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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 7/29/2012 -- THE ART OF LETTING GO  (Read 3354 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: July 29, 2012, 03:08:55 AM »

July 29, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO

   
We don’t come to God (or truth or love) by insisting on some ideal
worldly order or so-called perfection, but in fact we come “to
knowledge of salvation by the experience of forgiveness” (Luke
1:77 [1])—of reality, of others, of ourselves. One reason why I am so
attracted to Jesus and then to Francis is that they found God in
disorder, in imperfection, in the ordinary, and in the real world—not
in any idealized concepts. They were more into losing than winning. But
the ego does not like that, so we rearranged much of Christianity to fit
our egoic pattern of achievement and climbing.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1:77&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Isn’t it strange that Christians worship a God figure, Jesus, who
appears to be clearly losing by every criterion imaginable? And then we
spend so much time trying to “win,” succeed, and perform. We even
call Jesus’ very “losing” the redemption of the world. I think
Christians have yet to take that message seriously. Religion has largely
become “holding on” instead of letting go. God, it seems to me, does
the holding on (to us!), and we must learn the letting go.

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 03:54:19 AM »

July 30, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO

   
It is good to remember that a part of you has always loved God. There is
a part of you that has always said yes. There is a part of you that is
Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there.
Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you
will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your
own and from a deeper abundance. Once you learn this, why would you ever
again settle for scarcity in your life? “I’m not enough! This is not
enough! I do not have enough!” I am afraid this is the way culture
trains you to think. It is a kind of learned helplessness. The Gospel
message is just the opposite—inherent power.

Thomas Merton said the way we have structured our lives, we spend our
whole life climbing up the ladder of supposed success, and when we get
to the top of the ladder we realize it is leaning against the wrong
wall—and there is nothing at the top. To get back to the place of
inherent abundance, you have to let go of all of the false agendas,
unreal goals, and passing self-images. It is all about letting go. The
spiritual life is more about unlearning than learning, because the
deepest you already knows (1 John 2:21 [1]).

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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Alan
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 11:27:49 AM »

July 31, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO

   
The important and fundamental question we must ask is this: “When is
the real life?” “Now!” the modern materialist would say—the good
life, the real life is now and then it ends. Many reincarnationists,
pious Christians, and mainline religious people in all denominations
believe that the real life is later, after death. This falsehood has
framed the Christian religion more than anything else, despite the fact
that Jesus clearly said the kingdom of God is now, and in the Lord’s
Prayer, we ask it to “come” here!

Once Jesus’ great and good news became a reward-punishment system that
only checked into place in the next world instead of a transformational
system in this world, Christianity in effect moved away from a religion
of letting go and became a religion of holding on. Religion’s very
purpose for many people was to protect the status quo of empire, power,
war, money, and the private ego. So in many ways, we have not been a
force for liberation, peacemaking, or change in the world. One thing for
sure is that healthy religion is always telling us to change instead of
giving us ammunition to try to change others. Authentic Christianity is
a religion of constantly letting go of the false self so the True Self
in God can stand revealed—now.

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
ncjohn
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 12:59:22 PM »

One thing for sure is that healthy religion is always telling us to change instead of
giving us ammunition to try to change others.


Indeed. And therein is the reason I stopped frequenting CAF. I just finally caught the irony that I was giving back exactly what I was getting in explaining to others why they were missing out. I have to trust that perhaps sometimes I am able to model the joy that has occurred since falling into the arms of God and that someone with whom I have credibility might become interested enough to ask where it came from. In the end all I can respond to is what I know from what I've experienced. To the extent God uses that as an instrument for someone He has made ready, I am ready and willing to do my part. To the extent that He is using some other lure for someone else that doesn't look at all like my experience, I simply have to know that He knows what He's doing and will send the right person there also.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 01:59:52 PM »

One thing for sure is that healthy religion is always telling us to change instead of
giving us ammunition to try to change others.


Indeed. And therein is the reason I stopped frequenting CAF. I just finally caught the irony that I was giving back exactly what I was getting in explaining to others why they were missing out. I have to trust that perhaps sometimes I am able to model the joy that has occurred since falling into the arms of God and that someone with whom I have credibility might become interested enough to ask where it came from. In the end all I can respond to is what I know from what I've experienced. To the extent God uses that as an instrument for someone He has made ready, I am ready and willing to do my part. To the extent that He is using some other lure for someone else that doesn't look at all like my experience, I simply have to know that He knows what He's doing and will send the right person there also.

Update:  I'm making serious progress on CAF.  I'm learning the ropes.  I can say the most outrageous of things, but in such a way they are unassailable if not outright encoded.  Just planting seeds ....    Wink  ( Grin )

For example:  One trad Catholic about my age and with some pretty and accomplished daughters (one in ballet for example), befriended me on CAF and FB both, but our relationship is stealth and on CAF we argue opposite sides but with kindness.  I told her I'd FB friend her, but be aware I have everything from priests to drug addicts to new agers and inmates as friends, although those groups are in the minority.  She said, "well tell them to be careful because now there is an Orthodox Catholic among them."

