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Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.




Friday, February 18, 2011

Finding God in the Woods

Yesterday I had what has become the rare chance of taking a walk down a nearby trail with our dog Olive. It was just Olive and I, the kids had stayed home with my husband and I was so eager for the solitude! When I parked at the head of the trail I was delighted to see no other cars there and it just so happened that the whole duration of our walk we didn't see one single person. Ok, call me anti-social...but I love when that happens!

As we walked down the trail I began to pray. Oftentimes, with kids tugging at me, asking for their fifth snack of the hour and if they can watch a movie, have a book read to them and a plethora of other requests...well...any parent who might be reading this is most likely quite familiar with this scenario...the daytime with the kids can be a hard time to find moments of prayer. So finally, in the solitude of the moment I opened my heart up to God.

As I walked down the trail, I felt led to say what is known as the Jesus Prayer. It is simply this : Jesus, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.

To repeat it, again and again, has a centering effect.

Each word is pregnant with truth, meaning and beauty and it causes all other rambling thoughts of my wayward mind to dissipate. As I stumbled through the uneasy trail of unstable, somewhat condensed layers of snow that measured about eighteen inches and would randomly cause my feet to sink in up to nearly my knees at some parts, my heart called out to God. And God  is never silent to a heart calling out to Him.

I love birds. I never used to give them much thought until I began meditating and then, it's like life comes alive with birds! You don't realize how many there are until you take the time to actually listen! That's what I've found anyways and in one moment I heard my voice saying the Jesus Prayer and in the next it was as if I was in the center of all creation, it was exploding around me with senses and sounds and I stopped abruptly causing my dog, after a moment glance in my direction to lay down a few measures from my feet. How well she knows me! It was going to be a moment before we moved on and she knew.

It was then the most beautiful of prey bird swooped over the trail. Breaking a bit of my focus, for I'm quite obsessive with taking pictures, I reached into my pocket and managed to take one of the bird, in it's beauty, full of life, that captured all of my attention for the few moments it graced me with its presence.




When she had drifted like a dream out of sight through the trees I stayed for quite awhile, allowing myself to have the chance to be fully present in the moment.  How often I wish I could do that more in nature! It's a gift and a blessing :)

Well...this morning, just about an hour ago I woke up with words dancing through my head. Words that just seemed to be strung together, making sense and I couldn't ignore them so I came downstairs and just wrote them all out. I shared my above story about my walk in the woods because I think it was what gave birth to this poem. My moment of mindfulness in the woods, experiencing God deep in my heart and rejoicing with the creation that poured out its song all around me.

Hope you enjoy it. I'm not claiming to be much of a poet but the way this poem came to me, it just compelled me to share it with others. I have not edited yet so please have a little mercy! ;)  I also would love suggestions for the title, I'm not sure the one I put down really fits, I'm horrible at making titles! Some of the words and perhaps ideas! aren't entirely orthodox, but if anyone has any questions, or such, please ask in the comments section.  Many blessings to you on this new day God has given us all. May you all walk in His light and love.




In The Fullness of His Presence


Living, breathing, my heart is beating,
The wind blows, my faith grows,
all around life is teeming,
Lessons...beckon, the Present is my teacher
centered, in the stillness, my soul opens up to greet her,

Poised at the pinnacle of revelation
rejoicing with all of creation
nestled in the bosom of reality
I find God inside of Me.

Laughing, dancing, weeping, kneeling
I thank God for the senses of feeling.
Perched on the point between joy and despair
I breathe God in, He's everywhere.

Drunk on the ecstasy of my senses swallowing me
Every sound, every movement leaps alive from life's mural
Every moment a living mandala, impermanent and fertile.
God, living and breathing and sustaining it all,
I just rest, centered, hearing His steady call.

Draw near, draw near, enter in and find your rest,
Draw near, kneel at my throne and you will be blessed.
His throne, eternal, having no beginning or end,
Centered in our hearts, beckoning our knees to bend.

17 comments:

  1. how about for a heading... Drunk?

    and I loved it except for the kneeling as at my age it hurts.

    Cheers A

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  2. lolol...well I'm not sure about that title...but thanks for the suggestion! :)

    Yeah, kneeling gets harder and harder with age! I can kneel, it's getting up that is sometimes challenging ;)

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  3. you are too cute for words Jessica :)

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  4. Very nice.. I do not know if you will write another but this one was yours to tell. Good Job/art
    But please stay away from the photography , there is enough competition out here already lolol

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  5. lol thanks Jim :) Yeah, shared the photo because it was the bird that I was talking about in my account...definitely not planning on competing with the photography...don't have the camera for it! ;) Btw..you're picture for your moment this week was amazing!

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  6. Great poem! It has excellent rhythm & rhyme... and a great message.:-)

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  7. Thanks so much Rachel...it means a lot coming from a poet :)

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  8. I am just amazed by your faith. It is strong and beautiful.

    Join me on one of my TTC training programs here in India and you will be able to meet all the monks you want.

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  9. Thank you for sharing your walk with Olive and your kids because I felt as if I took step you and could visualize it easily in mind. You experienced what I experience often. As your poem, it's lovely, it's poignant, your words were truly God inspired and I wouldn't edit anything in or out of it. You will always remember this special walk and how the Lord touched you in the woods and inspired you to write from your heart. The woods nearby my home are part of my sanctuary, so I could really relate. God bless and I look forward to your next walk in the woods...

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  10. A special moment and fantastic words. Tree hugging also helps .

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  11. Jessica, even in the dead of winter you see the fullness of life… ”all around life is teeming.” I like your personification of “Present” as teacher… and the union you experience with God and with creation. A true awakening of his glory and presence. “Drunk on the ecstasy of my senses swallowing me…” calls to mind many of the bridal mystics’ writings. This moment rises, like the bird of prey, far above ordinary prose. Well done Jessica.

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  12. It is a beautiful poem Jessica! Sometimes we need that quiet moment to be able to hear the voice of God.

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  13. Savira...thank you :) I'm glad you enjoyed it...and I'd love to join you sometime in India...it is a land touched with the grace of wisdom.
    ~many blessings

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  14. Jeanne, thank you so much...it's always a blessing to get to know others who find a connection with God in the freedom of His creations. ~many blessings

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  15. Thanks Jim :) Tree hugging helps indeed! ;)

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  16. Debra...thank you....your words always encourage me :) I'm glad you enjoyed the poem...I know you can relate to the contemplative experience:)
    ~many blessings

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  17. Thank you Nelieta, so glad you liked it :) You are so right...oftentimes life can be crowded with distractions, it's so important to make time for God to hear the gentle whispers of His Spirit.
    Many blessings :)

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