P1090931 at the American Visionary Museum

They (fools, the clowns, the tricksters) are constantly in the throes of metanoia, disturbing the undisturbed, comforting the uncomfortable and freeing the unfree.*

Return to me with your whole heart *

As the days lengthen we return to thawed ground and new growth.  The Abrahamic religions all have rites of repentance and returning in preparation for spring festivals – Easter in Christianity, Passover in Judaism, and Ramadan for Muslims. 

Each of these practices include periods of introspection and consideration of actions that require metanoia, which is not translated as repentance but literally means to go “beyond the mind,” or “into the larger mind.”*

During Lent Christians reenact the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying. The desert journey is one where our comforts are stripped away so we can see more clearly.* During Ramadan, also a period of fasting, repentance is a period of return to a state of renewal – metanoiaIt means moving into the nondual knowingness of the heart which can see and live from the perspective of wholeness. Cynthia Bourgeault. 

Passover is retelling the story of leaving mitzrayim, the narrow place. We all have places within us that are narrow. These are the places where our self-judgment lives and where our judgments of others thrive. Our narrow places are the spots where our fixed beliefs rest.

I just read and watched an article and film *The Path of the Sacred Clown and thought about my grandkids as tricksters and sacred clowns, full of life energy – eros – pushing me to rethink, not from the mind but from the heart about the narrow places where I am stuck.

In his book Falling Upward, Richard Rohr says transformation is more about unlearning than learning. These practices during the transformation from darkness to light are all meant for transformation of consciousness – the seed deep in the soil transforming into the plant – a resurrection, a returning to our immaculate, new born, lighter-hearted selves/souls.

The italics indicate places where I used, and abbreviated quotes, or combined overlapping ideas from Christine Valters Painter, Abbey of the; Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life; and The Wisdom Jesus, by Cynthia Bourgeault. Their work, thinking and writing are infiltrating my heart and my mind.

About Marian Methner, B.S., D.Min.

Polydox: accepting that we are many labels, I am mother of 4, mother in law (love) of 4 and grandmother of 5. My life is a collection of bits and starts. I was recently on the road for over a year exploring ideas of living in shared housing. A recent summer course in Permaculture design, solidifed my interest in "social permaculture" or ways we interact not only with our Earthly environment but also with each other. I am back Bellingham, Washington, in a small rental house, owned by my ex husband, talk about shared housing, practicing living in community with family, and friends. My doctoral dissertation A Map to Living Open Heartedly, centers around making art as a way to healing. Paradoxiclly, a recent diagnoses of heart failure (cardiomyopathy) expands this exploration...
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3 Responses to Returning

  1. Yesterday I ordered Cynthia Bourgeault’s book, for her words keep appearing in the class I am taking on the Gospel of Matthew. Love the synchronicity of you mentioning that title in this post. As usual you give me much to think about, especially the concept of narrow places.

    • Thank you. Linda Conroy of StilpointatBeck says reading Bourgeault is “like drinking water from a fire hose.” I find myself nodding as I read every page. We will be reading and discussing it with a group during a 4 week Lenten study. I am reading Rohr’s book backward and forward, marking it up, turning corners and filling it with bookmarks. Talk about a force for lectio.. I first heard the idea of the narrow place reading Fingerpainting on the Moon by Peter Levitt – “Mitzrayim, the Hebrew name for Egypt.” pg. 48. It has always fit for me and I’m not surprised that it resounds for you. (I will respond to your beautiful blog on your page.)

  2. Louise says:

    One of your gifts Marian is your writing. A thousands thanks. Louise

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