Alan
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 07:36:01 AM »

August 1, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO

   
Isn’t it strange that a religion that began with a call to change or
letting go has become a religion that has been so impervious and
resistant to change? Many people think that what it means to be a
Christian is to be in love with the 13th century or, if you are
Protestant, the 16th century, thinking that “this is when Christians
were really Christians!” There is no evidence that this is really true
but it allows us to create “religion as nostalgia” instead of
religion as transformation.

What healthy religion is saying is that the real life is both now and
later. You have to taste the Real now, you have to experience God
now—and if now, then also then—both now and later. Now becomes the
pledge and guarantee of forever. The full now is always an eternal now.
We are just practicing for heaven.

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 01:11:15 PM »

Many people think that what it means to be a
Christian is to be in love with the 13th century or, if you are
Protestant, the 16th century, thinking that “this is when Christians
were really Christians!” There is no evidence that this is really true
but it allows us to create “religion as nostalgia” instead of
religion as transformation.


Gasp!! You mean there are people out there who idolize "the way we used to do it?"
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 02:25:18 AM »

August 2, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO

   
What does letting go on the practical level tell us? Letting go is
different than denying or repressing. To let go of something is to admit
it. You have to own it. Letting go is different than turning it against
yourself; different than projecting it onto others. Letting go means
that the denied, repressed, rejected parts of yourself, which are
nonetheless true, are seen for what they are; but you refuse to turn
them against yourself or against others. This is not denial or pretend,
but actual transformation.

The religious word for this letting go is forgiveness. You see the
imperfect moment for what it is, and you hand it over to God. You refuse
to let any negative storyline or self-serving agenda define your life.
This is a very, very different way of living; it implies that you see
your mistakes, your dark side, but you do not identify with either your
superiority or your inferiority.

Forgiveness is of one piece. Those who give it can also receive it.
Those who receive it can pass forgiveness on. You are a conduit, and
your only job is not to stop the flow. What comes around will also go
around. The art of letting go is really the secret of happiness and
freedom.

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 08:38:52 AM »



The religious word for this letting go is forgiveness.

Amazing how this came up in our "letting go" discussion on the other thread.  When we forgive, we do more than write off or tolerate.  We reconcile, we incorporate what we once despised.  We can see as good what we once saw as evil.  (I am not talking about actions, of course, but what underlies the actions)
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2012, 09:23:30 AM »


Amazing how this came up in our "letting go" discussion on the other thread.  When we forgive, we do more than write off or tolerate.  We reconcile, we incorporate what we once despised.  We can see as good what we once saw as evil.  (I am not talking about actions, of course, but what underlies the actions)

I also caught that linkage between the threads.

I'm not sure though that I would agree that "We can see as good what we once saw as evil." For me, accepting the reality doesn't necessarily at all translate to seeing as "good" what I previously saw as "evil," though that may happen in some cases, whether it be actions or just "being". For me it becomes much more a matter of "it is what it is" and moving on.

The art of letting go is really the secret of happiness and
freedom.


I wish I could recognize this at the times when I need to know it rather than just seeing it in retrospect.  Undecided  I do get brief moments but they are far too few and far between.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2012, 09:46:46 AM »

The art of letting go is really the secret of happiness and
freedom.


I wish I could recognize this at the times when I need to know it rather than just seeing it in retrospect.  Undecided  I do get brief moments but they are far too few and far between.

May I speculate it's primarily because we are never, ever in our lives taught to respond to a problem by not trying to take control of it?

Bruce Lee called it "fighting wittout fighting"  -- so here's what "letting go" of a fight can do:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNToJwKE4F0

Alan
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 10:09:03 AM »



The religious word for this letting go is forgiveness.

Amazing how this came up in our "letting go" discussion on the other thread.  When we forgive, we do more than write off or tolerate.  We reconcile, we incorporate what we once despised.  We can see as good what we once saw as evil.  (I am not talking about actions, of course, but what underlies the actions)

This is a very good point.  Actual forgiveness a transforming process, not just a switch to flip.

To me, it isn't about whether an action is good or evil, but it is my challenge to uphold the Bible in my own world by believing that ALL THINGS work for the good of those who believe.  Rather than focus on whether I know it to be good or bad, I look at the effects and try to understand them.

For example, I had premarital sex in high school, which was wrong and bad and evil.  But I have a beautiful daughter (who works and gets along with engineers btw) and two granddaughters, and they found me and now we are in contact.  She even called me on father's day, even though I didn't know her from age 5 to 18.  So this is beauty that came from my evil act.  Will I go to hell for it?  I don't know.  But the temporal effects are pleasing to me.  So if I had a chance to go back to that moment and avoid impregnating the mother, would I?  My wife loves my illegitimate daughter and we're all facebook friends and with our own kids too ... would my wife rather I have married her as a virgin and these little girls wouldn't be in our lives?  Please be assured I have no plans to ask her these questions.  I'm just raising them in discussion of absolute moral codes.

