October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

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Who? You...are the light of the world.

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Continuously Renewed Immediacy

October 6, 2016

 

Continuously renewed immediacy, not receding memory of the Divine Touch, lies at the base of religious living. Let us explore together the secret of a deeper devotion, a more subterranean sanctuary of the soul, where the Light Within never fades, but burns, a perpetual flame, where the wells of living water of divine revelation rise up continuously, day by day and hour by hour, steady and transfiguring. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion

Two years ago I met Vincent Van Gogh in the halls of the Metropolitan Museum in New York Cithy.  From across the room his paintng, Two Cut Sunflowers grabbed me. It was a
s if someone was pulling me, demanding attention.  Here was the ripeness of harvest, the fading yellows; flowers wilted, cut from the stalk, laying on a table. Staring at the painting I was aware of my own sadness, the richness of life fading into night, of being cut off from the root.  But, more than anything else, this remarkable painting felt to be a DIRECT communication from Vincent. 

Quaker Thomas Kelly, when speaking of the spiritual life speaks of our expereince: immediately, in the now, and continually we are renewed. The universe touches us directly, intimately -- sort of like my encounter with Vincent Van Gogh. In Zen, awareness of this continually renewed immediacy is called 'awakening."  We awaken to the way things are, the universe as she continually flows, around, through and in us. The best of art re-presents this continually renewed immediacy, pulling at us, inviting us in..  I find it especially in the koans and the haiku of spring. 

Here are some haiku

Shown a flower
The small baby
Opens its mouth
               by Seifu Ni

Cherry blossoms fallen
People's hearts
serene again
               by Koyu - Ni

For everyday clothes
An everyday mind
Peach blossoms
                by Ayako Hosomi

Somehow with each haiku the sense is that the universe herself is reaching out, ,touching me, pulling me towards awakening.  How does this happen -- in the wonder of a baby awash in the color and beauty of a flower; in the sadness of cherry blossoms fallen, a serenity beneath the falling. And finally, in the everday beauty of life as it is peach blossoms call us forth.  

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    Photography David Parks Ramage and Christopher R. Kerr