There is a strong connection between rest and delight; when we are exhausted and harried it is almost impossible to find delight in even the most wonderful things. Hopefully both have been more available to you through this summer’s spiritual practices. As we move into the fall, are there a few practices you would like to continue into the new season?
Sometimes we can forget that we too are part of creation, especially when so much of our lives seems to exist online. How do you understand your connection to creation? Has that changed through the summer? What do you feel is your responsibility towards other parts of creation?
Offer a blessing for a pet or an animal that you love. If appropriate, place your hand on their head and say a blessing out loud. You can write your own or use this one from Blessing of the Animals: “[insert name], you were created by God, and you are loved by God. Together, may we experience joy and companionship, and continue to be a blessing to one another.”
Sit quietly somewhere outside and close your eyes. Allow your awareness to settle on the sounds you hear. Pay special attention to the calls and sounds of birds and insects. Try to discern how many different creatures are making the sounds you hear. Can you identify the creature by their sound? As you open your eyes, are you able to find the creatures you were listening to? How has this listening practice changed your experience of spot?
Meditative Reading: Though as a species we may have explored space, scripture reminds us that we do not control the rising or setting of the sun nor do we set […]
Take time this week to mindfully nurture a houseplant or garden. Instead of rushing through watering or weeding, take a few deep breaths before you begin and work with full awareness of your task. Are the plants thriving? What do they need to live well? How are these requirements similar to what you need to thrive? How do you receive nurturing, especially in stressful times? Out loud, or silently, offer a blessing to this plant (for example, “[name of plant] you are created by God and you are loved by God”).
There are many references to the land in scripture, to places of fertility and to the wilderness, to praises for the land flowing of milk and honey, to laments about the people being driven from their land. There are numerous reminders that the earth belongs to God and that mountains, rocks, and the seashore can all be locations where God’s presence can be found. As you slowly read through the passages consider what landscapes feel sacred to you.
This is part 3 in a summer series that will be posted each week. Water is a central symbol in Scripture and in our own society. As you slowly read the selected passage, consider the significance of the waters. What else does this make you think of? How have you experienced a connection to water in the past? In these passages, water is a blessing – how might you experience this goodness of creation in your daily interactions with water?
Part 2 of a summer series called “Contemplating Creation During COVID.” In the beginning of the creation account we hear about God’s “ruwach” – the Hebrew word translated as wind, breath, or spirit. In the story, all becomes possible through the generative breath of God. This breath, and the newly created light, are the first elements that will form the basis of all life. How have you paid attention to breath and light in the past? What other images or words do these elements conjure for you?
“Not only is this work spiritually grounding, it is also vital in helping us address the climate crisis and its symptoms of all kinds of ecological destruction. These challenges are not just physical or economic ones, but spiritual ones; they call for us to heal our relationship with the earth and with other creatures. Finding ourselves outside and noticing the creation around us is an important first step in learning about, loving, and protecting the earth, our home. “