Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Creating Room for God

In Prayer of the Cosmos, line 2 of the Lord's Prayer is "Nethqadash shmakh" in Aramaic, which can be translated as:
"Help us breathe one holy breath
feeling only you-this creates a shrine
inside, in wholeness."
The author suggests that we create a "holy place" inside ourselves, a "heart-shrine" by releasing some of the clutter inside that keeps us too busy to be silent and receptive to the "still, small voice."
"When this inner shrine is established, it becomes possible to be, in the words of Jesus, "all-embracing" (usually translated as perfect) even as our Creator-source is all-embracing.
"...To make the experience of "Abwoon" (Cosmic Parent, the Oneness and Unity of all power and stability) useful, we need to create a place for this Oneness to live inside. Then the light of shem-the clarity or intelligence that arises in ultimate peace-becomes usable on an everyday basis, like a light in a lamp."

In the Pendle Hill pamphlet, Four Doors to Meeting for Worship, author William Taber calls this the "Door Before" and likens it to a stream of water: "Entering into worship often feels to me somewhat like entering into a stream, which, though invisible to our outward eye, feels just as real as does a stream of water when we step into it.
..."I once thought worship was something I do, but for many years now it has seemed as if worship is actually a state of consciousness which I enter, so that I am immersed into a living, invisible stream of reality which has always been present throughout all history. In some mysterious way this stream unites me with the communion of saints across the ages and brings me into the presence of the Living Christ, the Word, the Logos written of in the Gospel of John."

I have been pondering Paul's command to "pray without ceasing" (have I written about that before?). To me, praying without ceasing means to be aware of the stream, of God's light within me. Praying without ceasing means that I remain aware of how I reflect God in all aspects of my life at all times.

On New Years Eve, my family went to a party at a dear friend's house. She lives out in the country on a bunch of land that backs up to a reservoir. Shortly before midnight several of us took a walk. It was a cold, clear night with an almost full moon-very beautiful. We walked and talked through the cedar grove and all of a sudden we all stopped. We all felt a warm breeze flowing through where we were standing. Not only did the air feel warmer, but it felt and smelled fresh, like laundry that's hung in the sun all day. The air felt different-lighter and less humid. None of us have ever experienced anything like it; it was like there was a subterranean vent in that spot.
Since reading Four Doors to Meeting for Worship I've thought of the stream as being like that stream of warm air which surrounded us. We could easily walked right through it and not paid any attention to it. I would have thought about it for a moment and then forgotten it if others hadn't commented on it, too. God's presence is, to me, something with me, inside me and around me all the time. It is up to me to quiet the noise in my head, to "release the clutter inside" that prevents me from being receptive to or aware of God. I am in the stream right now and the stream is within me. God is available to me, I simply need to make a quiet space for me to be available to God.

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