Friday, April 26, 2019

Choosing the Contemplative Path

Have you considered a contemplative life, but don't know where to begin?  How do you know if God's call is contemplative or more extroverted? 

The following is an excerpt from a blog post on Contemplative Light:

"All that is required is a desire and an intention. If you are reading this it means you already have a desire and I'm willing to bet your intention is just around the corner. I'm willing to bet you have been finding the usual ways of culture and society are no longer appealing to you. I'm willing to bet the things you once enjoyed no longer satisfy the longing in your heart. That you feel less and less connected to the people around you, as if you feel called to something they don't even know exists.

If any of these describe you then God has already called you to the contemplative path and that indescribable longing you feel is your guide on that path. Trust it. Follow it. Let it lead you into the silence. Let it lead you into a deeper way of being human. Let it transform you into the image of God. Because it will if you let it. If you decide to follow that small still voice within it will never lead you astray, even if you have no idea where it's taking you.

Just know that longing is calling you into the unknown. It is calling you out of the bright and easy pasture and into a darkness and a mystery. But it is infinitely better! Follow that small still voice into the shadows and the unseen places and there you will receive true light that opens your eyes and makes you new."

Read the full article by clicking on the link below...

New Pieces Sold!

Several new pieces have gone to new permanent homes in the last few months...It's a beautiful experience to witness the immediate connection that often happens between a patrol and the art.  Here are a few of the pieces sold!

Gallery Mack Seattle Represents Artist Heather Thompson

After an exciting evening hosted by Paint my Meditation, Gallery Mack made the rare decision to add Heather Thompson / Blue Phoenix to their roster of represented artists!  You can now view a sampling of work at Gallery Mack next to Pike Place Market in Downtown Seattle.  

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Saturday and The Darkness of the Tomb

For those who celebrate Easter,  we cannot skip over the darkness of the tomb.  Today, we pause to remember that humans crucified the begotten son of God... and for the time before the resurrection, humanity lived with the reality that the messiah was dead.  This "present moment" mindset challenges us to think about the suffering involved in the liminality of the unknown. 

This was described Richard Rohr,  so i'm passing it along...

"As I shared earlier this week, Jesus replaced the myth of redemptive violence with the truth of redemptive suffering. On the cross he showed us how to hold pain and let it transform us rather than project it elsewhere. I believe one of the greatest meanings of the crucifixion is the revelation of God’s presence in the midst of suffering. God suffers with us.

Even when we may feel alone and abandoned, as Jesus did on the cross—“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)—we can trust that divine love is holding us. Thankfully, we know the end of the story from the beginning, that after death comes resurrection, after injustice comes liberation, after wounding comes healing. But we can’t skip over the darkness of the tomb.

On this Holy Saturday, before the joy of Easter morning, befriend and be close to sorrow, whether your own suffering, that of a loved one, or the pain of creation." Fr. Richard Rohr

Why the Name Blue Phoenix

Why is my art studio named Blue Phoenix? My theology is an integration of Chinese Medicine/Tao and Ancient Christianity.  The Chinese Phoenix is a powerful symbol that integrates both the flow of the Tao and the Eternal Christ in one artistic image.

Blue Phoenix is derived from the Chinese Feng-huang, which is described in the attached article.  Note that this phoenix is different than the mythical birds of the western world....the Feng-Huang is immortal without needing to go through a cycle of death and re-birth.

"Beautiful, graceful, loyal, and honest, the Feng-Huang represents all the virtues, calling us to a higher level of life, filled with justice, peace, prosperity, and faith. Such symbolism needs no physical counterpart; the Feng-Huang already has the best of this world in its imagery. It is up to humankind to manifest these virtues substantially on the earth."

Click here to learn more about the Chinese Phoenix.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notre Dame and the Path of Descent

The symbolism observed by the devastating fire at the Church of Notre Dame this Holy Week is profound.  The path of descent, Pascal Mystery, Death and Resurrection, Yin/ Yang are readily apparent in the destruction.

Everything must be held loosely.

Moments like this remind me of the root of Christianity- God CRUCIFIED and RESURRECTED.  It's shocking. As Kierkegaard said,  it doesn't fill the pews when you preach the very real suffering and loss that stands in juxtaposition to new life in Christ.   The reality... humans CRUCIFIED God.  And we are loved by God beyond comprehension.

Loss accompanies life.

Hard lessons to contemplate tonight. 
Jesus prayed....Not my will but thine. He knew... and still he surrendered.

From my hospital room,  unable to sleep, feeling compelled to share... may I walk gently this holy week.... may I try to dance as I heal (from my Spiritual Director)... May I maintain a loose hold on things temporal, and a firm grasp on my faith in the Divine Source with heartfelt hope for genuine healing.  Amen.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Not My Will.... Thoughts on Holy Week

I'm ready for Easter.  Not the cute bunnies and egg hunts (those are great too), but i'm talking about movement through the suffering of the cross and into the goodness of resurrection.

Advent and Lent get me every time.  EVERY TIME.  Alas, one doesn't get to skip Holy Week.  I'd imagine Jesus wished he could simply skip this week too.  But he didn't ask to be absolved from the suffering when he saw what was going to happen.  Instead he completely surrendered to God.

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Not my will, but yours.
As I contemplate the immense suffering of Jesus this week,  combined with the joyful resurrection, I will not complain about my situation. I've been very sick and fighting.  I still am sick and fighting a bad infection.  Yet there's been so much grace...I see it every step of the way...I feel as if the Spirit held me in her care all week... and I shall continue to rest there while I heal. Asking for God's will, not mine.

Courageous vulnerability.
Courageous surrender.
That's what this faith is all about. 
Totally badass when you think about it.