Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Know What?

"The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

We must never presume that we see. We must always be ready to see anew. But it's so hard to go back, to be vulnerable, and to say to your soul, "I don't know anything."

Try to say that: "I don't know anything."

Maybe you could think of yourself as an erased blackboard, ready to be written on. For by and large, what blocks spiritual teaching is the assumption that we already know, or that we don't need to know.

We have to pray for the grace of beginner's mind. We need to say with the blind man, "I want to see.""

from Everything Belongs
This came from a daily meditation I receive by email from the Center For Action and Contemplation. On my trip I found an older edition of the book Everything Belongs in a discount bin and bought it even though I have my own copy that is underlined and dog eared. It's one of my favourite books of all time. So if you'd like my second copy just leave a comment and at the end of the week I'll put all the names in a hat and pick out the winner and send it off in the mail to you.

The energizer bunny is having an adventure getting used to frosty mornings. Today dearest one took her out for her morning business and before he could say anything she ran across the frost covered deck, failed to slam on the breaks due to the frost and went bump, bump, bump down the 3 steps on her butt and stopped. She turned and looked at dearest one and instead of running out the gate and heading for the field to do her business like she normally does, she took one step to the left of the walkway and peed right there. Poor thing.

I've gone bump, bump, bump down the stairs of life more times than I can count. And it always reminds me I really don't know what I thought I did. [And when I get scared the urge to pee right then and there is overwhelming. Makes me wish I'd done those kegel exercises like I was supposed to.]

Not knowing what I thought I did is not only humbling but freeing once I get over the initial shock of it. I'm praying for the grace of a beginner's mind today. I don't know about you but I used to hear phrases like beginner's mind and think it must be bad because isn't that a Bhuddist phrase? And didn't good Christians ignore everything that didn't have a Christian label on it? Lord have mercy. I wonder what would happen spiritually if I really had a beginner's mind. If I was able to lay aside my inflated ego, lay aside my presumptions and became totally open before God. I wonder.


Owen said...

Add my name to the hat. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ditto on the kegel. Just don't make me laugh too hard.

Poor bunny. But that is pretty funny.

Please throw my name in the hat.


beth said...

Double ditto on the Kegels...and Lord have mercy, indeed. Can we stop running away from anything that threatens us as Christ-followers and stop insisting on labels? I'm with you, girl. I want a beginner's mind.

Toss my name in your hat. Loved the quote!

Black Pete said...

William Blake, a Christian mystic, used the term Innocence for simple ignorance, Experience for cynical knowledge, and Enlightened Innocence for the Beginners Mind, in which one willingly suspends disbelief and enters into communion with god (and life, come to that). In other words, we could argue that Beginners Mind has a Christian pedigree as well, FWIW.

Hat's off to William...{impish grin}

Hope said...

Hey Mich - you'll have to send me your address so I can send you the book! happy reading!

Amen Peter - hats off the William!

Owen said...

Congrats to mich :)

Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! I'm so excited! Thanks, Hope. I'll answer your email directly. And thanks Owen.