Posted in Essay, Meditation, meditative, Music, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart, Uncategorized

Let Your Light Shine On

Finding Light
The Light Shines On

Where is your light today? What is leading you? What is giving you hope? Joy?

“When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, …..

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, …..”
― Paul McCartney

A note about the light fixture:

I photographed this light at the Merchant’s Cafe in Seattle, Washington. It is the first cafe in Seattle and has seen several iterations of its business as it was built, burned down, and built again. The interesting thing is that it is in the oldest part of Seattle (of course!). It was built in a building near first avenue. The tidal flats used to flood in every day, twice a day, up to third avenue. This makes doing business quite difficult! Seattle then had businesses build their buildings at least two stories tall. Then they raised all the roads, surrounding the existing buildings with raised roads. For a while, they put ladders at the streets so people would go off of the road, down the ladder, into the businesses.

Finally, they built sidewalks that connected the streets to the second story level of the buildings. So today, in Pioneer Square, when you enter the buildings, you are, in fact, entering the second story of the buildings that were placed there. If you look down, you will notice odd glass squares in the sidewalk. Those were originally skylights so that the first story of the buildings were kind of like an inside shopping mall with a view to the sidewalk above. So even there, in the midst of a buried first floor of these buildings, the light was still able to shine!

Such a fun history!

Shalom and Amen.

Terri

© 2013, post and photos, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved, originally posted at http://www.cloakedmonk.com

terriREV. TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at www.cloakedmonk.com, www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk.  To reach her for conversation, send a note to cloakedmonk@outlook.com

Posted in Essay, Meditation, meditative, Music, Spiritual Practice, Terri Stewart, Uncategorized

Desire and Intention

Today, I want to try a very simple meditation / body prayer. It involves movement of the arms, breathing, intention, and if you choose, your particular word for the divine or that which transcends.

Take a moment for contemplation. Turn your eyes inward and find two desires.

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
~ Upanishads

First-your desire for yourself. This wish could be for love, for kindness, for healing. What you feel you need at this moment.

Second-your wish for the world.  This wish could be peace, love, kindness. What you feel is your unique gift of intention for the world. All that is present in the cosmos.

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?”
~ Micah

These desires will be your intentions.

As always, do this as you are able.

Sit comfortably however you like. Be aware of the earth supporting you. Take a moment to feel the groundedness and the ground of all being.

The breathing / motion pattern is this:

Arms loosely at sides … Inhale … and move arms to overhead in a prayer position, (hands flattened together)

Hands Overhead, Prayer Position
Hands Overhead, Prayer Position

On exhale … Hands descend to chest / heart level while holding intention for self. Intentionally cross your eyes, your lips as you end at your heart.

Descending Towards the Heart
Descending Towards the Heart
"om"
“om”

Express, outloud or however you feel comfortable, the particular word that encompasses the divine for you. Divine being interconnectedness to all, that which transcends all, that which is lived within, or the languaging that you choose. This could be the Sanskrit “om” (pictured), the Aramaic “abwoon” which is father, or any of the myriad words that are symbols that stand in for the divine.

Hands at heart level … Inhale

On exhale … Hands push outward, forward and go slowly to the sides (right arm going right / left arm going left). Do this while holding your intention for the world.

Pushing Intention To the World
Pushing Intention To the World

Express, outloud or however you feel comfortable, the particular word that encompasses the divine for you.

Bring your arms gently down to your sides.

Repeat this simple meditation for as long as it feels comfortable to do so. If you desire, close the meditation with an Amen (“so be it.”)

Shalom & Amen,

Terri

© 2013, post and photos, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved

terriREV. TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s  Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)

Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at www.cloakedmonk.com, www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk.  To reach her for conversation, send a note to cloakedmonk@outlook.com