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Posts Tagged ‘musings’

Celebrate Life out of Joy and Gratitude!

Greetings to all my family, students and friends.  Many of you have been asking “what happened to the stationarypilgrim?”  I did disappear from the blogosphere for several days but I am ready to return to our pilgrimage journey.  

I have a job/profession, as a Psychology professor, that involves a great deal of thinking, pondering and speaking.  I strive to “bring together” somewhat abstract ideas with everyday activities, observations and behaviors.  I am known as a “man of many word and stories” and a good teacher, at least that’s what the students say on their evals of me!  I am seldom without some topic to speak about, some insight to share, some observation to make!  However, there are times that I do fall silent! 

I have learned over the years as a teacher, therapist and spiritual seeker that there are times when one’s words and ideas stop flowing or become murky and chaotic.  This often signals the coming of a serious life choice and/or the arrival of a significant insight.  I have been experiencing one of these periods!  

I have also learned that the best thing for me to do is to not force the words, but to just quiet myself and listen!   I listen to the voice from within me, and those from outside (e.g., a sermon, a partner, friends and students, sacred scriptures, secular philosophy, world events) and of course all forms of the voice of nature.  

I am preparing right now to take a hike along a beautiful river on a sunny Spring day, then I will attend church and enjoy the sharing of fellowship before joining a long time friend for lunch and an always stimulating discussion.  Later this evening I will climb back on the bike and share with you more about this period of silence.  Again thank you to all my fellow pilgrims for your concern and  encouragement.  I will leave you with a poem/musing I wrote this morning as I read the paper and fed my caffeine habit at a local eatery! 

Listen: There is always something to hear!

One to Go 

  

Like a parade of classic cars 

they creep past 

wearing gray trim 

   – like me 

thin top covering 

   – like me 

they savor their coffee 

   – like me 

they ponder serious issues 

   – like me 

they seek Sunday morning wisdom 

   – like me 

they open their Bibles 

   the youngest among them 

      leads the prayer 

I close my paper 

   and my notes 

Called to worship 

    by the sun 

        the rushing river 

           the bird calls 

This classic prefers 

    a path less travelled 

        at a creeping pace 

Fifteen for coffee 

   one to go! 

**** 

A new day with promises, opportunities and joys!

Have a wonderful day… embrace, savor and share it with those you meet!

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Pilgrimage Statistics

Consecutive Days Riding: 44                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 45

Today’s Mileage:  11                                        Total Trip Mileage: 376

As I start my ride today I am reminded of Carl Jung’s teaching on synchronicity, the idea that nothing just happens by chance.  There is always a message or purpose for every encounter with another person or even an inanimate object on our path.

 Yesterday I spent considerable time perusing through websites looking for nature and pilgrimage site photos to accompany my daily words. I came across a photo that quickly drew me in.  It’s a picture of a women floating on the surface of the water, in a calm inlet, eyes closed, lost in a peaceful state.

Spiritual Floating!

Memories catapulted me back to a time when I myself floated on a still lagoon of a coral island, beneath swaying coconut trees in the center of the Indian Ocean. The low hum of the distant surf against the coral reef, the hot equatorial sun and the slow rocking motion of the unseen waves lulled me into a deep, peaceful state. I experienced a sense of abandonment, of release as all of my worldly concerns were washed away.  I became one within myself;  became one with the sea and the whole web of existence. Of all the photos I viewed in my search:  this photo moved me the most, as I long to drift away again in refreshing and renewing waters.

As I prepared to get on the bike today I grabbed a magazine from a box of unpacked books, remnants of my recent move.  I made no effort to choose any particular copy; it was Spirituality & Health, August 2003, subtitled: The Soul/Body Connection.  I flipped it open to an article entitled Spiritual Bathing. The authors Nadine Epstein and Rosita Arvigo opened the piece with the following statement:

 
 

Spiritual Waterfalls!

“We know that it feels wonderful to soak in a warm bath or swim in the sea; that it is blissful to meditate upon the sounds of river water rushing over rocks; or the sight of sunlit drops bursting from a waterfall is magnificent.  But how often do we think of these experiences as spiritual?  Yet in ancient times, the spiritual essence of water evoked a sense of wonder, reminding people that they were threads in the divine web of life.  Foremost in the great creation myths and traditions of nearly every culture is the recognition that water gave birth to humankind.  It was seen as a divine, life-giving, healing, cleansing, renewing force.”

 

Spiritual Stream!

Pedaling towards Marcos Island with its white sandy beaches, along a channel of still reflective water, it does not seem like a chance occurrence that I picked up this magazine.  Nor was it by chance that I found  that particular beach photo. The image brings back profoundly pleasant memories of the spiritual effects and sacredness of water.

Surrounded by the sky, the foliage and wildlife of the Everglades and Big Cypress Preserve, let’s not forget the voice and message of the ever present water.  I leave you today with a musing I wrote a number of years ago while sitting along a slow moving local river.

 

Why must, why not

     How difficult it is for man to just sit still, to listen to the voices of nature, to be in the “here-and-now.”

     We have been taught to live in the future: to look forward, to plan, to strategize, to plot, to prioritize, to reach goals, to push on , to conquer.

     If not looking ahead, we often replay memoires of earlier times: of childhood friends, of lost loves, of squandered opportunities, of missed chances, of past glories.

     Why must we be like rocks that resist the flow of the river, that try to divert it, or capture it in pools? Rocks that are eventually systematically worn down.

     Why not be like the river: moving forward, at times rushing, at times barely creeping along, and flowing around, over or through obstacles.  Water that gives life to all who reach out, extending a mouth or root.

     When we dwell too much on the future, or spend too long reliving the past, we are like the river rocks.  When we open ourselves to experience, when we live in the “here-and-now” we are like the river. 

     As a river we move forward, we foster growth in others, and ultimately we add our essence to the majestic clouds, to be returned to the earth and become part of other streams and rivers.

–  –  –  –

Have a wonderful day, tomorrow we hit the beach at Marco island!

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