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Day 58 - Daily Sharing of: Gratitude, Concern, Prayer/Inspiration

I have learned that if I open up, the messages coming my way are coming from something bigger than me. During this shelter in place, I have been longing for centering; and I have been loving my garden. So it is no surprise that Centering Prayer nudges have been coming my way; along with Gardening tips and analogies.

Each day I am forced to go outside to see my garden and tend my garden. Plants from seed are starting to sprout. Plants that I transplanted are thriving. I’m learning about natural fertilizers and have jars of banana peels and eggshells in water… sharing space with food in my refrigerator. I take these jars out to feed my garden. It makes me sprout!

I have been reading many books and articles for my Theological Literacy course. One book that excited me is “Wild Mercy” by Mirabai Starr. Her faith journey is fascinating and I love her voice. I also love her fascination with Teresa of Avila. When I read this passage about “Cultivating Contemplative Life”, I thought… yup… there’s my message… I got it!

Page 25 & 26 from Mirabai Starr's book, Wild Mercy


"Teresa compares developing contemplative life to cultivating a garden. In her Vida (Life Story), she thrills herself by coming up with the analogy of “four waters of prayer.” The first water of prayer is labor-intensive. We walk to the well, lower a bucket down, down, down, and then haul it up. Water sloshes over the sides, and we lose about half. Then we have to schlep it across the yard to the garden, where we carefully pour it on the ground and beg the seeds to germinate. This equates to intentionally nurturing a discipline of contemplative practice.

"The second water of prayer still requires effort, but there is some support. We crank a waterwheel, which draws he water from the source and channels it along an elaborately engineered aqueduct, delivering the water through a spout into a waiting vessel some distance away. The water splashes noisily and makes a big deal of itself as it arrives. We keep meditating. We have moments of insight.

"The third water of prayer is more direct. Through an arrangement of irrigation ditches (a system designed by the Moors of medieval Spain), we simply lift a wooden gate and the water flows from the acequia madre, the ‘mother ditch,’ along each channel, nourishing the tender shoots by soaking the ground around them. We rest in deepening states of quiet.

"The fourth and by far most efficacious water of prayer is rain. And rain is grace. It can be neither forced nor engineered, neither cajoled nor bargained for. Rain is a gift from Spirit. Our only task is to receive it and lift our hands in praise. Our individual identity softens, and we remember we are already one with the One, and always have been, and ever shall be.”

My Contemplative Prayer - May 13, 2020

Thankful for the garden

Thankful for the labor

Thankful for the germinating

Thankful for the nurturing

Thankful for the effort

Thankful for the support

Thankful for water

Thankful for insight

Thankful for directness

Thankful for nourishing

Thankful for deepening

Thankful for quiet

Thankful for rain

Thankful for grace

Thankful for cultivating

Thankful for Spirit

Thankful for the One

May it be so…

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