Friday, March 23, 2012

Dry Bones

The Beloved never wants us to get too complacent.  Sometimes we find ourselves right smack in the middle of an existential and spiritual crisis.  It is not necessarily bad, or even unsettling, though can be.  Crisis means "dangerous opportunity," so it involves a time to slow way down and listen for the subtle movements of the Spirit.  Dark nights are like this.  Kinda reminds us that we're not in charge...nothing like hitting one of these, or having one continue, right during need to "give something up" when everything is turned upside down, except for God Who is closer than our breath...sometimes we simply wait in faith and hope 'cause that's all you've got.

Standing in the liminal space can be like this.  Birth cannot come without labor.  It is easy to think you've lost your marbles.  You might wonder why what used to comfort no longer does; this, of course, is the point.  It is time to grow beyond your own borders.  

It is a time of deep silence, questions without words, perhaps.  Prayer rolls like tumbleweed: coarse and dry.    Often only meditation grants solace.  Where, we wonder, does the Beloved want me to go?  What does this mean.  Why does nothing "taste" right anymore?

How long, O Lord God, how long?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Standing in the Liminal, or Nu, What's a Wandering Jew to Do?

Liminal space is an experience of gestation leading to a new realization; I presently dwell therein.  It is that shaky experience between 'that which was' and 'that which is.'  It is not terrifying, but rather comforting, actually, if a tad unsettling.

Dissonance between what I thought I believed and what my heart tells me true leads to crisis which places a dangerous opportunity before me.  I can ignore it, thus rendering myself inauthentic, or embrace its challenge with eyes open.

I struggle with the concept of beliefs, "petals blowing in the wind" as I call them. I find that I get nervous with too many definitive statements in the face of Mystery.  Hell, I get antsy with the whole notion of religion.  In that way, I am very true to my wandering Jewishness!  

For those who don't know, I joined the Jewish People formally through a traditional ritual of conversion several years ago.  Even if one does not practice the religion, one never stops being a Jew. It is in good company, then, that I stand when I wrestle with these questions, with God. I am proudly a Jew by choice.

Funny thing, to some I'd imagine:  I find the Beloved even closer to me than my own breath when I am in this liminality. God is all that matters to me; the rest is commentary, which all too often impedes my relationship with the Ground of All Being.  It is here that I truly feel the most 'real.'

God's revelation doesn't stop with the final period of any scripture book.  A lot can be learned from diving deep within it, regardless of the tradition from whence it comes.  But all too often, it is made into an idol; it is forgotten that God still speaks, as our friends in the United Church of Christ remind us in their advertising campaign.

Many doctrines find formulation in a time when the cosmology's quite different from our own.  But don't we have to ask how God is acting right now? Contextualizing this through ritual is fine, again, as long as the ritual does not become an end in itself.

For whatever reason, God has made me in such a way as to be able to stand in several spiritual traditions simultaneously and experience the Oneness behind them. This does not involve mixing them up, but, rather, honoring the integrity of each. But, I also transcend their human made boundaries. Don't lock my poet's heart into the rigidities that needn't be there in the fields of the Lord!

So, I stand here now, without answers, but also without questions.  Sometimes it is better to simply be for a bit and see where this leads.  My primary spiritual practice has been non-sectarian meditation for quite some time. I often pray with beads, usually saying "shalom" on each; I hold others in my prayerful heart.  These practices lead me beyond myself toward others and to haShem (Heb "the Name").  As a result, my faith shall lead me home...maybe I am actually standing on its threshold already.