Sunday, July 24, 2005

humming to snails

What did you do on summer vacation?
Our children have been answering this question
all week in classrooms all over the city,
but I’m afraid no one will ask me.
So I’ve decided to tell you anyway.
I learned to hum to snails.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon in July,
I sat with my ten-year-old cousin
on the rocky shore of the Damariscotta River in Maine.
I watched as he patiently held a snail
that he had plucked from the rocks—
and hummed to it!
I didn’t know whom to watch,
the boy or the snail,
but soon I saw two antennae appear from the shell
and the snail began to dance!
Of course, I had to try it.
It wasn’t long before all the other adults
had moved from the porch down to the rocks,
each one holding a snail and humming to it.
A dance troupe of snails!

Two things struck me about the experience.
One was the quiet power of that youngster
in teaching us something about our world.
He didn’t tell us anything, but allowed us to discover it for ourselves.
We forgot our adult anxieties
about looking silly
and abandoned ourselves to humming.

The other was in the form of a theological question.
Is there something out there in the universe
humming for us to come out of our shells,
urging us to dance?
Trying to understand what moves us
is one of the reasons we come together in a religious community.

--the Rev. Dr. Midge Skwire,
in "For All That Is Our Life," Skinner House Books 2005

Saturday, July 23, 2005

god is everywhere present & always at risk

“The heart of a faith for the 21st century,
I am convinced,
is suggested by the 7th Principle…
Hidden in this apparently uncomplicated, uncontroversial, innocuous statement
is a radical theological position.
The 7th Principle calls us to reverence before the world,
not some future world,
but this miraculous world of our everyday experience.
It challenges us to understand the world
as reflexive and relational
rather than hierarchical.
It bespeaks a world in which neither god nor humanity is at the center;
in which the center is the void,
the ever fecund matrix out of which being emerges…
It calls us to trust the process,
the creative, evolving, renewing, redeeming process
which brings us into being,
which sustains us in being,
and which transforms our being.
It offers a vision of a world in which the holy,
the sacred is incarnated in every moment,
in every aspect of being,
a world in which God is always fully present,
and in which God is always fully at risk.”
--the Rev. Prof. David Bumbaugh

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

you are the awareness that's aware of you

What you have been seeking is literally and exactly
That which is reading this right now.
That Self cannot be found because it was never lost:
you have always known you were you.
That I AMness is a constant condition of all that arises,
is the space in which it all arises,
has nothing outside of it and thus is complete Peace,
and radiates its own beauty in all directions.

(your name) arises in the space of that I AMness,
(your name) arises in this vast spaciousness,
this pure openness.
(your name) is an object, just like a tree or a cloud
that arises in the space of the Self that you are.
I am not talking to (your name) right now,
I am talking to you.
That which is aware of (your name) is this ever-present Self.
This Self is aware of (your name) arising right now.
This Self is God.
God is reading this blog.
(your name) is not reading
God is reading.
The Self is aware of (your name) and aware of reading.
You are not (your name).
You are what is aware of (your name).
What is aware of (your name)
is an I AMness that itself cannot be seen but only felt,
felt as an absolute certainty,
unshakeable is-ness,
I AM that I AM eternally, timelessly, unendingly.
There is only this I AMness in all directions.
Everything arises spontaneously
in the space of this great perfection that is the Self,
which is listening to this meditation right now.

And you, (your name), are that Self …

All that is arising is arising in this unshakeable I AMness,
which is not a thing or an object or a person,
but the openness or clearing
in which all things and all objects and all persons are arising.
This emptiness, this openness, this vast spaciousness is your Self,
is what you have always been,
is what you are before your parents were born,
is what you are before the Big Bang happened.
Before Abraham was, I AM…
(your name) is in the universe;
the universe is in your Self.

Therefore, be this ever-present Self who is reading to this.
I am not talking to (your name),
I am talking to you.
Let (your name) arise and fall like all objects.
Let (your name) come into being, remain a bit, and pass:
what has this to do with your Self?
All objects arise, remain, and pass
in the spaciousness and emptiness that is aware of this moment,
and this moment, and this moment, and this moment.
Yet this moment has no end…

Since you know this Self,
you know Peace.
Because you are already, directly, immediately, and intimately
one and identical with That which is listening to me right now,
you know God right now,
directly and immediately and unmistakably and undeniably.
And because you know God right now,
as the very Self reading these words,
you know you are finally, truly, deeply home,
a home that you have always directly known and always pretended you didn't.

Therefore, pretend no more.
Confess that you are God.
Confess that you are Beauty.
Confess that you are the very Truth the sages have sought for centuries.
Confess that you are Peace beyond understanding.

Confess that you are so ecstatically happy
that you had to manifest this entire world
just to bear witness to a radiant beauty
you could no longer contain only in and for yourself.
Confess that the Witness of these words,
the Self of this and all the worlds,
is the one and only true Spirit that looks through all eyes and hears with all ears
and reaches out in love and compassion
to embrace the very beings that it created itself
in an eternal ecstatic dance that is the secret of all secrets…

copyright Integral Naked (Ken Wilber, et al):

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Go in peace. Live simply, gently, at home in yourselves.
Act justly.
Speak justly.
Remember the depth of your own compassion.
Forget not your power in the days of your powerlessness.
Do not desire to be wealthier than your peers and stint not your hand of charity.
Practice forbearance.
Speak the truth, or speak not.
Take care of yourselves as bodies, for you are a good gift.
Crave peace for all people in the world beginning with yourselves, and go as you go with the dream of that peace alive in your heart.

-the Rev. Dr. Mark Belletini,
written for the South Hayward Parish, CA.

Six Apologies, Lord

“Six Apologies, Lord" by Olena Kalytiak Davis

I Have Loved My Horrible Self, Lord.
I Rose, Lord, And I Rose, Lord, And I,
Dropt. Your Requirements, Lord. 'Spite Your Requirements, Lord,
I Have Loved The Low Voltage Of The Moon, Lord,
Until There Was No Moon Intensity Left, Lord, No Moon Intensity Left
For You, Lord. I Have Loved The Frivolous, The Fleeting, The Frightful
Clouds. Lord, I Have Loved Clouds! Do Not Forgive Me, Do Not
Forgive Me LordandLover, HarborandMaster, GuardianandBread, Do Not.
Hold Me, Lord, O, Hold Me

Accountable, Lord. I Am
Accountable. Lord.

Lord It Over Me,
Lord It Over Me, Lord. Feed Me

Hope, Lord. Feed Me
Hope, Lord, Or Break My Teeth.

Break My Teeth, Sir,
In This My Mouth.

--the last two lines are not in the poem as published in "Poems for Living: In Uncertain Times"
but they are in other sites on the web. As for myself, I like it better without.

Friday, July 08, 2005

thanks to Naomi

Naomi King wrote the invocation from which I took the name for this blog.
Here is part of it:

We are the "Yes!" Church,
A Church that’s been saying "Yes!" since the Enlightenment,
"Yes!" to the difficult freedom road,
"Yes!" to hope in the midst of despair,
"Yes!" to loving no matter what,
"Yes!" to salvation now
"Yes!" to the hard labor to make that salvation real, here and now...

(copyright 2005, the Rev. Naomi King)