Saturday, May 23, 2009

The God Hole

Emptiness. We fear it. Constantly, we run around and try to fill the empty places; in our homes, in our mind, in our bodies. We smoke to fill it. We drink to fill it. We do drugs to fill it. We shop, work, play endless video games to fill it. Instead of filling this void, we should run to it.

In the emptiness is where God is hiding.

One of my teachers in seminary called it our “God Hole.” I love that. God Hole. It is the way that God communicates with us; it is where we return when we die. It is the space in between our spaces. We all have these empty places, but we fear them. Because we fear the unknown, and in this God hole we know nothing for sure; we are nothing. Can you think of anything that terrifies you more than to be nothing?

In meditation, I try to reach that place all the time, but I loose consciousness before I get there, because if I allow myself to go there, I will see that I am nothing. I am a thought or an idea in the mind of God. I am a manifestation of this thought. Is that what I’m trying to say? I’m not entirely sure, because what I am trying to convey is beyond rational thought and beyond the rational mind.

For many years I have known that if I am struggling with something, like painting, all I need do is to take a nap and the inspiration will come. Come from where? It comes from my God Hole. I have to get out of the way of me, for me to receive this inspiration. My ego, our egos get in the way of our God Hole all the time. Our ego needs to be something, to have autonomy, to make a difference. Our egos enable us to get up in the morning. Without an ego, we would all just sit in bed, if we had a bed. Without an ego we wouldn’t care about anything. Therefore, we need our ego, but, our ego keeps us separate; from each other and from God.

In reality, we can never be separate from God because we are all walking around with this God Hole that keeps us permanently attached to the source of our being. We are never separate from each other either. We are one being. Our God Holes are all connected directly to the Divine. Each of us is playing a part in the name of God.

There seems to be patterns in everything in creation. The veins in a leaf echo the veins in my hands. The cells of my body are like the stars in the universe. Atoms are much like solar systems. Patterns that are successful are repeated and redesigned for different functions. There is a symmetry to the universe, if we understand one pattern then perhaps we might understand more of them. I don’t know, maybe I am just talking through my hat, but it seems to me that if God uses a delivery system like veins in a leaf and then uses a similar delivery system in our bodies, then perhaps there are other delivery system that we might understand.

One pattern that we all share, at least here on earth is the breath. All of life breathes. It is an exchange of air, good air in, bad air out. It’s universal, right? There is a pattern to out breath, much like the waves of the ocean; yet no two waves or breaths are a like. Right now… all of the earth is breath. It is a great wind. The Navajo have a prayer about the breath and the wind. How each has always blown, our ancestor breathed until they died and we have continued their breath. I like that imagery.

We are God. We are the physical manifestation of God. We are connected directly to God through our God Hole. The next time you reach for a bowl of ice cream or spend two hours playing Slingo, ask yourself if you are just filling your God Hole to keep from feeling this void. Next time try to sit with the emptiness and see if you can perceive that small still voice within.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I woke up this morning and the reality that school is all but over and now what hit me like a ton of bricks. I will be ordained in a month. Me a minister, it seems strange and scary to even think about it. Feelings of deep unworthiness cling to me. Their tendrils are in every pore of my being.

My classmates seem to have it all together. Their sails are set and they are going to do great things, but I am trapped in all my old stuff. Isn’t it amazing how you can work and struggle to get past all of this crap and then in the blink of an eye it all comes back to smack you in the face? This morning it seems insane that I am going to be a minister… a minister of what… to whom? My days are filled with caring and cooking for my father. There is so little time for me. I move through my day from one task to the next and it seems that I can only steal a moment or two to do for me. Sometimes a shower is all the pampering I receive.

I haven’t posted for a while because since February I just haven’t had the time. I know that is just an excuse and I am whining, but the truth of it is that life took hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I spent six weeks with my father in the hospital and in a nursing home and then the past month juggling appointments with doctors and visiting nurses passing through all day. It has been busy. The good that has emerged is that we are closer and I have compassion for him now, which I never did. He wasn’t a very good father, he let me hang while my mother treated me so badly. I always resented that. He stood by and did nothing. But, that is the past and I don’t dwell there anymore. He loves me and I love him, and somehow our history just makes it all more complicated and yet more poignant.

In the midst of all my personal drama with my living situation, I managed to volunteer at Hospice and I love working there. I think I will stay for some time. I have a patient that I minister to, Marjory. She is a little old lady, not as old as my father, but far more frail. She is dying. I read the bible to her and I talk of Jesus with her. Each time I go I need to explain who I am and that’s okay. It’s not about me, is it? It’s about her. I love going to her, she gives me peace. I pray that I give her something too. I am going to see her today, I promised that I would read the Sermon On The Mount to her the next time I came.

Beyond my whining and deep feelings of insecurity and unworthiness, which I have come to know as my biggest block to enlightenment, life has been good. Jon is changing jobs, for the better, I hope. The money isn’t quite the same, but hopefully we will gain in peace and more time together. We bought a boat, which will probably end up being an albatross. Projects are not our strong suit, but time and time again, Jon thinks they are. I like where the boat is and we have a great slip, so at least it will be a place to go and enjoy the sunset. I’m glad that he has something to intrigue him.

India is becoming a reality. My visa is on its way. After Mercury is out of retrograde, we are going to purchase the tickets. Martha and I are planning on coming back as enlightened Barbie dolls. We are going to wade in the Ganga at Benares, stay at Sai Baba’s ashram, and meditate in a cave with a dead Hindu saint. How can we not be enlightened? I am terrified, repulsed, excited and thrilled to be going.

So, change is in the air; ordination, boats, jobs, dying people, Mercury is in retrograde. What does it all mean… I haven’t a clue. I know that all I can do is live my life moment to moment. My ministry will unfold as it is meant to unfold. Hospice holds the promise of being something more. Perhaps I will be a dean’s assistant next year, I applied and I think I will be accepted. I want to keep my connection with One Spirit, for me it is a life line to a community that I ordinarily wouldn’t have. I minister to Marjory, and in a fashion, I minister to my father. For now it is enough.