Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

Today, I am going to reflect on the first two letters of the word, beginning, be. What does it mean to be at a beginning? What does it mean to be?

Earlier I suggested, engagement with the question of what the new year wanted. Today I am exploring what does it mean for me to receive this beginning, and what do I bring to the table with my relationship with it, whatever that beginning is?

Of course I will bring myself, my contradictory ego-based self, my personal history, my culture, my aspirations, and my relationships, among other things. Perhaps you bring similar things as well. Welcome!

Or, I may set these aspects aside long enough to listen, to breathe, to sit with what is, to return to Source, to the Holy One and listen. I call it Prayer and contemplation. You may name it according to your tradition. However, Be-ginning from that place feels different. Do you agree? Why is it different?

Then having done this, please pick up your own brush and paint. Then, please, dance your own dance, sing your own song, write your paper, teach your class or whatever important work that you do in your life and also do in our lives together.

Today, I invite you to sit with your own Be-ginning. I will sit with mine as well.



Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

Beginning . Receiving. Exercise 1:

Today is January 6th.  We are now six days into the new year.

I am inviting you to reflect and write down your responses to the following questions:

1. List six gifts that you have received  already this year.

2. What Spiritual Practice assists you to attune your attention to the “ordinary” gifts of the present?

3. What is your feeling or response to the awareness engendered by your attentiveness and awareness of receiving these gifts?

Thank you!

Beginning As A Spiritual Practice

It is January and another year has arrived. Whether we partied through New Years’s Eve, enjoyed the time at home or slept through it, the new year arrived. So, what do we do with it? What do we do with beginnings of anything, especially a year?

One option that seems to be well practiced, is to ignore it. We have the capacity to move within the busyness of life and do what we always do, or have scheduled for ourselves and others. Within a few days, it is no longer a new year but “January”.

Another related option is to envision it, set goals and milestones and determine progress and fiscal compliance. Once again, there is nothing wrong with this process. It is beneficial in getting the job done, the quota met, with measurable results. However, once again “beginning” is lost in the structure of living and working.

I think that as adults we are afraid of beginning and find reasons or create reasons not to feel the anxiety, the fragility even of being a beginner, rather than an expert. And yet we are all beginners, all of the time, as each second, each breath we breathe is always new but is it received as such?

Received. What do you think?

During these first days of the new year, during the first month of twelve for the year 2018, I will be exploring the sometimes uncomfortable idea of beginning as a spiritual practice. I have divided my reflections into four subsets – one a week. They are:

  1. Receive
  2. Be
  3. Grow
  4. Give

In this first week of a new year, let’s remember to say thank you for this gift. Let’s also explore this new year as if it were a great treasure, which it is. And, find out all we can about this particular beginning and what it might have to do with ourselves, our communities, and our world. I wonder if by asking and receiving rather than imposing or forgetting, this year might grow in us and with us. What do you think?