Friday, January 25, 2013

I am bracketed by the Divine

Ganesh (1)
Nelson Congregational Church posted up a quote today that made me stop and think:
"Let us worship God, the God who forms the rhythm of our lives, the God who is present at the beginning and ending of each day...each season...each purpose."  (Kate McIllhagga)
God (by whatever name or names you call the Divine) can, and in my opinion, should, bracket our lives.  The All is there as we rise for the day, getting out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom. The Divine is there when we finish the day and drop into bed and switch off the light. All through our day, God is with us, around us, embracing us. 

Theotokos (2)
There is a great comfort to that thought. Any perceived separation is my own creation, not the Divine's. If I stop and pause for a moment, close my eyes, and take a deep breath... there is God. I can feel infused and loved and held in a second's time. Anyone can!

In my peaceful moments, I don't need to give that Sacred bracket a thought. I simply know that I am contained. I am not a sage, though, and peace comes and goes. During most of my day, I need reminders to pause, to take that breath, and to re-issue my invitation to the Holy to be a part of me and my life. I draw in breath, and in doing so I draw in God. 

Sometimes it's a complex thing, and I light a candle or kneel, or go to a sacred space that is outside my home. Sometimes I need that separation from the ordinary, every day things in order to find my center again. Going into a church or synagogue, casting a Circle, standing within the winding ways of a labyrinth, all are ways for me to step outside the non-stop chatter of my monkey mind. I can say, "Shush! We're in a holy place!" The monkey mind doesn't realize that there's no real difference between my bedroom and the church, and that's a good thing. 

Bronze Buddha (3)
When I remember that I am embraced by God, my shoulders relax. My breathing becomes deep and even. My heart is steady and strong. My face settles into a soft smile and my eyes soften. I can literally feel stress being drained off of me. I know that the arms of the Divine can hold my stress and my problems and me, all of it, without problem. I can "let go and let God" as it were, and just BE.

I'm not the perfect follower of the Divine, of course. I forget. I let stress get to me. I lose track of the fact that I am a child of the universe. Instead of berating myself, I've been using my smartphone to remind me to take it easy. That might sound odd, but it works (for me, at least)!

Several times a day, a little bell dings on my phone. It sounds like a singing bowl or a very light gong. No matter what I am doing, I stop. It's just for a moment, after all. Even in the middle of work, I can take two minutes to close my eyes and take several deep breaths. I remind myself that I am embraced by God, held by the Divine, a child of the All. The grace and peace will flood into me, even if only briefly. 

When I'm done, I go back to work. Most of the time, no one would know I was even doing anything. It certainly disturbs my day much less than a coffee or cigarette break! It's infinitely healthier, too. Several times a day I'm reminded of who and what I am, and over time, the knowledge stays with me a bit longer. Perhaps one day I will remember all the time, and no longer need the reminders. Until then, I will enjoy my bell. 

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1) Image by RobbinsSky / morgueFile free photos
2) Image by edouardo / morgueFile free photos
3) Image by veggiegretz / morgueFile free photos
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