The Soul’s Journey – A Sense of Place

January 6, 2018

I am sitting luxuriating in my new morning ritual, the sound of Gregorian Chants whispering through the ether. Those of you read my blog The Flutter of the Cosmic Cape may recall the insight that the acquisition of my Ipad had resulted in a major shift in my early mornings from a quiet contemplative time to a litany of distractions. My new year’s resolution is to banish electronic devices between 10:00 pm and 10:00 am.

I begin with a simple mindfulness practice in bed, bringing attention to the breath and observing thoughts as they arise while trying not to follow them. This is followed by a sitting practice down by the fire focusing on loving kindness, healing prayers, gratitude and setting some intentions.

Then it is time for my morning tea, to play some sacred music, and read something inspirational. This particular morning it is an article in Presence Magazine (the quarterly journal of Spiritual Directors International) about a sense of place. It features the writings of renowned environmental author and poet Wendell Berry. One specific poem stuck out like a flashing neon light.

It was called “How to be a Poet” (to Remind Myself.) It includes the words “Sit Down. Be Quiet”, “Stay away from screens”. It resonated not because I want to be a poet but rather as a description of how I want to start my day.

This led to more gratitude around the amazing space I have created. It is full of sacred objects, rich memories and the energy of the many lovely Souls I have shared it with in meditation, prayer, listening and spiritual reflection.

Next it is time to journal, something I completely shifted away from and before long I realize I have material for a new blog. Not a poem but it would include the beautiful poem of the morning. What a lovely way to start a day. Distractions have been replaced by a sense of peace and harmony and a bonus – I have a new poem to learn – something I had been looking for.

Make a place to sit down.

Sit down. Be quiet.

You must depend upon

Affection, reading, knowledge,

Skill – more of each

Than you have – inspiration

Work, growing older, patience,

Joins time to eternity. Any readers

Who like your work,

Doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditioned breath

The unconditioned air.

Shun electric wire.

Communicate slowly. Live

A three-dimensioned life;

Stay away from screens.

Stay away from anything

that obscures the place it is in.

There are no unsacred places;

There are only sacred places

and desecrated places.

Acept what comes from silence.

Make th best you can of it.

Of the little words that come

Out of the silence, like prayers

Prayed back to the one who prays,

Make a poem that does not disturb

The silence from which it came.