poem: inspiring creativity

poem: inspiring creativity

the writing studio at pre-dawn
when the house is still and quiet
and the light is dim is inviting

settling in to write a spell
mindful of creative inspiration
surrounding me here

Buddha, Christ, Shiva
Ganesh, Hanuman closeby
their spiritual energy flowing

the library of great books
the collection of great music
the images of great art

within all beings
creative energies
are our root core

overcoming our fear
moving the energy within
lights the fire

ah, inspiration
you are the fuel
of creative energies flow

Herb Stone
April 11, 2021
here&now working poetry

photo by Herb Stone

Reflection: The inside out and upside down ministry of Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ (by whatever name) and my prayer to be with those on the margins as God calls me

Reflection: The inside out and upside down ministry of Jesus, the Universal Cosmic Christ (by whatever name) and my prayer to be with those on the margins as God calls me

( I originally wrote the reflection below several years ago as I underwent a particularly challenging realization with the institutional church of which I was a congregant eventually resulting in my departing the church for what for me is a much more meaningful spiritual life centered in celebrating the gifts of all spiritual traditions and being grounded in the evolution of True Self (discipleship) and belonging together in authentic communities (the kingdom or kin-dom). My relationship with the Divine Cosmic Will (God by whatever name) has never been stronger.)

My increasing awareness, especially now in my life, is that Jesus is always with the outsider and outcast who suffers and hurts for the world and shares the pain of others.

Jesus leaves the institutional worship place, sometimes in anger, as we see in the Temple story of the ‘den of robbers,’ to be with those who are on the outside and who just can’t cut it in those places anymore. I think of this as the spirituality of imperfection. Certainly we all are united in our imperfections.

In Jesus going out to these outsiders, he, of course, takes leave of those who are arrogant and prideful and all knowing and thusly, the insiders of the worship place’s, with their dominant cultural traditions and hierarchical hegemony. These insiders are, of course, generally those leaders in power and control, officially or otherwise.

Other good and innocent souls linger there as well perhaps holding onto the law and its rules of right and wrong not having yet experienced the truth, beauty, and goodness of our shared suffering and wounds and imperfections.

God send me into the messiness of this world with the imperfect souls such as myself so that we might commune together in the dark shadows and light spirits as your Beloved children through grace, love, mercy, justice, peace, and hope!

Amen and Amen

Reflection: what to say about this frigid winter and the coming thaw?

Reflection: what to say about this frigid winter and the coming thaw?

One word comes to my mind this morning as I look out my windows and scan the news for information.

Monumental!

Here in Nashville, we had several more inches of snow overnight covering the ice and sleet of the last few days since this all began on Monday of this week. Appears to be 4 to 6 inches total here locally. While the ice and snow has closed down most businesses, schools, and vaccination centers, and driving off the main roads is impossible, our power grid has held up and we have had no interruption of electricity. We have not been off our hill for the past three days, and I am hoping we will be able to drive down again in the next 2 to 3 days. For now we are good on food and supplies and grateful.

I am reading and hearing news reports that 70% of the United States is being affected by the frigid winter temperatures, the ice, and the snow with Texas being the hardest hit state in that its’ power grid is not producing enough power and many in that state have no power or intermittent power leading to water pipes bursting, food emergencies, carbon monoxide deaths, and other crises. The weather situation here in the U.S. is unusual for this time of year in that it is so widespread, severe, and long lasting. Historical records are being set. We pray for all in harm’s way and that warming weather will break the frigid cold soon.

With my birthday coming up this Saturday when I turn 73, I am remembering the February birthdays of my youth when it was almost always cold and snowy or cold and muddy. I remember being a bit envious of friends who had their birthdays outdoors in warmer weather. Oh, I would go outdoors and play in any weather, but the party itself had to be inside. Birthdays in our family were always warm and loving and celebrated with cousins and neighborhood friends. Wonderful memories!

And now, here in the icy grip of late winter, in the solitary shadows of our Lenten heart, we quietly contemplate the self within and the coming of spring with its’ warmth and light bringing rebirth in its’ lifting up of new life. Spring follows Winter as Lent is on the road to Easter and Pentecost. Life’s patterns, tensions, and flow are the threads in the tapestry which interconnect all creation and being as one together. Abide in it. We cry, we grieve, we lament, we rejoice, we hope, we offer thanks!

The old traditions help me navigate the uncertain future.

Beloveds, whatever your circumstances, we pray for you all and send our love and blessings for peace and well being.

Note: Photos are from the last several days since the winter storm set in as we look out the windows and venture into the little woods out back. Beautiful and dangerous at the same time.

poem: the signature of all things

poem: the signature of all things

awakening each day
to the winter’s inky blue-black
pre-dawn skies
arising from that inky orb

stripes of orange, yellow, cyan
striped across the horizon
a hopeful iridescent glow
in the scant light of new day

resurrecting to the truth
awakening, gathering myself up,
picking up pen and paper,
pondering the interconnectedness of all

writing from the core of my being,
on Earth Home in the Cosmic void,
the Great Universe spins
numinous visions arise

seeking creative expression and sharing
enlivening kinship with all things
from the Ground of All Being,
the Signature of All Things is writ,

“that all may be one”
That I Am
All in All
Oneing

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 9, 2021

Photos by Herb Stone

(reader’s note: the poem reflects the mystic’s
union with God which enlivens and connects
all things; it draws upon the teachings of Aldous
Huxley’s ‘Perennial Philosophy,’ Lady Julian
of Norwich’s ‘Oneing,’ Jacob Boemhe’s book ‘The
Signature of All Things,” and the words of Jesus,
the Cosmic Christ, from the Gospel of John 17:21)

Reflection: The foundation of my Spiritual being

Reflection: The foundation of my Spiritual being

The two quotes below are foundational to my understanding of God and Christ consciousness, by whatever names, and to the spiritual practice of my daily life. While the quotes are from the Judeo-Christian tradition perspective, my study of other traditions supports that these perspectives are represented in them as well thus they are universal in their applicability.

The first quote is from Marcus Borg, a New Testament theologian and author. And the second quote is from Walter Brueggemann, an Old Testament theologian and author. Both are highly respected scholars and teachers in their fields and have written prodigiously.

Both quotes below address the non-partisan aspect of the political nature of Jesus’ Way and ancient Israel’s resistance to the dominant imperial Empires. They are political because they affect the way in which we live together in community. Their practice in our personal and collective lives includes resistance to the imperial accounts of reality grounded in power, control, and violence and the advocacy of alternative realities grounded in radical grace and radical love of authentic communities of belonging.

“The way of Jesus was both personal and political. It was about personal transformation. And it was political, a path of [nonviolent] resistance to the domination system and advocacy of an alternative vision of life together under God.”

—Marcus Borg

“….the tradition of emancipatory covenant making….affirms human agents who have the capacity and responsibility to act transformatively for the well-being of the human community and the ecology of creation. All of that pertains to the ancient context wherein the subversive narrative of Israel lived in ongoing tension with imperial accounts of reality, and amid that tension resisted imperial accounts while proposing alternatives.”

-Walter Brueggemann- “God, Neighbor, Empire”

And so we see that our struggles today against the imperialistic Empire’s accounts of reality (i.e., our resistance to insurrectionists attacking our democracy) in their dominant power, control, and violence are age old in their tensions between violent domination vis-a-vis liberation and freedom to live together in alternative communities of the Truth of Self and the authenticity of belonging. Until all are free none are free. The suffering of the other is also my suffering. So we resist and dream our dreams and see our visions of a better way together for which we must never stop working.

Tat tvam asi. That I am.

Shanti, shalom, peace dear Beloveds.