, höre mich!
What do you long for? What are your deepest wishes? Spirituality is how you live out your deepest longing, day by day, year by year, in and through all the ups and downs of life. Prayer begins with desire … Continue reading
I think that … that you work on the thing that's eating away at you. And I think that the performers that we feel are wrestling with something significant are the performers that hold … they hold our attention. Why couldn't people take their eyes of Brando? Something was always eating at him. I don't … Continue reading What’s eating away at you?
This week a body came for spiritual direction. She was reflecting upon busyness, upon the balance she was seeking in a life of service to God, with space for prayer and contemplation. Amongst other things, she draws and paints. She related an experience she'd had that morning. She had felt anxious about the amount of … Continue reading Service
A dear friend says, "Prayer is hard work." I tend to agree. Prayer might be simple, but it is not easy. Yet her assertion gives me pause. Prayer is a relationship and it is not all down to you. God plays the leading part: God prays in you. Your part involves: desire: for God;disposition: being … Continue reading Demarcation
In meditative or contemplative practices, the advice on dealing with so-called 'distractions' is to come back either to your breath, or to a word, phrase or mantra. I want to write about attention to this body in contrast to, or in concert with, the breath or a word. I have just prayed. When I noticed … Continue reading Desire and this body
4. Prayer on retreat, July 2014 [Read parts I, II & III] Here I am again, looking for something exciting on the iPhone, doing everything I can to avoid prayer. It is addiction: anything to stop me coming home to myself, and the work of coming home to You. What am I doing? I am … Continue reading Evanescence (IV)
Not exactly waiting for someone else, he is, as it were, waiting for himself. Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, p.72 If you are bored, your mind is wandering—away from you—its rightful purpose. Gail Sher, One Continuous Mistake p.30 You long for yourself. Distractions are substitutes, looking for something to fill a hole, … Continue reading Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 3)
Boredom: … the mood of diffuse restlessness which contains that most absurd and paradoxical wish, the wish for a desire. Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, p.71 It is one of the most oppressive demands of adults that the child should be interested, rather than take time to find what interests [her]. Boredom … Continue reading Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 2)
One of the more distracting things about capitalist culture is that there is no stupor, no time to vegetate. What I would suggest is more time-wasting, less stimulation. We need time to lie fallow like we did in childhood, so we can recuperate. Rather than be constantly told what you want and be pressurised to … Continue reading Boredom: guardian of the Temple (part 1)