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Friday, November 1, 2013

"Contemplative Spirituality..."

Once again I am feeling the pull to “sabbatical life” as I did this past summer, which never materialized.  Life kept me preoccupied, my continual lament.  Maybe “contemplative life” is only my idealization of “spirituality.”  And yet – this inner need for Silence and Solitude continues to beckon me.  I have carved out moments of solitude for myself here and there within the reality of my life as it is – yet, something within still calls; calls for the shedding of old paradigms again, emptying myself of all that is irrelevant and extraneous - to just BE. 

It is not a “contemplative” life in the religious sense that calls to me. One does not need to be a Christian in order to be a “contemplative”, nor cloister one’s self in a monastery.  I left the religion of my childhood many years ago, wanting something deeper.   Neither is a contemplative necessarily one who “ponders” everything in the mind – but, is more one who seeks the Truth of Existence through Silence, through an intimate relational, experiential spirituality with “the Unknown Self” that resides within; waiting in the space of Silence, without agenda or expectation, for the presence of the Eternal to reveal ItSelf.

Mirabai Starr, author and teacher of Philosophy and World Religions at UNM-Taos, and student of Ram Dass, defines being a “contemplative” as a “practitioner who has carved out a space inside herself through the intentional cultivation of stillness.”  She says that through “surrender one sits in prolonged silence and waits for the presence of ‘God’ (however one defines that) – being aware of the presence of that which transcends our individual self – deepening into our experience of Source.” 

Ivan Granger of Poetry Chaikhana  says:  “A mystic is content with nothing less than to touch the Truth in its most universal purity.”  Ahhhhh – music to my mystic heart. J  While some may make a disctinction between a “mystic” and a “contemplative”, I do not see the dividing line.   In our Hearts, we “both” want to *know* the Truth.  We both want to “experience” the presence of the Eternal in our lives – no matter what our “spiritual practice” may be.

I am essentially unattached to either, not identified with any religion, or label really, even though I use the term “mystic”, or “contemplative.”  I am just someone who has a passion for Truth and communion with what some call “The Divine” – which I know as "Silence", the Infinite Essence of our Beingness.  This passion is what compels me in life, and what compels me to write… 

When sitting in meditative Silence there is a sense of *meeting* the quintessential Silence that embodies and animates all life; a sense of the Ineffable in you recognizing ItSelf, and an inherent *knowing* that you are that Essence of Being as well.  The key is staying open and becoming *aware* of that Essence, feeling the intimacy that is already there – waiting for our recognition – our awareness of its Presence…

“Contemplative spirituality”, undefined by any religious affiliation, is still just another label for my mind to wrap itself around.  In reality, at least this reality J,  it is about taking deep refuge in the inner Sanctuary of Silence, allowing oneself to lose one’s self in communion with the Infinite Silence that is alive, aware and awake; that doesn’t make distinctions, but only knows ItSelf as Life ItSelf – as us… 




Photo:

Out the window

at 3am with flash J





4 comments:


  1. Such tender heart-musings, Christine. Very much I can related to some of this. I'm feeling very quiet these days. Health issues in recent months presented me with time to slow down, refocus, etc. Bodily it was a hard time, spiritually it was incredibly good. So good I need to sit in silence with it all still. The words & art are there, yet I'm slow to giving them outward manifestations. I find myself just wanting to share a visual more than my writing at the moment. I realized--that's all good too. I posted at my place for the first time in weeks, and it felt Ok, sweet even. I especially like your use of "contemplative spirituality" as I too seek the silence and communion with the Divine. This has to be a daily thing, I try to carve out time for this. To live this. It's not always easy, especially in the very ACTIVE world we live in. It is quite something to stop, to intentionally be silent--to "be still and know". LOVELY photo image you share here today too. It has the change of autumn in it. It is easy to gravitate to autumn colors just now. The leaves are going fast here. And last weekend we changed the clocks back. This week I pay special attentiong to the changing qualities of the light. It's nice to back in blogland and catching up with everyone. I hope to be around more when I can, now I'm doing better--I'm online a little less still these days. The less technology is not a bad things.. LOL! Wishng you windows of contemplation throughout your days... ((HUGS))

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    1. Thank you Tracy... Glad you are feeling better these days :) Yes, illness can certainly give us that time in silence, to go deeper into the inner sanctuary and listen... And like you, I am needing a daily time of intentional Silence. It's very refreshing, and certainly refocuses and reconnects us to what's important in life. I like your phrase: "windows of contemplation." :) Hugs back...

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  2. Oh Mystic this is a bit deep for me ;~), I'm just digging a bit here now, about the 'contemplative', until yesterday I thought it was just to think or ponder something....x

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    1. Well it seems I'm always challenging traditional paradigms :)

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