Friday, October 1, 2010

My 47th Birthday

On Wednesday, September 29th, my 47th birthday...I went on a spiritual retreat. Because I think so many women need this I want to share my 2 day experience.

Red Plains Spiritual Center is run by a group of Benedictine Nuns. It is located close by in Piedmont, Oklahoma on 21 acres.
Their mission provide a safe environment where the inner journey of each person in honored.

They have a chapel and at 7:30, noon and 6:00pm they have a Benedictine tradition of lectio: reading and listening to the word. It is done by quieting body and mind, then selecting a short text and reading it slowly listening to it with "the ears of your heart" as oblate. When I participated with the Sisters we read Psalm 18.

I was given my own private bedroom and bathroom and use of the kitchen that was stocked with all good things to feed the body while you are feeding your soul. And good teas to choose from...ahhh!

There was a labryinth (a path for releasing, receiving and integrating). Unlike a maze the labryinth has no dead ends. There is only one path, and while it does have twists and turns, you can't get lost. The same path takes you into the labryinth and out again. With a labryinth you don't have to think or analyze or solve a problem. With a labryinth you just trust that the path will lead you to where you need to be.

You can sit on a bench in the the shape of a triangle which represents the Trinity.
You can just be.

I wrote a poem while I was there:
On My Birthday (9-29-10)
On the day my mother gave birth to me
On that day forty-seven years ago
I have journeyed round the sun
forty-seven times and was unaware.
I have stopped to pause and reconnect
with the part of myself that needs silence
the soul seeing the procession of days gone by
and the leaves of autumn scattered in the wind.
September holds me in her hand
ushering in a time of new beginnings
and endings of what was familiar
once more I am whirled towards the stars
...into the unknown.
I met and had Spiritual Direction twice with Sister Melissa. On retreat we step out of ordinary time, off the gerbil wheel of endless responsibilities, away from the shoulds and have-tos I burden myself with and into what T.S. Elliott called the moment in and out of time.

May Sarton wrote in her Journal of A Solitude - I lose my center. I feel dispersed, scattered into pieces. I must have time alone in which to mull over any encounter, and to extract its juices, its essence, to understand what has really happened to me as a consequence of it.
There is one bright star over the tree line...can you see it? I found myself looking for the river in my own life and am trying to surrender to its current. Contemplation is the prayer of quiet in which we are at home with God. We do not need words! We are simply being with God and enjoying God's presence.

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