Category Archives: Meditations

Meditation on Manners

As I sit puzzling over what to do with the extra fork beside my plate, I begin to worry.  What will they think of me – not knowing this seemingly important point of etiquette?  I was not, as my mother always told me, “raised in a barn.”  Suddenly, the person next to me leans over, “Do you know what to do with that fork”?  I had been talking to her prior to the meal and I found her charming, intelligent, and kind. It never occurred to me to think less of her for not knowing what to do with the fork.  I smile conspiritorially.  “I don’t know either.  Let’s choose a function and as long as we both use them for it, people will think we know what we’re doing.”  She laughs and agrees.  We have cemented a budding friendship by working through our mutual fear and discomfort together.  What good manners we have!

Tenessee Williams quote

A Meditation on Identity

I dream many things.

I hope many things.

I believe many things.

I am many things.

I see you

but I do not see your dreams.

I do not know your hopes.

What is it that you believe?

Are we in each other’s dreams?

Can we fulfill each other’s hopes?

Can we believe together?

Can we be together?

11-20150909_070308

A Meditation on the Holiday Season: #greatcommandmentliving

For all that we hold holy

and all that we hold dear,

let us not discuss Christ’s Christmas

in a way that engenders fear.

The Jesus Christians worship

accepted those he knew –

his movement based not on hatred

or exclusion

but love and truth.

For those who believe in Jesus the Christ

we should honor him with prayer,

thanksgiving,

and mercy.

For those who do not believe as Christians do

but understand themselves to be

ethical,

honorable

and loving beings,

we can celebrate a season of

behavior that represents who we are

and what we believe.

And all of us

can make this season a true “holi-day season” –

contemplating the “holy”

and

“sowing” (planting, nurturing, growing).

We can all attempt

GreatCommandmentLiving –

loving each other

more than ourselves.

Meditation on Motives

The world is a scary place

when viewed through fearful eyes.

“Are you looking at me?!

Nobody said you could look at me.

Keep your eyes to yourself.”

That way you can’t see me as I am –

frightened, anxious, shy,

beautiful, brilliant, valuable-

human –

just like you.

Just let me look at you – 

give me a chance to know you,

to appreciate you,

to share life with you.

Just give me a chance.

Just give me a chance.

look at each other

Meditation on Fear and Fiction

“Fairytales teach children that the world is fraught with danger, including life-threatening danger; but by being clever (always), honest (as a rule, but with common-sense exceptions), courteous (especially to the elderly, no matter their apparent social station), and kind (to anyone in obvious need), even a child can succeed where those who seem more qualified have failed.

And this precisely what children most need to hear.

To let them go on believing that the world is safe, that they will be provided for and achieve worthwhile things even if they remain stupid, shirk integrity, despise courtesy, and act only from self-interest, that they ought to rely on those stronger, smarter, and more able to solve their problems, would be the gravest disservice: to them, and to society as a whole.

“On the Supposed Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children”
J. Aleksandr Wootton

children's adventures

A Meditation on Incarceration

Inmate.

Prisoner.

Criminal.

It’s easy for our inner eye to produce images of their faces:

Hardened,

Cruel,

Dangerous.

But our inner eye is flawed

because we fail to see the vulnerabilities

of those we believe we are vulnerable to:

Ravaged,

Despairing,

Hopeless.

Victimizers – true –

but also victims –

victims of their own impulses,

their own ignorance,

their own fears.

They were once us

or might become us

if we allow it –

but locks don’t educate;

bars don’t heal

and corrections don’t correct.

Only seeing with clear eyes –

with eyes of compassion –

can do that.

Judas window

A Meditation on Religion

Creator of the Universe,

We see your hand in all we do, all we are and all we see.

We feel the emptiness that is within us –

an emptiness we fill with

(fooddrugsalcoholsexviolencegossipsportsgames)

things that don’t last.

We are embarassed to admit our weakness,

our need

for you and for one another

although it is always there.

Fill it.

Fill us with the spirit of true religion –

of community,

of love,

of truth.

As we stumble in the darkness of our lives

let us hold on to one another

and to a belief in good,

in you.

religion

A Meditation on Loving your Neighbor

Like many Americans, I grew up on a steady diet of television.  When I think of the neighbors of my favorite sitcom families, the most interesting ones were the ones who were different in some way – and who forced the main characters to learn something.  Where would Mr. Wilson be without Dennis the Menace?  The Bunkers without the Jeffersons?  The Stevens’ without Gladys Kravitz?  And didn’t we all actually want to live next to the Adam’s Family?

What does it mean to love a neighbor?  

Open our hearts to those who are different than us.

Help us to learn what they might teach us.

Let us love all of the people in our lives

by overcoming our fear of difference

and of change.

Let loving our neighbors be a challenge and a comfort to us.

Let the cup of sugar we borrow

bring the sweetness of understanding

and love.

11-20150909_070308

A Brief Poem on Self-Awareness

The Mask

She wore a mask

and behind it hid

a personality

and perhaps even a life.

She wore no face –

not two-faced she – 

and yet, perhaps,

she even hid the mask.C.S. Lewis humility