Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Hi There!

So, we all like a "Rush."

You know, like the rush

the first time you had sex

{ and hopefully many more times since!!),

landing a really good job,

or getting a significant promotion,

inheriting a sizable amount of money,

holding your newborn, 

and years and dollars later

watching her graduate from college

( able  and ready to get herself through grad school !!!),

during meditation, being mystically enfolded

into blissful Oneness with all that is

( doesn't get better than that ).

Rushes like these are expansive, energizing " highs."

There are other " rushes," though,

that don't expand,

but contract,

that don't energize,

but sap energy and leave as depleted:

- pressure for endlessly increased productivity,

  whether on the line or at corporate.

- a schedule that is so packed that it bursts the belt of balance.

- literally "rushing " from intensity to intensity.

That kind of rushing. while promising that we'll get ahead,

trips us up physically, emotionally, spiritually, and every other ","

and lands us exhausted flat on our face.

It's flat out to fall.

It's rushing to ruin.

We live in the midst of a cultural value, even insistence,

that rush is right and the key to " the good life."

In actuality, that cultural value

devalues the quality of life, personally and socially.

Sure, there are times we darn well better rush,

say if the kitchen stove is on fire,

or our child come in from play with a bad cut.

Beyond that level of urgency, though,

there really isn't a  humane need for rushing.

In fact, there is a humane need

to slow down and catch up with

a rich, full, sensitive, connected and spiritual style of life.

It takes sense and guts to go counter cultural,

but that's the price for balance and fullness.

I began, underscore " began," to get all this.

during my student summers.

 I worked at our local cemetery

(  the irony of making a living in the midst of death!)

Well, actually it was a pretty good deal.

It meant being  outdoors all day,

getting paid to work out,

and the gift of meeting  Old Mike.

Mike was well into his seventies,

and had been a laborer all his life.

I was a grad student in my early twenties.

As a young man Mike had immigrated here from Italy

( wonder if he'd get through these days ).

Being a young buck,

I flew into whatever job there was to do.

Mike had a cadence and rhythm to the way he worked.

My rushing propelled me across the surface of things.

Mike took the time to be a "life artist,"

to connect, to be drawn into union

with the beauty and goodness of things,

whether that be digging the earth,

putting on a sweater,

lighting up his stinky Italian cigar

( we teased him that at least it kept the flies away ), or

sculpting a wedge of cheese into bite sized pieces for lunch.

Mike connected and experienced.

He savored life.

There was soul in in how he was and what he did.

Mike was a contemplative,

connected with the extraordinary

through the supposed ordinary.

I was a speed demon,

missing a lot until I began to see Mike,

not just at work,

but at life.

Slowly I began to hear the symphony the birds offered,

to see the marvelous dress and coloration of the flowers,

to feel the hardness of rock,

to smell the earthiness of soil,

to taste the yeastiness of a beer at lunch.

All sorts of beauty and goodness drew my soul

to fuller awareness, often to rapture,

a whole wonderful "Rush" of a higher order,

the "Rush" of truly mystical moments

that where beyond time.

I slowly caught a bit of the wisdom in the old Roman adage,

" Festina lente."

"Rush slowly."

So, instead of rushing the down I-80's of life at 80 miles an hour,

and missing all through which we pass,

let's take some back roads,

enjoy a slower ride,

and everything along the way.

That's spirituality for the street of life,

real everyday life,

and it transports us to true mystical Oneness.

Here are some meditation prompts.

May they help us slow down

so we can mellow into meaning,

and experience a


                                         I would love to live

                                         Like the river flows,

                                         Carried by the surprise

                                         Of its own unfolding.

                                                                                                 John O'Donohue,

                                                                                               "Fluent," Conamara Blues

                                                                                                Cliff Street Books, 2001

                                        In patience you will win your soul.


                                                                                                          Luke 21: 19

                                           A mind that is fast is sick.

                                           A mind that is slow is sound.

                                           A mind that is still is divine.

                                                                                                              Meher Baba

                                          Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush,

                                          anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on,

                                          so the children have very little time for their parents.

                                          Parents have very little time for each other,

                                          and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.

                                                                                                              Mother Teresa

                                        ...learn the unforced rhythms of grace...


                                                                                                                 Matthew 11:29

                                                                                                                The Message

                                           In silence the is eloquence.

                                           Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.


                                                                   Patient Trust

                                           We are quite naturally impatient in everything

                                                       to reach the end without delay.

                                            We should like to skip the intermediate stages.

                                                  We are impatient of being on the way

                                                 to something unknown, something new.

                                                     And yet it is the law of all progress

                                                     that it is made by passing through

                                                          some stages of instability -

                                                      and that it may take a very long time.

                                                       And so I think it is with you;

                                                          your ideas mature gradually -

                                                                let them grow,

                                              let them shape themselves without undo haste.

                                                        Don't try to force them on,

                                                  as though you could be today what time

                                { that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your good will )

                                                        will make of you tomorrow.

                      Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.

                                                Give our Lord the benefit of believing

                                                       that his hand is leading you,

                                           and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself

                                                     in suspense and incomplete.

                                                                                                         Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

                                     Food shall be washed, chopped, sautéed, and baked

                                      with a grateful attitude and with tender loving care.

                   While eating you shall restrict yourself from all actions that distract you from the food,

                                             such as driving, watching TV, or working.

                             Whenever possible, food shall be eaten in the company of others.

                                When that is not possible, eat in the presence of the holy.

                            Light a candle or place yourself in harmony with God's creation

                                by eating outside, near a window, or with a flower or plant.

                               Each eating experience should include a time of centering,

                                             remembering God's goodness,

                                        and offering an expression of thanks.

                           All negative emotions surrounding eating should be avoided.

                             You shall come to God's table free from guilt and shame

                                 and leave God's table filled with the grace and love

                                             God is offering to us in this food.

                             By grace we are given the chance to live each new day

                           in right relationship with God, our neighbors, and our food.

                                                                                                          Ingrid Friesen Moser

                                                                                                                quoted in

                                                                                                           Simply in Season

  Thanks  for the chance to be together here.

  May we all  slow down enough to experience

  expansive, energizing "highs" -  a

        REAL RUSH 

                                     John Frank


                                          A warm welcome to our new arrivals.

                                          Thanks for your company.

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