There is still beauty

IMG_4719In this moment, I am thinking of the ways to call my attention back to love and compassion. I continue to work at a hospital based drug/alcohol center and there is a quote I often encourage our clients to return to when the world feels overwhelming: “He/she who conquers him/herself is greater than he/she who conquers a city.”

I can’t fix the fear and grief COVID 19 is creating now. But I can still my mind, align myself with the deep flow of love and beauty that is always happening in the world, I can use this time to deepen my relationship with the sacred. I don’t do this as a form of navel gazing, but as a way to strengthen my spirit for the work that is before me and the work that is ahead. So I am turning to ways to face my fears (of losing loved ones, of economic insecurity, of the grief of losing a sense of safety and normalcy) and prepare for the work of resurrection (since it’s the Easter season).

To me, the meaning of faith is about continuing to act in love and compassion (for self and others) when you’re surrounded and seduced by despair. It’s not easy.

A few things that are helping: keeping a daily gratitude list, in the evenings writing down something that made me feel wonder, and spending time immersing myself in art. Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet always draws me back to deeper wisdom. Nightly I offer a moment of love, by remembering all those who have touched my life, by saying their names and thinking of them. When I wash my hands, I pray for my clients to find recovery, even now.

ITW is doing some ongoing programming — I know we’re all probably sick of zoom meetings, but if you’d like a little more e-contact, check out the programs below and join in.

Gratitude Practice

Just pop over to our Gratitude FB list and post your daily gratitude list.

I’ve written a couple of blog posts on gratitude over the years. When Gratitude Feels like Bullshit or Gratitude and Depression.

Even better, check out Ross Gay’s Thank You or Kate Dicamillo’s beautiful kid’s book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Or, look at dogs.

Psalm Study

**Special Passover edition of ITW’s psalm meditation group will feature Bay Area spiritual director Karen Ehrlichman leading on Psalm 118. Join us on 4.8.20 at 7-7:30 am at the link below.

Join Into the Wilderness for meditation. Meeting weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:00-7:30 am (Pacific) for psalm study. On Fridays, join us for guided metta practice.  Log in here:

Daily Flash Text Prayers 

To receive a daily advent prayer via text, text JOIN to (844) 215-9703 

Basically, once you join you will receive a short daily prayer at a random time of the day. Let prayer enter in at unexpected moments and let it be an invitation to stop, to breathe, to experience the Holy in the moment. More.

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