“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
This morning as I sat on my deck with the rising sun a brief conversation came back to me. Yesterday I told the two women I’m facilitating an 8 month contemplative series using Teilhard de Chardan’s work, that I recently attended 6 weekly sessions discussing Pema Chodron’s book Living Beautifully in Uncertain Times. I said that I find Buddhist practices enhance my contemplative life, but that I still struggle with the concept of emptiness.
Sometimes we need to say something out loud to “get it.” Of course I “struggle” with emptiness. As a sometimes writer, collage artist, and quilter I know emptiness. There are thousands of books full of writer’s prompts for facing the empty page.
These books include ideas about letting the self talk go – you can’t write, quilt, paint – so you can begin and keep going with your project. Pema Chodran and other meditation teachers emphasize letting the chattering monkey mind just go by. Fr. Thomas Keating writes something like what your mind is chattering on about “is none of your business.” Return to the breath. Repeat as necessary.
My quilting table has a large project laid out that I must complete before October, and the paper work to continue my Medicare health plan is due next week. When I sit on my porch in the morning I face a garden full of plants to prune or water, an apple tree and a plum tree ready for picking, and that means applesauce or jam? and/or a trip to the food bank? This election season sits heavy on my heart.
Begin with the breath. Breathe in, pause, breathe out. Empty the clutter on the dining room table for the meal; empty the living room for the dance party; empty the to-do list mind for the fullness of Love. Repeat.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” ― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin