An Advent Reflection…Cosmic Christ!
A PERSONAL SHARING OF EXPERIENCE…
Having heard of the Contemplative Evolution Network in June of 2015, I felt called to spend the time between 4 and 5 pm daily in prayer for those suffering in the world at large. I continued with this up until late December 2015. Because of things that were going on in my life at that time, I stopped the prayer time but didn’t forget about it. Then in May 2016, during a retreat, I heard it spoken of again and it stirred me to want to join in this prayer with others once more.
I am aware that I carry a sense of the gut wrenching pain of the world inside of me. It lies like a cracked ceramic bowl inside of me – I carry it in the very cracking of my own heart. I am aware that I am not the only one who carries this sense of the world’s pain within them. There are others who have this same experience deep inside. I feel no physical pain because it somehow lies in the spiritual realm, but it is there nevertheless.
The words from the New Testament: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden light’ and ‘Come to me all you who are burdened’ rise in me as I think of all this pain. A little while ago I would have said that God was a ‘companion’ always by my side. Now I know and say that I live in God. I know this deep in my heart. I don’t think I know what this means yet.
There is another aspect to this suffering as well – an aspect that was a surprise but not a surprise. That is, that amongst the joys and pains of life, I have a place to go to deep inside of me – where God is, in the deep stillness. It is a place where I can go and be in union with my God for a moment or longer, anywhere, anytime.
These things would not have happened to me if I had not started praying with CEN (the Contemplative Evolution Network) and said “YES” to God. Be encouraged by these for I am sure your experiences are similar.
March 16, 2016
ENFOLDED IN LOVE: A REFLECTION….
From a Brisbane Group
Click to download here
It’s Friday evening. 7pm. One by one the women arrive, feeling their way up the steep external stairs of the old timber cottage. A conversational hum welcomes them as they join those gathered in the kitchen. Refreshment is fruit and licorice teas, served in Art Deco tea cups. Dark chocolate, ginger and a choice of nuts complement the beverages.
On a weekday morning another group gathers, and the verandah becomes the sharing space. It’s birdsong among the greenery of the garden that greets those gathered, while the hum of traffic reminds us that we live in the world, even when called to be apart from it.
Who are these women, and why are we meeting?
The groups are an outcome of a 6 day silent retreat held last year. Enfolded in Love – a retreat guided by Dr Kerrie Hide and directed by Sr Catherine Hefferan focused on exploring and experiencing Love’s evolving through reflecting on the wisdom of Julian, Mechtild, Ilia, Teilhard and others. Through embracing silence and stillness we ‘became aware of the essential relatedness of all things in a single centre of Love.’ (Duckett 2014) and a deep yearning emerged: to
become a point of light within the world.
At the present time a map
is being unfolded made of the lights
of the lovers of God.
The purpose of this light
is to change the inner energy structure of the planet’.
(Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee: Spiritual Ecology)
Enfolded in Love gatherings were born.
Monthly gatherings bring matters of the heart to the light of Love for the healing of our planet. During the first 20 minutes a theme emerges which frames our intention for the silent space. Environmental and relevant social justice issues are usually uppermost. Preparation time follows: wisdom from the retreat, poem, reflection from ancient or modern mystic. How often the pre-selected extract dovetails perfectly into the intention for that gathering…
And so, to silence. ‘we are … drawn into a more profound enfolding and all-encompassing union:
a communion of hearts indwelling each other in love….
we become universally human and common-ally conscious.
We move into the cottage’s inner space. Candle glow illuminates the darkness, choral and Celtic voices prepare us to deepen our practice and Tibetan bowl sings for the period of heart-silence to begin. Love’s energy rises and Golden Retriever Adele enters, visiting each enfoldee in turn, settling down in our midst: a non-human reminder of the universal nature of Love’s enfolding.
Bowl sings again to end our formal session. Silence continues, too deep for utterance. One by one enfoldees arise, embracing the night as they leave. No verbal farewells: heartfelt hugs conclude the evening. It is understood that we take our silence with us into the world beyond these walls.
