This morning's prayer time included Holy Communion in silence which was a beautiful and powerful demonstration of connected sharing without words. Though it was my first experience with a silence communion, it reminded me of a somewhat similar communion liturgy without words that I have experienced outside the church and within it.
There was a reading by John O'Donohue that particularly spoke to me today, "Prayer for a New Beginning." There were many words and phrases that stood out to me as I looked it over prior to the prayer time. In fact, I went ahead and started taking notes. My spirit connected with this prayer.
Prayer for a New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
As you read this prayer, what speaks to you? I invite you to read it through at least once slowly, if not three times. Maybe write down what word(s) or phrases speak to you and invite you into a deeper place.
The phrases that spoke to me this morning: "home in a new rhythm" and "your soul senses the world that awaits you". However, earlier this week I voiced the fear of going deeper into a relationship with God through the flute because of the calling I sensed from it. So at that point, "seduction of safety" was holding me back with some resistance.
For me, the overall invitation is the new soil of a prayer practice. At least that's what I wrote in my notes and what I have felt bubbling up inside of me now for a while, even prior to having come here this week. I knew it was time to jump into the unknown and explore to see where it would lead me, grow me, even heal me. The phrase "delight, when your courage kindled, and out you stepped onto new ground" speaks to this.
As I reflected on this during morning prayer, it felt akin to me stepping onto that wooden ramp with Clark Harlow, strapping into that hang glider next to him, and then running with everything I had when he said "run".
The next thing I knew we were airborne and I was flying for the first time in my life. My spirit was free. Of course, Clark the instructor was at the controls and it would have been very different if I was doing the flying. And it was when I tried. I was overthinking it and over-maneuvering it. But I was still flying. I soared in the heights. The heights. Much like my Advice from a Mountain journal reminds me.... "Reach new heights! Savor life's peak experiences, Stand in the strength of Your True Nature! Rise above it all..."
Just as hang gliding called me to a new place for that time, the Native American flute has been calling me.
I have mentioned that I have heard both Karen C. Moore and John Blinn play (pray) their flutes in the past. John, only over the phone until this year and Karen in person last year and over the phone prior to that and since then. I have been blessed to hear both in person this week. Prior to coming here this week, I consented to convene (lead) a listening group. When I learned that a certain person would be in my group, after considering it in prayer and not wanting to impose on her, I asked if she would be willing to bring her flute(s) to our group. She said yes! Though slightly intimidated that God would put the director in my group, I was glad for the opportunity to be blessed more through the prayers of the flute.
There have been conversations around tables and hallways about flutes. I have sensed the calling grow stronger while here this week.
Then the invitation came yesterday to find a time for a lesson and because of schedule, we found a time today during the day of silence.
Today I took a big step into a new realm of learning and practice. For me it's the beginning of an area of "new soil" and unexplored territory. As I've mentioned, I believe it can and will be part of my spiritual discipline, as a prayer practice connecting me with the Creator God who called me to it.
My lesson today was with a High C birch wood High Spirits flute by Odell Borg. It was Karen's first flute. I learned the fingering, the scales, and about breathing. I got to practice moving more than one finger at a time (which is fairly difficult). I did fairly well on the basic scale. The hardest parts for me are keeping my fingers flat and the pads covering the bottom holes.
John Blinn had warned that former clarinet players have difficulty and I fit that category, though it has (1) been a very long time since I have been one-- 1982 and (2) I wasn't a master musician.
This is going to sound geeky, but holding the flute and hearing a somewhat decent sound come from the flute was exciting. It is going to take time and practice, but that's part of any practice. I think I have just figured out what my special gift for the upcoming year of jubilee will be!
It was a great first lesson from Karen, who considers herself a "flute evangelist". She shared several flute origin stories with me as well.
To explore this bubbling up and calling from within my soul today was a blessing for which I will be forever grateful.
For those wondering how this experience fit with a day of silence, we did have a silent lunch together on a bench overlooking the lake and we walked in silence too. For me, it fit my day of silence.
On your journey, what is bubbling up inside you? What calls you to new places and new spaces within your spiritual practice and your relationship with God? What beginning is quietly forming in you and waiting to emerge?
As you listen to the Voice, may you take steps forward into the risk with courage.
Blessings on your journey,
Pictures of me practicing:
A picture that fits the "Prayer for a New Beginning":
"This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge."
|We noticed this on our walk back from the park after the lesson.|