like trees planted by ever-flowing streams of water

Paraphrase of Psalm 1: Blessed are those who recognise the habitual ways of selfishness, greed and contempt; And who choose instead to return to quiet simplicity and trust, finding again the delight of open-hearted surrender to the Beloved. They are like trees planted by ever-flowing streams of water, that naturally yield fruit that is juicy…

beyond the clouds

Flying through a thick bank of clouds is an interesting experience. The view through the aeroplane window is grey and foggy, and there is a lot of turbulence which can sometimes feel quite threatening. But as soon as the aircraft emerges above the clouds, the view opens out into an expansive pristine and calm blue…

present to Presence

In her book titled “Mystical Hope“, Cynthia Bourgeault describes the importance of learning to be present to our lives in order to be available to the Presence of God: “The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. … When we go rushing ahead into the future, or sinking back…

light and playful

This is a reflection / prayer from a recent journal entry of mine: I have been realising that my mind gathers experiences and thoughts, weaving them together into dark, heavy, solid objects, making terrible meanings of them, and I clutch these in fear, trying to fix or make sense of this terrible heavy burden. What…

Who is your tribe?

I recently heard a very moving talk by Fr Gregory Boyle (founder of Homeboy Industries for gang rehabilitation and re-entry). One line that he said really struck me – imagine a circle of compassion, and then imagine nobody outside of it. Another way of saying this is imagine an ‘in-group’ where EVERYBODY is in, no…

laid bare to God

James Finley writes beautifully about meditation: “Meditation is a way of slowing down so as to descend into the depths of yourself in the present moment, where God lies waiting to grant you a deep experience of your eternal oneness with God. … Let each session of meditation become the hearth at which you and…

beyond the veil

The poet Hafiz wrote: ‘Between the lover and the Beloved there must be no veil. Thou thyself art thine own veil – get out of the way!’ I find this a very helpful image to work with. In my own prayer journey, I have been noticing how often my self-referential thinking hijacks my awareness and…

prophets of hope

We are living in deeply disturbing times, where rampant greed and corruption are flamboyantly and unashamedly parading themselves for all to see. Many of us are filled with disillusionment and despair at the growing state of inequality, injustice, hatred and environmental disaster that our world is facing. There seems to be no solution to the…

Waving goodbye to self

I often find it helpful, at the start of my contemplative sit, to wave goodbye to this whole self-absorbed Sharon-fiasco and watch it floating off like a hot-air balloon. I find I need to let go of my narratives and obsessions in this way thousands of times during a 20 minute sit, but the profound…

“There is a surface level of reality and a deeper level, the level of perfect peace, wonder and surprise. This deeper level can be touched now, not only at some later opportune moment. The surface swirls with events, circumstances, problems, worries. Its tasks seem impossible and overwhelming. In the deeps, something else is taking place.”…