Contemplative practice grounds me in my life. Most days, I begin with 20 minutes of silence. I’ve found this to be a wellspring of love and hope. I often write a short poem after I sit. When I conducted a retreat in 2013, I prepared a booklet for the retreatants on contemplative practices, using my poems to help illustrate the variety of ways to enter the silence. Here was the first poem that started me on this venture. My husband and I were taking an EcoSpirituality class with the Spirituality Network in Columbus, Ohio and we were challenged to create something based on our learning. I return to this poem again and again, as it speaks to me of the mystery and the path of the mystic that takes us into the Heart of God, into the heart of the incredibly, mysterious energy that permeates all life. This poem and my experiences with silence and contemplative leadership led me to write a “how-to” manual on contemplative practices entitled Awakening: A Contemplative Primer on Learning to Sit (Higher Ground Books and Media, 2020).
Learning to Sit
I am learning to sit.
Some days it’s hard.
Some days it’s easy.
I am learning to listen for God.
Some days I hear nothing.
Some days the love washes over me into joy.
I am learning that we are all connected.
Some days I still feel solitary.
Some days I realize that 10,000 others join me every moment.
I am opening to awareness deep within me.
Some days I feel empty.
Some days I feel that pulsating reality bringing life.
I keep thinking about the courage of the Hubble scientists.
Some days posed on emptiness in the sky.
Some days to realize the darkness contained infinite galaxies.
I keep thinking if I have the courage to sit in silence.
Some days I will focus on that emptiness, too.
Some days I will realize the web of stars and relationship hold us all.