Saturday, April 21, 2007

Misspent achieving

Sally Morgenthaler's post over at the Gifted for Leadership blog reminds me that in June I'm taking a weeklong prayer-and-meditation retreat at Mercy Center. It's an "east-west" retreat. I'm hoping that the east part will revive my body memory of years of zen meditation (rinzai school, thank you very much), and the west part will center me in Jesus.

It should be noted that the last time I did this kind of thing was a week-long sesshin (zen meditation retreat, heavy on the meditation) on a mountain. I spent much of the time throwing up from the stress; I'm hoping that body memory isn't revived.

I'm also hoping that a week of spiritual bootcamp will help me build a stronger meditation and prayer practice. Or build one at all. I remember having a meditation practice, doing yoga regularly, writing consistently in my journal. Somewhere along the line, as Sally points out, the job overtook the discipleship. I've written about this before in this blog, and it's still sometimes true. It is fully my fault: any job and its correlating activity is easier for me than quiet sitting in the presence of God (and in the presence of all my yammering "shoulda woulda coulda" voices).

But that's the baseline -- sitting in the presence of God. Not just because the sitting trains us for the standing and the doing, but because the sitting is, in itself, good. Because God talks to us in the silence when we finally run out of words.

I figure that spending five days on semi-silent retreat will exhaust the words, or at least give God some elbow room between them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You say these things just to make me feel better, right? You laugh when I tell you I pray most often while driving, but I bet my fellow drivers benefit unknowingly.
Find a home in the silences.