beloved life practices 7: love the manual task

 

REFLECTION: ‘One aspect of our disconnection from the earth and from our own bodies is the loss, for many of us, of our connection to manual work. Of course few of us would welcome a life of tough manual labour. And it’s good that human ingenuity has meant that many of the most repetitive, tough and dangerous tasks are now done by machines. But perhaps we’ve lost something if we rarely have the opportunity to engage in a manual task, and to give the task our attention, our care, even our devotion…’

 

beloved life: love the manual task
beloved life: love the manual task

 

PRACTICE: Love the Manual Task is about reconnecting ourselves with physical work. Like many of the practices and stances in Running Over Rocks this has its beginnings in the way that we see things. Stacking wood, lighting the fire, or putting out the bins will each just be more tasks to be done and finished as fast as possible unless we learn to see and sense the worth, dignity and possibility in each task. So whatever the manual task that needs doing today, give it your attention. Sense the dignity of the task and the importance of doing it well. Allow the act to become a wordless prayer, entering into the earthy at-oneness of all things. Sense mind and body, task and thought coming together…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

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beloved life practices 4: keep festival (live the season)

 

REFLECTION: ‘The unstoppable nature of the seasons make clear that there is a bigger picture than our own concerns. We can become so concerned with the detail of our own lives that we lose sight of the wider patterns of which we are (amazingly, mysteriously) a part. Patterns of change and growth, of rising and falling, of greeting and farewell…

 

beloved life: keep festival (live the season)
beloved life: keep festival (live the season)

 

PRACTICE: The practice of Keep Festival (Live the Season) is about embracing the seasons and their changing. If we can enter winter with joy we’ll have a chance of navigating life’s winter seasons well. A way into this is simply to do the things that the season seems to call for. To truly mark, celebrate and live the season. So when the cold of winter arrives, take joy in making a fire. When spring shows its face, begin something new, a way for you to echo the emergence of new life from a dormant landscape…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

 

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morning bell: love light, love love

 

One of our patron saints in Beloved Life is undoubtedly St John of the Cross. The spirituality and hospitality of the Carmelites have been foundational for us, and the writings of this extraordinary 16th century Spanish Carmelite friar continue to provoke and inspire us in our attempts to explore the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition. St John’s spirituality is a passionate spirituality, full of love and desire for God. It is also earthy and demanding, familiar with suffering, darkness and descent. As we continue through the waiting time of Advent towards the Nativity of the Christ this series of the daily morning bell – ‘love light, love love’ – will be shaped around phrases of St John from his ‘Sayings of Light and Love’.

 

morning bell: 'love light, love love' series
morning bell: ‘love light, love love’ series

 

We are delighted to be partnering in this series with artist and friend Sam Gingell.  Sam is inspired by the vast skies and diverse landscapes of Devon and responds with the vibrant and versatile properties of acrylics and oil on canvas. We sense that Sam’s art will prove to be an inspiring setting for the mystical wisdom of St John of the Cross. May Sam’s paintings and the words of St John be a gift to you…

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beloved life practices 3: close up (terra divina)

 

REFLECTION: ‘Consider the lilies of the field’ said Jesus, teaching that if we can learn to give close attention to the natural world around us a new way of seeing all of life may emerge. We’ll get a new perspective. This process begins physically (simply but amazingly) – by getting out in the natural world, which comes full of gift, offering wisdom and insight…

 

beloved life: close up (terra divina)
beloved life: close up (terra divina)

 

PRACTICE: As you engage in your practice of Walk the Good Earth experiment with the four steps of Close-Up (Earth Divina). Here they are in short-form…

1. Let your attention be caught. This may be a gift.
2. Ask yourself: what has caught my attention – and why might this be a gift?
3. Allow whatever has caught your attention to carry your prayers or yearnings.
4. Finally, let go of whatever has caught your attention, enjoy the possibility of sacred presence…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

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beloved life practices 2: walk the good earth

REFLECTION: ‘There are many and undoubted benefits in the way we live now, but we have paid a heavy price for them. One of the costliest losses has been our widespread disconnection from the earth that nurtures us and from the creatures and life forms that share the planet with us… We can and must take our place again in companionship with the astonishing blue-green planet in a spirit of humility, love and ingenuity. Whenever we engage in practices that remind us that we are Earth-People we will rediscover who we are and connect more deeply into the nature and mystery of existence itself, its patterns of flowering and fading, of death-seed and resurrection-shoot…

beloved life: walk the good earth
beloved life: walk the good earth

PRACTICE: You may prefer to run the good earth, or cycle the good earth. You might only able to sit on the good earth. Whatever your preference, the core of the practice is the same: to discover a way to be with the earth. To be out in the natural world. To find your place in the landscape. To enter again into local relationship with the planet and its creatures…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around this week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

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