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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Life As "Sabbatical"...

July 1st became the beginning of a refocus of life and direction, becoming clear that I must re-discover what is important for the Spirit within to thrive; what is important for this expression of Being to feel enlivened; getting clear on how IT wants to move through life.  I’m still “getting clear.”  It’s an imperative that I can no longer ignore.

The word that came up that day was “Sabbatical”, the theme: “life as sabbatical.”  Just the sense of this enlivens me!  Much like the word “Sanctuary” did back in April.  There is something pulling me towards “sabbatical” as a way of life. It has been all my life actually, and I must pay attention.  It’s like a deep need that *needs* to be met, like the body’s need for air and water.  Without it you shrivel and eventually die.  It’s like knowing that you were born a different gender than your true gender, and you also know you cannot thrive unless you allow the Truth of who you are to be lived.  The same thing is true for the life of Spirit: to live in a way that honors and expresses the Life of Spirit within, that otherwise would shrivel.

This does not mean that I am going to take a sabbatical *from* life, or go on an endless retreat, or live as a saddhu in a cave, as much as those ways of living appeal to me ;)  It is much deeper than that.  It is more being devoted to the Inner Life, contemplatively, creatively, and meditatively in a way that LIFE/Spirit/Being shows me, following the intuitive movement of Life lived as “sabbatical.”  Just as the wave does not move separately *from* the Ocean, but can only move as the Ocean moves *it* - that, to me, is “life as sabbatical.”  Not a sabbatical *from* life, but *within* life - *living* from the Inner Flow of Spirit within, from the Heart of the Infinite Abiding Spirit, or Lotus of the Heart…  I know that some of you are already living this way.

“Sabbatical” as I am using it here, for me, is really an “inner path”, an inner “sabbatical” – following the inner Truth of one’s True Being, one’s Essence, or True Nature – not one’s ego-needs, wants, or desires, or wranglings of the mind in constant philosophizing *about* the Truth.  It is about *living* the deeper inner Reality of Being – intentionally, experientially, consciously, which so far I have been distracted from – by life J, but which still deeply calls to my Heart.  It is a way of living that is vitally *aware* of the Abiding Inner Spirit – continuously.    It is about deepening *into* this Inner Abiding Spirit of Being.  And I have no idea how this will take shape, or what it will look like.

The dilemma is, how to live this “sabbatical life” *without* withdrawing from life to follow this inner Pull of Consciousness, but creating an environment and lifestyle conducive *to* a “sabbatical life” (contemplative life) within life – relieving the burden of daily obligations and external distractions; living the Truth of the Heart according to the Rhythm of the Infinite.  I believe this *is* the Heart “Calling.”  For me this means to deeply experience the Essence of Life, of Being, the Spirit of Life, in a contemplative way; to be meditatively devoted to the Infinite within; to recognize it, to feel it, to *know* it – intimately.  THIS – intimately communing with the Infinite that we *are* in the Eternal Now, and allowing That to live me is - “Sabbatical.”



Photo:  The camera went off by mistake
while “under the hood”
J leaving this blur of color.
I digitally enhanced it by adjusting the “levels”
on Adobe Fireworks.
To me it looks like a woman celebrating Life
with arms in the air.
But that is most likely my projection
as I move into a new way of Being
in the world.
J





12 comments:

  1. Now if you can only arrange to experience it as a paid sabbatical...or I guess living it will be rich enough payment in and of itself.
    ;)

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    1. Yeah, wouldn't that be nice :)! Unfortunately in our society we don't value those who live this way. It seems lately I'm reading about people who have taken substantially long "sabbaticals" 1-3 years or more, and wonder how they do that. Usually it's because they have money already, or maybe choose to live "off the grid" - not my style :) I do know a local man who is living this way in his art studio! If only I had planned for this :) lol

