Tuesday, May 26, 2009
MysticBliss: Watering Your Contemplative or Creative Spirit
After a busy holiday weekend and a bit too much running around and doing rather than our typical being, it made sense to me to open the most recent email newsletter from the Merton Institute for Contemplative Living and find this quote about the type of life we need to cultivate to be more contemplative.
I think if you read the spirit of this quote, you will find much for the creative soul. In a world of lives measured according to material "success," we must, indeed, cultivate bravery to live at all differently.
This will give us some idea of the proper preparation that the contemplative life requires. A life that is quiet, lived in the country, in touch with the rhythm of nature and the seasons. A life in which there is manual work, the exercise of arts and skills, not in a spirit of dilettantism, but with genuine reference to the needs of one's existence. The cultivation of the land, the care of farm animals, gardening. A broad and serious literary culture, music, art, again not in the spirit of Time and Life ... but a genuine and creative appreciation of the way poems, pictures, etc., are made. A life in which there is such a thing as serious conversation, and little or no TV. These things are mentioned not with the insistence that only life in the country can prepare a [person] for contemplation, but to show the type of exercise that is needed.
Thomas Merton. The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation.
As we officially enter this Summer season -- and as you stare at your ever-filling calendar and wonder at the "how" of it all -- perhaps we could take a moment to sit and write what Merton's quote means to us.
Remember, he says that this is not the only way. He wants us to dig deeper until we hit the well of fresh water that is necessary to us as individuals in the pursuits that we claim are most important to us.
Is the Summer already causing an emotional, spiritual, or creative drought in your garden?
(Photo Credit: Christine Reed, White Azalea, 2009)