Archive for September 7th, 2018


9.7.18 … “Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Red Boot Way:

Today I walked with my labyrinth buddy after the Friday Red Boot Way meeting. At the meeting, we talked around “Step Ten: When I practice these steps on a regular basis I gain and experience compassion for myself and others. I am compassionate.” As with most gatherings I am always amazed where the Step takes us.

Toni and I entered the sacred space. At the fountain, the water was a distinct chemically blue. Hmmm …

And then, once we reached the labyrinth, the devastation caused by the weed killer (Roundup?) was so overwhelming. We need to be better stewards of the earth.

Before we walked, we both shared/dumped burdensome thoughts. I was hopeful this would uplift the labyrinth walking. And it did …

I have noted many times that my walks tend to bring on a heightened level of awareness. Today, I noticed the crickets, the construction noises, and an ambulance siren. I noticed the barrenness of the area due to the intentional removal of “weeds.” But why are the hostas dying?

As I walked I was very aware of my need to stoop as I passed under tree limbs on the outer circuits, the first leaves of fall, the pruning of the bushes on the periphery and the survival of the fittest weeds.

I finished before my friend and I decided to walk the circumference, twice. I noticed for the first time that there is no space beyond the outer circuit to walk so I walked the outer circuit. The first time I walked counterclockwise and the second clockwise. In retrospect, I thought a better practice would be to walk once before my walk, counterclockwise to take my walk out of chrona time, and then again after my walk, clockwise, as I re-enter chrona time. My friend commented that maybe it should be the opposite to signify sealing and unsealing of the sacred space.

And here are a few thoughts that I have been pondering …

“Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image. In indigenous traditions, such opening practices often take the form of dance, drumming, song, and trance, embodied forms that Western, and particularly Euro-centric, Christianity has neglected.

I invite you to return to this Navajo prayer when you have the space and time to literally move or walk with it. If you’re able to walk, you might take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Move slowly, noticing the sensations in your body—discomfort, surprise, challenge, pleasure, ease. Take in your surroundings with a soft, receptive gaze. What do you see? Listen to whatever there is to hear—your own breathing, birds, traffic. You may choose to pay attention to one sense at a time or try to hold two simultaneously. Be present to what is. Walk or move in this way for several minutes or even half an hour. When you have ended, bow in gratitude for your body, for the beauty surrounding you, and for the beauty that will continue to follow you everywhere you go.”

And this …

“To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives.”

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society,



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