      Hope you are enjoying your "Summer Sabbatical" with your sister! lol

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  2. Life as a Sabbatical... I love that! The idea of this enlivens me too. We need to keep dipping into the well, into Source/Spirit, and we need time and space to do that. I really like what you said, "to live in a way that honors and expresses the Life of Spirit within"...and "being devoted to the Inner Life"... I find myself in a similar place, in that I wish to go more deeply into my spiritual pracitce and live it more daily--not just on the meditation cushion. :o) And there is a certain dilemma at time how to do this, isn't there? How to be within withough withdrawing completely from the every day life we must live in the world. I think there is a fine balance to be living both, and that with practice each flow into each other. That's my idea of what it might look like anyway... LOL! How that path will go, I'm not sure. Even taking a time-out at the weekends has been a good thing, I've been doing that for some time. And time in my studio creating art often feels like a sabbatical in may ways and refreshes my spirit. Please share more insights into this as you go, Christine. Beautiful topic! ((HUGS))

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    1. Yes! Wonderful! Your practice already sounds as if it enlivens you, and yet there is always that pull to go deeper, isn't there... And as you say, not just experiencing it on the cushion, but to *live* it; always bringing our focus to that Source within no matter what our life circumstances. Thanks :)

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  3. what an original and inspiring post. yes. life as sabatical. brings to mind the book by Marsh Sinetar years ago called ordinary people as monks and mystics about people who do just what you are saying, choose their hearts longing over making lots of money. However a lot of those people seemed to have husbands who earned a lot of money or trust funds, LOL.

    What you are saying here, I think, though is deep and just what I needed to read right now when I am trying also to renew my life and find how I can serve in the world. to live in a way as you say to honor the life of the spirit within that would otherwise shrivel.

    i feel my self/spirit/creativity is shriveled into a dry nugget and needs water and light and love to expand again into the world outside and inside me to bring love to my shriveled spirit.

    anyway, i too will look forward to how this evolves for you.!!! Thank you, Suki

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    1. Thanks Suki, :) I have heard of that book! Maybe I need to get it! :) Yes, bringing love to the shriveled spirit, so necessary. And I know that life recently has been so demanding for you that it's been hard to focus on doing that. Those distractions of life are such a challenge! I feel it too. I'm glad you got your break to the Cape - for a little "sabbatical" :) But like you said too, it's deeper than just getting away, it's an ongoing process of opening to and unfolding the LIFE within us and allowing That to express ItSelf... To do that sometimes requires a lot of solitude and silence, to get in touch with the movement of the Spirit within - and letting Spirit determine what you do, not the externals - which sometimes is nearly impossible with all that life requires! And too, discovering during this inner "sabbatical" time that we are truly loved beyond measure! Bit Heart Hugs of Love to you!

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  4. This is exactly what I envision for the next place J and I "settle." Something simpler that allows us to focus more on what's really important to us (our spiritual paths/art/contemplation/sangha) without constantly having to worry about money and rushing off to jobs we don't enjoy. How that's going to play out only time will tell. I think this is a call that many hear when they take the time to turn the volume down on the distractions of life! Looking forward to seeing where sabbatical will call you...

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    1. Yes! I know this is what you are working towards! And are actually doing now! Your direction in life is inspiring :) I agree, there seems to be a shift for many of us, feeling that pull to Consciousness, to more authentic living, to the call of the True Life within... Please hang on for the ride :) I can feel the intensity of it already!

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  5. I 'see' the woman 'Lotus of the Heart' :~)xxx

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    1. I Love the way you "see" :) Heart Hugs to you...

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  6. This is a very helpful term, which gives me a different way of envisioning my hourly life at work in a meaningful perspective. Inge and I are always talking about how to make work tasks part of the flow. I will share this with her. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you Ruth. I am experimenting with this as well. It is, I think, about our orientation to life, not seeing daily life as separate from the Essence of who we really are, but as part of the totality of our experience. And yet, I am also "carving out sacred space" (your term) in terms of making more time for meditation, for silence and solitude, and sanctuary, as ways of really connecting to the Essence of what we are.

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