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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 11:11:22 AM »


Actual forgiveness a transforming process, not just a switch to flip.


Yes, a process.  And I will modify what I said earlier about the bad that can be seen as good.  That change in perception, too, is part of the process, not a simple relabeling.  Relabeling evil as good without the process is self-deception, which may feel better at the time, but only prolongs the process. 

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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2012, 07:02:57 AM »

August 4, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO


I would like to offer you a form of prayer so you can practice letting
go and practice what seems like losing but is actually finding.

    “The Welcoming Prayer” encourages you to identify in your life, now
    or in the past, a hurt or an offense: someone who has done you wrong, or
    let you down. Feel the pain of the offense the way you first felt it, or
    are feeling it in this moment, and feel the hurt in your body. (Why is
    this important? Because if you move it to your mind, you will go back to
    dualistic thinking and judgments: good guy/bad guy, win/lose,
    either/or.)

    Feel the pain so you don’t create the win/lose scenario. Identify
    yourself with the suffering side of life; how much it hurt to hurt. How
    abandoned you felt to be abandoned.

    Once you can move to that place and know how much it hurts to hurt, you
    would not possibly want that experience for anybody else.

    This might take a few minutes. Welcome the experience and it can move
    you to the Great Compassion. Don’t fight it! Don’t split and blame!
    Welcome the grief and anger in all of its heaviness. Now it will become
    a great teacher.

If you can do this you will see that it is welcoming the pain, and
letting go of all of your oppositional energy against suffering, that
actually frees you from it! Who would have thought? It is our resistance
to things as they are that causes most of our unhappiness—at least I
know it is for me.

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2012, 09:09:58 AM »

Wow...that one is totally amazing. I am definitely going to have to try sitting down with this Welcoming Prayer.

It is our resistance to things as they are that causes most of our unhappiness...

Yup.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2012, 02:53:46 AM »

August 4, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

THE ART OF LETTING GO


I don’t understand the physics of this, but it is said that the reason
a bird sitting on a hot wire does not get electrocuted is quite simply
because it does not touch the ground to give the electricity a pathway.
That is what the welcoming prayer is doing, and that is what I am asking
you to do. Stay like a bird, sitting on the hot wire, holding the
creative tension, but do not ground it in a bad way by thinking of it,
by critiquing it, by analyzing it. Actually welcome it in a positive
way. Hold on to it. As a Christian, I think that is what Jesus was doing
on the cross. He was holding all the pain of the world, at least
symbolically or archetypically; and though the world had come to hate
Jesus, he refused to hate back.

Jesus revealed to us how to bear the pain of the world instead of
handing on the pain to those around us. When you stop resisting
suffering, when you can really do something so foolish as to welcome the
pain, it leads you into a broad and spacious place where you live out of
the abundance of Divine Love. I can’t promise you it will leave that
quickly or that easily. To forgive is not the same as to forget.

Forgiveness has the power to lead you to your True Self in God. Because
the hurts of life are so great, you cannot let go of the pain on your
own. At that point, you need to draw from a Larger Source. What you are
doing with forgiveness is changing your egoic investment in your own
painful story—which too often has become your ticket, and sometimes
your very identity. Forgiveness is one of the most radically free things
a human being can do. When we forgive, we have to let go of our own
feelings, our own ego, our own offended identity, and find our identity
at a completely different level—the divine level. I even wonder if it
is possible to know God at all—outside of the mystery of forgiveness
(Luke 1:77 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1:77&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
May I learn to let go.
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2012, 05:51:16 AM »

August 4, 2012

...

I don’t understand the physics of this, but it is said that the reason
a bird sitting on a hot wire does not get electrocuted is quite simply
because it does not touch the ground to give the electricity a pathway.
That is what the welcoming prayer is doing, and that is what I am asking
you to do. Stay like a bird, sitting on the hot wire, holding the
creative tension, but do not ground it in a bad way by thinking of it,
by critiquing it, by analyzing it.

I do understand the physics of it, and he's right.  It's because there is no path through the bird that any of the power prefers to just going through the wire.

The wire could be carrying all sorts of energy ... good, bad, ugly ... but it goes right by the bird.  Technically a teeny bit goes through the bird because of the almost infinitely small voltage drop from one foot to the next.  Also there is a magnetic field about the wire that I'm guessing the birds can sense.  Somehow they know which direction is which, mightn't they be able to sense magnetic field?

So I say all that only to emphasize that the bird is not entirely unaffected.  It just isn't harmed.  So the bird actually is a potential observer of the power going through the line, even though it's invisible to the eye.

So in contemplation we can "step aside" and let the constant stream of conscious thoughts go by, observing parts of it at times but never taking an interest in it or investigating it.


Quote
When you stop resisting
suffering, when you can really do something so foolish as to welcome the
pain, it leads you into a broad and spacious place where you live out of
the abundance of Divine Love.

I totally believe that.  I am beginning to feel like this myself.  Cheesy

Alan
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