LOTUS OF THE HEART
Living in Love
The word "vigil," not one we hear often, if ever. "We stand in vigil," wrote Richard Rohr, of spiritual Contemplatives (Everything Belongs). "Vigil" arises from Latin "awake, alert, watchful," and prior from a root "to be strong, lively." Vigil is commonly used in a religious context, of staying awake and prayerful when, otherwise, one would be sleeping, such as prior to a religious holy day.
Meditation, or Quiet Prayerfulness, is an intentional practice of vigil. Recently, a dear lady asked me to share what I meant by meditation. I focused on two words, "alert" and "relaxed." Sometimes, it takes more strength to relax than to exert, and vigil can be vigilantly subtle. Like the young man who talked of how difficult, when he tried meditation, to meditate just five minutes. He could not stress enough what a challenge that was to him.
Tibetan Lama Sogyal Rinpoche observes, in Glimpse after Glimpse, of famed Tibetan female spiritual Master Ma Chik Lap Dron saying, "Alert, alert, relax, relax. This is the crucial point for the View in meditation." And, so, in life.
The awake life is a vigil life. I meditate in the mornings, but what good is that, if I get up and go back to sleep to the glory of this human life and Nature around me? Life is the essential practice for returning to vigil, an awakened life, until we rarely, if ever, sleep again before the Beauty.
Have you ever seen
in your life
than the way the sun,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
*Mary Oliver. "The Sun." Devotions.
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Brian Kenneth Wilcox ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, bicyclist. Brian lives in North Florida, beside the Santa Fe River.
*Move cursor over photo for title and photographer.