Monday, 10 March 2014

Lenten reset - finding the still centre (at last)

Morning. Day off. Sleep in.
Tai chi breathing & stretches.
40 days of centring prayer.
Silence.
Read Psalm 46.

The very well known line (to those of Judeo-Christian faith) 'Be still and know that I am God' is in this psalm. And I have always heard it as a calm, gentle, peaceful 'be still'.
Reading it today, I discovered that is is a much stronger, commanding 'Be still!' The surrounding verses speak of storms and tumultuous upheaval, and God's voice in the midst of it assured and assuring for the psalmist, his audience - for the storm itself. Stop. Listen. I am. I am.

my version of 'mandala' is to draw random squiggly lines and colour in the spaces
the colours usually have some meaning apparent or hidden
my own rule is no side by side spaces of the same colour
I try to colour slowly, meditatively
it is one of very few acts that actually removes words from my mind
sometimes words become part of the 'mandala', usually one or two to remind me of a date, story, idea
this one started with the words, around which I represented the storm


It may not appear to be the most reassuring statement to hear as the world feels like it is crashing around you, or you are imploding in on yourself having stripped away an element of your identity - but, strangely, mysteriously and, yes, calmly, this statement stilled my anxious self. My discombobulation at having shaved my head and been shocked at my frailty and fragility, eased. The upheaval of such a confronting act of solidarity and prayerful discipline settled.

I am.

These are usually the words I breathe in centring prayer. Today I heard them. Deeply felt them resonate through my being.

And I was still.
I feel more like myself again. Still undergoing the renewing of a season of intentional gratitude, centring on God and generous giving. Less lost than the past few days.

Stillness.
Long sigh of relief.
Smile.

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