Consecutive Days Riding: 115 Days Blogged: 100
New Mileage: 12 Total Trip Mileage: 843
As I climb on the bike today I am reminded of a previous blog when I noted two certainties in life. One certainty had to do with the numerous gifts of life whether it is the beauty of a blossom, the sound of children’s voices, friendship or the profound connection we find with the divine. The other certainty was the fact that life presents us with humbling experiences. In the last day I have again been presented with both certainties.
Yesterday a colleague who has very different opinions from my own cornered me and peppered me with questions about the most current political face-offs. After a brief discussion I told him I was growing tired of the incessant fighting and the win-lose stances taken by all participants. He commented: “well that’s just the way it is, you’d better get used to it.” I told him that I refused to accept that finding middle ground was impossible. He shook his head and walked away. This left me unsettled and sad for I believe that we must find common ground if we as a nation and world will ever solve the problems we face.
This afternoon I was searching the web looking for pilgrimage sites and retreat centers to add to my growing list. I came across the Abby of Gethsemani in Kentucky. I was struck by the simple and sincere message expressed by the monks: “Communing with the Lord requires a measure of solitude, a stillness and an emptiness, a waiting on and attending to the Spirit.” I was reminded of the profound silence I had experienced at various times and places and of the connectedness with the divine that accompanied it. I studied the beautiful images that accompanied the words of these humble monks. The joyful faces on a group of robe clad monks, and deep sense of solitude and conviction in the image of a lone figure. Then I pulled up another images and immediately recognized the thin monk in the colored robes, I smiled as I read the title: “Dali Lama’s visit.”
There he was, deep in conversation with a monk in a white robe. They walked across the landscape, two humble men sharing a moment of time, creating a simple but profound image of connectedness. Each of them is a gift, this moment is a gift, and their image is a gift for all of us. If these profoundly serious men, each deeply embedded in their own tradition can meet, walk, talk and smile together, then there is hope for all of us.
The website noted that hospitality is an essential element of the monastic life. It quoted Saint Benedicts 5th century rule: “Let all guests that come to the monastery be received as Christ. For one day he will say: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
I was very moved by this simple image of two monks working to find common ground. I was reminded that there are those who see past our surface differences; past the names we use for God and pass the Holy Scriptures that we follow those who find the common ground of compassion and love. Here’s what I found on my blog site when I checked for comments and messages.
Thanks for the civility and honesty. We are humbled by and grateful for your gracious apology.
There is so much misinformation out there and if anyone really wants to know more they could just visit our website. Thank you for taking the time to actually look deeper into the story and making a fair judgment.
Faith Comes By Hearing
I was deeply moved and smiled to myself as I responded:
Thank you Jon
We all have a right to speak up but with it come a responsibility to be both honest and humble. Keep up your good work. I hope our paths cross again!
There is reason to hope, when two monks find common ground, when apologies are extended and accepted, when pilgrims reach across the divide in recognition of each other.
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