In the morning gatherings it is Creation that calls us to silence. We drink in summer’s warmth and sink deeply into that space. Our intention will be different from Friday night, but the format and atmosphere is the same. A silent farewell hug, and the formal time is over. What continues is the ongoing impact of our silence experience: viscerally, emotionally, spiritually.
Once again our gatherings have woven their magic: enriching us with the felt awareness of Divinity in our midst, and our role in bringing to light the ever unfolding Love that is around and within all.
February 5, 2016
STEPPING STONES INTO SILENCE
I come to this time of silent contemplation filled with the activities of the day. So I sit quietly and notice my surroundings.
• I intentionally recall why I am here.
• I remember the latest news and broadcasts of world events.
• I recall daily happenings within my own small world.
As I quieten within myself, I slowly invite words that I sense capture some of the causes that can be attributed to our world’s darkness, troubles and sufferings at this time, to slowly drift into my mind. I do not analyse them I just let them float to the surface. They can be words such as: corruption… manipulation… greed… violence…anger… abuse… fear… unhealthy power… lack of forgiveness… indifference… selfishness… injustice… (you may find your own words).
I then invite Light words to surface so as to transform, seep into, integrate with or overshadow these Dark words. These Light words embody the various colours of Love—Conscious Love. They are words for which I imagine all humanity hungers, longs and yearns. They can be words such as: kindness… care… concern… compassion… forgiveness… mercy… courage…strength… support… affirmation… gratitude… appreciation… (again, you will find your own words).
I then invite the Light of Love to overshadow the Darkness, to fuse with the darkness… or I may image a scene of lightning (the strong, white, pure light of Love) breaking through the abyss of night. I can stay with and hold this image for quite some time. If or when I find myself drifting away I again recall known events and happenings in our world such as: the wars and all those caught up in the horror of these; the refugees with their fear, their experiences of violence and their drive to survive. I cannot imagine the mixed emotions they may be feeling and I place them in the White Light of being enfolded in compassion, care, kindness and mercy.
I may bring to consciousness and hold those in my daily life who I know are suffering with ill health or inner wounds of such things as betrayal or rejection, and again I imagine them enfolded in the White Light of pure Love.
Sometimes I behold the rainbow colours of a small crystal recently given to me. I am consciously aware that each colour is a reflection of the Light. Each colour reflects different aspects of Love. There are many varying colours, yet all are revealed through the One Light. And once again I am focused on the call and purpose of this time of contemplation.
After a while I can at times come to a place of nothingness—no thoughts, no words drifting up and I find myself simply focusing on the White Light of Love enveloping All.
When I become aware that I have drifted back into my mind—to my daily tasks—I simply return to letting the words of Darkness and Light surrounding the sufferings of our world, re-emerge within me.
I am also conscious of the many people with me in this time of contemplation. This helps me to drift back once again into the empty space of being absorbed by the White Light of Conscious Love and sense an Energy of Oneness with all CEN participants.
I hope this small sharing may be of help to all of us as we struggle to slow down and enter into the stillness of silence, the emptiness of self and the Oneness of Love/Light…God.
December 20, 2015
Happy Christmas to all in the Contemplative Evolution Network.
And a very Happy New Year!
To you who have been regular supporters and participants in the wave of contemplation and compassion that underpins this Network, we wish a very happy and blessed Christmas. May it be an experience of joy and grace for you, your families and for all whom you hold in your hearts.
May this celebration of the birth of Christ fill you with peace and hope as we continue to hold in our hearts together the hurting people and places of the world that Christ loves.
May the earth and all who dwell upon it be healed and made whole by our faithful attention to the sacred hour between 4pm and 5 pm each day.
May this Christmas bring light hope and peace to each one and a deepening presence of Love in the world around us.
Wishing you a happy, safe and blessed Christmas
From the CEN Team.
“The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation,
chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter.
He comes not from above,
but from within,
he comes that we might find him
in this world of ours.”
Pope Francis – “Laudato Si” 236
May the indwelling God Incarnate fill your life with unfolding love,
and may that love flow out to all the world, to the whole of creation.
Christmas blessings from all of us at CEN.