Renewal Comes

Reflections
• How do you renew and regenerate yourself? Where do you experience Lorca’s duende? (The spirit of passionate renewal, the igniting power of fire that comes from the depths of the human spirit.) Angeles Arrien

Throughout the journey through the Silver Gate, solitude and learning have arisen as a touchstones for me. Solitude creates my place for restoration, rejuvenation, and healing. Learning inspires me on my journey of renewal.

By now I recognize the signs of overstimulation. I have more than usual difficulty in staying present. I resort to distractions rather than rest. And I have difficulty with sleeping. Generally, I think of myself as uncentered – becoming irritable and inattentive – like a child without a nap.
All of these signal a need for solitude.
Learning feeds me in a different way. When I am in malaise or feeling burned out, finding myself living by rote and not living to any purpose –  it is time to learn something.
One could argue that I learn something each day. But there is a different spark for me. It is listening to one of the many teachers who I admire, and hearing their insights. It is choosing an online class from coursera.org and seeing an entirely different view of my world. Or it is choosing a class at the local university to sit in on movies and discussions, to have interactions with people having the same interests or opposing views. This is renewal.
Solitude and learning. Tending to my inner self and learning from the world around me. These are my dependable ways to bring myself back into alignment.
The Student
 

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The Soul’s Fire

Reflection

“Many sacred texts, such as the Bible, Koran, and Torah, speak of fire as a symbol of the vital life force that can be called upon for transformation, revisioning, or the transmission of renewed meaning.
Reflect upon the four fires—the fire of vision, the fire of the heart, the creative fire, and the soul’s fire. What does fire reveal to you about your dreams, work, health, relationships, creativity, and soul’s desire at this time in your life? …The soul’s fire calls us to be authentically who we are and serve others rather than our own egos.” Angeles Arrien
I’ve been studying and thinking about the Enneagram and it’s path toward our own spirituality and essence. Being aware of my “fixation” as a Type Seven offers me a great opportunity recognize those times I fall into ego and move away from my true self.
It is also interesting that although having the knowledge I tend to categorize myself as that personality rather than remembering to use it as a reminder that I am more and deeper and richer.
As a seeker, I know and respect many paths toward wholeness. My fundamentalist Christian upbringing by spiritually broadminded parents prepared me for my search for the nuggets of truth that are translated in different ways by different faiths – be it Buddhism, Taoism, or no ism. All lead me toward the fact of my oneness with everything and everyone. At certain times in my development, some spiritual languages are more accessible to me than others. There is no teacher who can’t be depended upon to shed light if I am open and listening and ready.
I mentioned Bede Griffiths in a recent post. His quote comes to me now. “To discover God is not to discover an idea but discover one’s self.”
And I love this quote from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ” “Love is seeing God in the person next to us, and meditation is seeing God within us.”
When I come to my own essence, to my authentic self, I see God, I am one with God.
The Student

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The Creative Fire

Reflection

“Many sacred texts, such as the Bible, Koran, and Torah, speak of fire as a symbol of the vital life force that can be called upon for transformation, revisioning, or the transmission of renewed meaning.
Reflect upon the four fires—the fire of vision, the fire of the heart, the creative fire, and the soul’s fire. What does fire reveal to you about your dreams, work, health, relationships, creativity, and soul’s desire at this time in your life?…The creative fire signals the work that we love, a keen awareness of our gifts, and our desire to express them as a way of contributing to the world.” Angeles Arrien
Last spring I took a wonderful class at OLLI, our local university’s Lifelong Learning Institute. Each time he offers this course, the teacher chooses a few Mystics, Saints, and Sages and demonstrates their lives and how they have enhanced our spiritual world. In discussing Bede Griffith the conversation arrived at the Christian concept of Charism. We were asked what we felt our “gift of the spirit” to be.
What all I have received as gifts – I’m not sure. But I have grown in wisdom. And I have been given the gift of empathy and compassion. I am also able to communicate, to write as if I were talking, and to encompass and express a universal point of view.
In return I pass this gift to anyone who happens upon my blog: A Letter to My Children. I encourage any and all to use my ideas – and even my words – if necessary. In addition to personal letters to my family, notes on ancestral history, and my thoughts on life, love and death, I write generic form letters on a variety of subjects to aid my readers in communicating with their own loved ones.
I live a full life with my lifelong companion. I have spent many years sustaining a rich relationship with my children and grandchildren who are all an integral part of my life. These pursuits, together with my writing, I now consider to be my most important work. My charism, if you will…
The Student

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