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Spacious Sanctuary

Wendell Berry wrote a series of poems about Sabbath and taking time to let the spirit mend and heal. Wayne Muller wrote a book called Sabbath and provided a number of Sabbath practices from various traditions. After we read the book, we used practices and wrote reflections about how we each responded to them at a hospitality retreat.

How each find moments of peace and solace in a busy world is personal and reflects who we are as humans. For me, it is time spent walking, reading poetry, and writing. It is challenging as I need to adhere to a routine without being to rigid. What I observe, feel, hear, etc. needs to able to reach me in meaningful ways.

I wrote this poems as I entered a lengthy Sabbath period, taking time away from screens of various types.

Stepping aside–

Easing into spacious spaces;

Sensing stillness–

Unsquaring eyes,

Fidgeting less,

Being.

Resting–

Embracing wakefulness;

Emerging from frenetic hibernation–

Moving yet remaining still–

Enriching spirit,

Rediscovering lightness of being.

I took this picture on a hike in Glacier National Park. Nature just is. It exists for the sole purpose of existing. Humans need to do this more; just be in a given moment or time.

Sanctuary

I am beginning to feel the leaving part. It is hard after almost 15 years in a place that helped me find my voice as a teacher, a learner, and, most importantly, as a person. Here, I watched young people grow and flourish. What I want to try to remember is the Buddhist understanding of departure. We take something with us from each experience and leave something behind. We are never fully gone from where we were or separated from those we were with. There is something indelible left on both sides of the relationship.

One thing that the leaving part has done is given me some words to write. That has been the gift of the last year: I find words in many places and experiences.

A true paradox this space-

Not always quiet–

Still a sanctuary;

In this space–

Refuge emerged.

We co-created

Learned together–

Grew as one,

Remained individuals

Not easy things to do.

Relationships flourished–

Built inseparable bonds.

In this rectangular circle,

Welcomed each others presence

Witnessed each others human essence

Called each others name

Called those names from the heart.

When we leave–

And, we must,

We look at our time together

Look back with reverence

With no regret.

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