“There is a center of quietness within which has to be known and held… If you lose that center, you are in tension and begin to fall apart. “ - Joseph Campbell
Every Sunday in worship, the Tibetan prayer bowl is struck three times -- calling us to quiet our spirits and to leave behind all the busy daily chatter that continually clutters our minds . .
We are called to “center” ourselves . . . to take a deep breath — and to sink waaaaaay down into the very heart of our being . . . simply resting in God’s loving presence — into the Spirit within our spirit . . .
But if Sunday morning is the only time when this centering takes place for us, we are really missing out — for the stresses and pressures of life are with us the entire LONG week — and our spirits YEARN for moments of stillness and connection with the Divine within ourselves.
In researching “centering” it was most heartening to discover that Baylor University takes the spiritual health of its students so seriously that it has created a pamphlet entitled “SACRED SPACES/ QUIET PLACES.” It includes short inspiring meditations and quotes from a variety of sources as well as a list of locations on campus which lend themselves to “centering” and finding quiet.
How amazing is that?! Mary Oliver’s poems consistently call us to STOP and PAY ATTENTION to the incredible world in which we live — and when we also pause to MARVEL IN GRATITUDE, we connect with our Creator … she writes:
“ Stillness…. one of the doors into the temple ” In 1992 author Shirley Irena Murray wrote a wonderful hymn — the text of which Baylor thoughtfully Included in its resources: (click here to listen and ponder — and pray these words as you do…) “Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead Find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed. Clear the chaos and the clutter, Clear our eyes that we may see all the things that really matter, Be at peace — and simply BE.“ Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace. GOD it is who speaks — and names us — knows our being, face to face. Making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun, Raising courage when we’re shrinking, Finding scope for faith begun. In the Spirit let us travel, open to each other’s pain. Let our lives and fears unravel, celebrate the space we gain. There’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for hearts to care; In the Spirit’s lively scheming, There is always room to spare.“
May I suggest that we all make time(s) every day to find our own “quiet center” and to rest in the Divine?
Our souls will sigh with joy.