Earth Day 2013 celebrations are past but the responsibility to cherish, as in do no harm, sustain and protect our environment continues to draw us to re-conceive our notions about what it might mean to care for our earth. As I meditate on what God intends for us while we make our home on this earth the Lord’s Prayer comes to mind. “When ye pray, say: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. (Luke 11:2 KJ21) The phrase “as in heaven” conjures up manicured gardens, beautiful fragrant flowers, birds singing and butterflies sporting in the air, a river meandering through the garden.
Every gardener knows it takes planning, planting and enormous amount of effort and attention to maintain a garden. A few days of carelessness will most likely have consequences. On the other hand, appropriate attention will revive the garden. I believe we are called to co-create heaven on earth not just in our physical environment, the earth itself but also our spiritual environment, our minds. Heaven inflows into our very beings. Swedenborg speaks of this inflow coming “into our souls because the soul is the inmost and highest part of us. The inflow from God reaches that part first and then comes down into the things below and enlivens them, depending on our openness to what flows in.” (In the 21st Century translations of Swedenborg’s True Christina Religion, “inflow” replaced “influx.”
Many Native American cultures believed in the sacredness of the earth and in responsibilities for caring for all things created. We must be mindful of creation pronounced by God as “very good” surely we must bear responsibility for maintaining its goodness and beauty as co-creators of heaven on earth. Genesis 1:31
Earth’s Answer by William Blake from Songs of Experience 1794
Prayers for Mother Earth
Cc post 08-05-2012
Contemplation opens one to divine presence in a way that no other spiritual practice does. According Father Richard Rohr, Fr. Richard Rohr, contemplation offers “emotional sobriety”. It is not goal oriented, has nothing to prove or disprove nor seeks to validate a theological proposition. The Contemplative experience is completely counter intuitive; it does not seek power or to control. Contemplation is self-emptying prayer. Practicing contemplation is difficult because it humbles “self”. In contemplation there is no rejection of tradition or criticism of spiritual practices of ancient times. Those who practice contemplation even at the beginning stage sense intuitively know that contemplatives of all traditions dating back to ancient times must have experienced divine presence. Receiving holy presence is not limited to any one faith tradition any one sect or to any one age. Whatever we receive in meditation or through any spiritual practice is influenced by our unique worldview, our culture and our particular psycho spiritual awareness. We often invoke a popular insight, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Emanuel Swedenborg explains divine inflow as “according to reception”. Influx according to reception We perceive the “holy” in our limitations. In rare moments I have experienced divine presence. By the time I realized it faded. Contemplation has always been humbling for me and yet restored me to the right relationship between the holy and “my-self”. The contemplative mind is nurtured by the realization that we are inextricably connected to all beings, it longs for true community and deeper insights. In contemplation the window toward God is open.
Window to God