As 1 of 32 gathered in my Home Parish this evening, we joined in a circle around the altar with a few candles lit to spend half an hour in Monday Meditation. Twenty minutes of silence, five of music, and silent and spoken prayers, led to a very deep feeling of peace.
I have fallen out of the habit of meditating regularly, but when I do it settles me and takes away tension and worries like nothing else. It gives me energy when starting a new day that no coffee or extended amount of sleep could ever give, and it gives me rest in evenings to read, relax, and fall to sleep without the ‘tossing and turning’ of other nights.
After returning to my house, I remembered Henri J. M. Nouwen, and found some lines from his book The Wounded Healer…
When our souls are restless, when we are driven by thousands of different and often conflicting stimuli, when we are always “over there” between people, ideas and the worries of this world, how can we possibly create the room and space where someone else can enter freely without feeling himself an unlawful intruder? …When we are not afraid to enter into our own center and to concentrate on the stirrings of our own soul, we come to know that being alive means being loved. This experience tells us that we can only love because we are born out of love, that we can only give because our life is a gift, and that we can only make others free because we are set free by Him whose heart is greater than ours. When we have found the anchor places for our lives in our own center, we can be free to let others enter into the space created for them and allow them to dance their own dance, sing their own song and speak their own language without fear. Then our presence is no longer threatening and demanding but inviting and liberating.
At the end of our period of silence we were asked by Fr Simon to individually think of two things we were particularly thankful to God for this evening. First, thankyou God for the birds that sing, and the one’s that don’t. How beautiful they are. Second, thankyou for the bonds of love that you have and continue to spread within us, between us and around us.
And now a thankyou to all those gathered with me who gave me hope in the knowledge that there are others who crave and love the stillness that I need in my life. And a thankyou to Henri Nouwen for reminding me of one of the ways in which meditation and openness is so very beautiful.