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Refreshing Pauses

I need to recharge my emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical batteries. In a conversation with a colleague in Spokane, we talked about how we were on the go constantly, busy and, when we got to Spokane we slowed down. I fall into a trap of busyness, which brings about a sense of dis-ease. Regardless of how much time I spent in Spokane, I soon realized I fell into a different rhythm of life, one of ease.

Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about an active life, one full of busyness, leaving humans depleted. The result is I need times where stress and busyness is reduced to be more present and aware of the life I live. For me, time used to read and write provide necessary breaks.

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (Thomas Merton)

“We have to learn to live our life as a human being deeply. We need to live each breath deeply so that we have peace, joy and freedom as we breathe.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

I wrote this poem about a need to recharge batteries, about being present for others, returning hopefully a better person. It is also about finding deeper meaning in my life not always readily visible as I rush around. Black Elk‘s (Heȟáka Sápa) quote inspired the poem, reminding me much of living is recurring in a circle.

Heart opens quietly,

Listen deeply,

Worth waiting.

Lingering in solitude’s support,

Sheltering in its comfort,

Inviting me in.

Not escaping,

Circling back renewed,

Wholeness restored.

Community beckoning

Refreshing pause,

Recurring alchemy of both revitaling.

The Sunset

There is an interdependence I often lose track of in life when I get busy. It was nice to get away from the reading and writing for a few days. Black Elk, a holy man of the Oglala Lakota, said these words many years ago and they resonate with me today.

I recognize that interconnectedness when I allow myself to find a higher vantage point. My daily life, surrounded with by busyness, focuses me on the particulars. The spiritual vantage point, which elevates me, allows me to see sometimes the fuller circle.

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all,

And round beneath me was the whole hoop of the world

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell

And I understood more than I saw

For I was seeing in the sacred manner the shape of all things of the spirit!

And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that make one circle, wide as daylight and starlight,

And in the center grew one mighty flowering tree.

Heading Home – Haiku Haven

Kathy and I head home after a great month in Spokane and at Gonzaga. I enjoy my time here and find the “pause that refreshes.” Part of this is paying forward which happens and the flow of time within this relational space. I see paying forward as a circle. Yesterday, we said good-bye to a colleague on his way home. He reminded me I lent him one of my papers his first summer here and how much that meant to him at a time he was ready to pack it in. I told him my first experience here was similar and someone reached out to me. I find the same thing in virtual community. It is harder to carry on conversations and build relationships, but I find a qualities that are unmistakeably human: care, reciprocity, and trust. I am grateful for the daily support I receive in each form of relationship.

Hearts open in time

The reward is worth the wait

We listen deeply.

A place of comfort

The circle invites us in

Its safe reach shelters.

Community calls

Alchemy not formula

Companionship grows.

I found this quote at Circle Toward Wholeness  and it speaks to the circular nature of life and how gifts are constantly received and returned. The quote can also be found at Unitarian Universalist and Circle Fellowship in a more linear form.

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