Building Bridges As A Spiritual Practice

We are coming near to the end of the month and our reflections on building bridges.

In this all too brief series of reflections and inquiries, we have had some opportunity to reflect on the on-going and complex process of conceptualizing and building metaphorical bridges with others.

I wonder what it has meant to you to be invited to understand creativity and spirituality as intentional bridge building as well as to reflect on power, privilege, partnership and play. If something has come up for you that you wish to share, please comment below.

I note that writing a few comments in a blog do not honor the complexity of this topic. There is so much more that could be written.

For many Christians, next week will be Holy Week. A week in which we experience a bridge built from love for all people as we remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. I will be joining once again with others in worship, prayer and silence. I do not expect to be blogging, but who knows. I may.

Tomorrow, children and adults will be marching for the lives of children everywhere to be safe in their schools and in their communities. I will not be able to march with them, but they are in my heart this evening. I am happy they are speaking out against violence in their, and our lives.

Please pray for the mission and ministry of Earthenware Ministry. Please know that you are in my prayers as well.

With much love,

Meghan

Building Bridges As A Spiritual Practice

This week we traversed the bridge between one season and another: Winter to Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and Summer to Fall in the Southern Hemisphere.  This movement is not dependent on our personal action, or necessarily choice.  Each of us may have expectations of what the season change will mean and what we may be doing. I happen to live in a location where it is obviously Spring while there are many who are clearing the roads and sidewalks after yet another early spring storm.

Building Bridges As A Spiritual Practice

One of the first things to imagine as one seeks to build a bridge is one’s intention.  Intention, and our awareness of it, shapes the bridges we may seek to create.

Tomorrow, I will be beginning part time employment at a retirement residence across a bridge from where I live.  As I prepare to cross that literal bridge, I also imagine the metaphorical bridges that I will be creating with residents, residents’ families, and staff.  I have been employed at such facilities in the past and know the depth of these encounters.  These encounters begin with a willingness to be present with what is, the drama, the loss, choosing to be present to men and women who are aged, fragile, and thoroughly human.  My intention for this first day, as well as my last, is to be present to what is unfolding in my midst and the meeting places along the way.

I am sure that you as well have metaphorical bridges which you travel daily, or may be imagining in the future.  As you travel these bridges, how do you feel?  What is your intention?

Practice:

Create a image of a bridge by drawing a bridge shape on a piece of paper.  Alternatively, you may wish to stack some books or other objects with a piece of paper or cardboard linking one stack to another.  As you do this, reflect on your intention with this process.  Why are you doing this?  Where do you imagine this bridge going?  What do you hope to accomplish?  What are you bringing to your side of the bridge?  Record any thoughts and feelings in your journal.

Building Bridges As A Spiritual Practice

I am not an engineer, but I love bridges.  From a non-engineering viewpoint, a bridge can seem quite simple.  I believe that there needs to be a foundation, structure of some sort on one side of what ever needs crossing, and something of equal size and strength on the opposite side. And then something in-between, perhaps a road or a sidewalk to facilitate travel from one side to the other.  I KNOW that literal bridges are more complicated than this, and larger bridges perhaps even more so.  My apologies to engineers for glossing over so many important details, but metaphorical bridges also have complications.

Frequently in the news we hear of issues of physical infrastructure with bridges needing repair.  More often we hear a cry that metaphorical bridges have been broken and there also is no easy repair.  There is an assumption perhaps that there are fewer bridges between people exacerbating the issues that may divide them.  I am not entirely sure of that because I understand metaphorical bridge building as an inherent human activity both within one’s self and with others.  However, the bridges created may indeed be different, sometimes ineffective, and hazardous. But, that is my opinion.

During this second full week of March, let’s continue to reflect on building bridges as a Spiritual Practice and reflect upon what bridges may mean. Specifically, I will be inviting you to reflect on intention, privilege, partnership and play. We will end the month with love, and being a bridge.

I received many excellent comments to my previous posts on this topic. Please keep them coming. I read each of them.

With much love,

Meghan

Building Bridges As A Spiritual Practice

Today is Saturday,

the first post of the month of March,

and a new topic.

We have let go of paying attention as a spiritual practice in order to move into another topic for reflection.  However, I hope that you will continue to pay attention as we begin to reflect upon a new topic for the month of March: building bridges.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and similarly to other major cities built near water, navigating bridges occurs frequently, if not daily.  There is the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge and the San Mateo Bridge among others.  Each bridge enables movement from one location to another for business or pleasure.

But, what does a bridge mean?

The experience of these particular bridges, this month of March, daily news, the Christian Season of Lent and Jewish Passover provide grist for reflecting on what a bridge may mean, and what happens if there isn’t a bridge between things.  Also, what does the metaphor of bridge have to do with spiritual practice?  Hmmmm…Let’s reflect on this topic together.

Practice:

The practice I suggest for this Saturday is to reflect upon the metaphor of “bridge”.  What does it mean to you?  Use your journal to write down any thoughts or images that come to mind.  If you have time, please go outside and photograph a bridge or possibly walk or bike across one.  I will do the same.

(This image is of the Park Street Bridge between Oakland, California and Alameda, California, a well traveled bridge)