Enchanted Forest

Deep in the forest amongst leaf, wood and shrub,

There is a place where the light plays tricks.

As if it were a small child finding joy

in hiding things

amongst branches;

And creating puppet-shows

in the shadowy patterns of the trees.

So a story unfolds,

where heroes and heroines spring from the most unlikely places.

Like the reassuring orb of the moon

Like the movement of a grey cloud

Like the distant chatter of a bird.

And then, in the space between moments,

you glimpse something in the corner of your eye

Tree spirits, angels, faeries

(It’s only a glimpse).

And a story unfolds still

Because, even amidst the infinite possibilities

of the tale;

There is a presence in the silence.

Enchanted light and stillness,

Weave it’s transformation, til

It is no longer a secret place, but rather a place of communion.

Even so, a Soul can be unaware of the Silent Witness.

Mistaking the loud stillness of the forest, for solitude.

A lonely journey,

A palpable aloneness,

A hopeless isolation.

But it was just an illusion.

The shadows were playing tricks.

If you listen, the air has this sort of hush you can feel

because it is damp with water droplets (and you are thirsty).

And the scent of the earth are a jumble of woody spices,

and leafy aromas,

which join hands with you

In solidarity for each and every breath.

And not a single leaf falls unknown.

And in every shadow there is a song.

And the Child laughs with joy.

The Room of My Soul

In the room of my soul, there are arched windows.

Made of stone, they crumble a bit.

But the windows frame the ever changing landscape.

I keep an eye on the important details.

As the shadows shift

Day, Night,

Summer and Winter

Are gloriously displayed in their whirling dance.

I can see the broody sky,

and the sweeping hills below.

My Guardian angel like the breeze

hovers over my life.

Ready at my aid, eager to help.

But for now, just sending blessings on my head saying,

“Rest,rest,rest and be still now”.

Could I be this cherished, precious, valuable?

Perhaps, yes!

Though it seems I am only a butterfly with tattered wings.

I find in my doorway a tentative harmony,

A soulful dialogue, a childlike prayer.

Full of hope

Like those Monarch Butterflies

weaving patterns in the air.

Robust little messengers.

The room of my soul,

contains all of the little details of my time here

Woven together, hammered together

Painted and furnished by me

Yet held with miraculous hands.

Forever East and Forever West

It was all an illusion
The darkness
The vertigo of it all
Like those paintings
with the black swirling lines.
I was, in fact planted deep in the soil
My face upturned to a gentle sun.
The breeze reached out wide.
From forever East to forever West.
Expanding,
Embracing.
Skipping,
Twirling,
Swaying
Behind me and before me.

I saw my right hand
full of all your gifts
Like gold.
My left hand held sorrow,
Like myrrh

My feet entwined with the ground
And you were there, too.
You are the Ground.
And I knew
in those mysterious inner knowings
that I could move
Forever East or forever West
Lay asphalt on my roads.
Devise my own schemes,
Write my own story
Make a multitude of mistakes.
And all of it like a kaleidoscope
Inside your heart.
Because, as you said,
“I Created You
Before height or depth
or East and West”

The Illusion of Independence- a Meditation about Love

We are like colours that collide and form an artwork.

We are like jewels that recognise the stardust in one another.

We see the face of God mirrored back to us.

The eternal truth that is at the core of all great spiritual teaching is to love God, and love others. Love is the supreme force of the universe generating creative power, healing and unity.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about how this can be accomplished in the day to day material stuff of life, I find myself out of my depth. I know it’s impossible to truly love and be devoted to God without loving others also.

I realised today that I was thinking about this in linear terms, or in terms of dominant culture which has essentially submerged all of us into a kind of illusion of independence. But we are not independent, we were never intended to be, either.

We are designed to live in community. All are needed, all have a part to play which goes way beyond just the bread and butter of existence, way beyond vocation, success, failure and finding a niche in life. It operates on an energetic, cellular level. Our actions and thoughts truly ripple out, affecting those around us for better or for worse. We are often unable to see how we affect others, especially when we have blessed or encouraged another human being. Deep is the mystery of how souls intertwine and nourish one another. Think of how plants grow- we can’t observe it happening in real time, but plants do indeed grow. Or how children grow physically at night while they sleep. The changes that happen quietly and in secret are the most profound. So too is that ripple effect of our souls. Who knows what that water will stir up or reflect.

To love others is to live with open palms to the world. To loosen our grip on our own ideas and let the water of love do as it will. We can have our intentions, yes, but we can neither know nor guide the outcome. I see it as a divine alchemy, as we come into contact with other souls in a somewhat random way. Jesus says that when we welcome or serve just one little child (or one small, seemingly insignificant anyone), we are also welcoming and embracing God. Love has a habit of hiding in the small and inconsequential.

My prayer is that this sense of unity and solidarity will wash over the world.

We were not made to be independent..we were never intended to be. There is no such thing as a small act of love, for love is found in the things that the world will overlook in it’s chaos. Love is often found in the quiet, the still, the hidden things

God in the Vine- a meditation

‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love…’

This is a little paraphrase from John’s Gospel. It’s a beautiful one to ponder because, for me at least, it evokes captivating imagery of oneness with our Creator.

The Vine…I love this image of God; I get a picture of roots intertwining with the earths soil, a part of the endless cycle of death and rebirth. It’s a picture of closeness, of imminence. God is not content to visit us with a glorified and overpowering presence- then leave. God is found in the very fabric of our existence, inseparable from our humanity as beings who need food, water and sun to nourish and sustain. Love has literally put her roots down right where we are, sustaining us moment by moment. In the words of teacher and mystic, James Finlay;

“Love is our origin, Love is our sustaining ground and Love is our destiny”

But then Jesus says, “Remain in my Love”

What does it mean to ‘remain in love’?

Although in the cosmic sense we are never separate from God, there is no doubt that there is a part of our being that is prone to becoming discontent and distracted. We struggle to remain, rest, stay, be.

When I am not remaining or resting in the Vine, I wither and contract. My own energies, agendas and obsessive thoughts lead to feelings of emptiness. I’m trying to meet my own needs, be my own protector and Source. It’s like I’ve put myself in a jar of stagnant water on the windowsill with secondhand light.

In yoga Nidra, a practise where the goal is deep relaxation, the guide will often say things like, “become aware of your right foot, let it become heavy, relax…” and so on with other body parts. When we rest our soul and spirit in God we can follow the same lines. We close our eyes, and with open hands, we come to God with all of our frailties, anxieties and circumstances. We surrender the need for control. We accept the day before us as a gift. Every breath we take in is also a gift, as the Spirit breathes through us…..We relax, remain, be. We are held and nourished no matter what state of mind we are in. ‘To remain in love’ is the awareness of this everlasting truth.

Like the cycle of the seasons, the day becoming night, the insects, birds and animals are being sustained; We too are being upheld, moment by moment.

Whatever is in your heart today, that feels pressing or overwhelming… Surrender it to the Vine. Your only task is to remain in love.