beloved life practices 40: carry peace with you

POEM: REACH OUT YOU CRAZY PEACEMAKER

Reach out beyond what you know
breathe deep into your night fears
and test your ancient-people memories.
Traverse the borders of your tribe
scale the cold face of your doubts
refuse to be walled-in by the hate stories 
and shake off the assumptions you have made.
Reach out you crazy peacemaker 
and shine...

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

 

REFLECTION: ‘Carry Peace With You is the practice of bringing peace wherever we go. To do this it’s vital that we ourselves are people of peace! Words of peace matter but they are only made real through the peaceful, peaceable and peace-making behavior of which they speak. So peace needs to be nurtured within us. Our peace-intention needs to become peace-making. Like so many practices for a better world in Running Over Rocks this can be costly. Sometimes the story of mistrust between two people, two groups, two teams or two religions can run so deep that peace seems impossible. This kind of scenario almost always requires someone to break ranks, to stretch out the hand of peace (even when they are not the instigators of the breakdown)…’

beloved life: carry peace with you
beloved life: carry peace with you

PRACTICE: ‘A good place to begin this practice is to discover some kind of greeting or gesture (or both) that you can embrace that conveys peace (whether that word is used or not). As with any other gesture-practice such as one that you may use for the practice Fight Dragons, with Humility it’s really important for your words and gestures to be true to who you are, and to ring true in your context. An authentic peace greeting may be a first small step towards a peaceful world…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around the 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!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

morning bell: a world filled with light

This new series of Morning Bell – a world filled with light – draws again on the theme of the Transfiguration. We make no apology for staying with this great (but often neglected) festival of the Church. At a time when it seems that there is so much darkness around, the Transfiguration reminds us that there is also, always and forever, light! And that the Christ calls us to be people of light…

Transfiguration 8

The text in this series comes from the Festal Menaion of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The wording is traditional – taking us back deep into the life and belief of the community that emerged around the person and memory of Jesus. The Orthodox have never forgotten the Transfiguration, recognising the hope offered by this episode, and the implications for the way in which we may now live. The beautiful images are from a series taken this summer in Morocco by Edinburgh-based photographer Abigail Robertson.

Grace and peace to you
Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

 

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 39: be with the forgotten

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.                                                                                             

REFLECTION: ‘By definition the forgotten people – forgotten around the world and forgotten in your street – are not remembered. As they grow human societies have always run the risk of remembering only the remembered and forgetting the forgotten. The practice ofBe With the Forgotten is a reorientation not just of our thoughts, ideas and priorities (although it includes all of those) but of our presence. It’s not just a call to remember the forgotten but to be with the forgotten. Remembering needs to be touched, it needs to be tasted, it needs to be felt. This is a practice that looks to bring peace to the world by uniting the forgotten with the remembered so that increasingly all are remembered…’

beloved life: be with the forgotten
beloved life: be with the forgotten

PRACTICE: ‘In almost every area of your life there will be people who have found themselves consigned to (or who have taken themselves to) the edge of memory or beyond it. Every day we have a choice to be part of their forgetting or a part of their remembering. Which path might we choose today? Make it your practice to regularly sit (or stand or walk or run or eat or drink) with the people in your context who everyone else ignores – as well as doing the same with the remembered…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around the 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!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

morning bell: Unfurling Devotions

 

This new series of Morning Bell offers some of the Haiku* poems series called Devotions in Unfurling. These short poems have emerged from my own experience of attempting to be still,  to be present and to pray. I think of this as a daily practice of devotion to the presence of God and to the essence of being human.  Most of the time this practice of devotion feels very ordinary; it often feels tough; and is just occasionally blissful.  I hope that you will enjoy spending time in the company of these poems, and be curious  about whatever unfurls…

*Haiku = a poetic form originating in Japan. The traditional Haiku – to which I find myself increasingly drawn – has a technical aspect (lines and syllables) but also a beautiful way of engaging with the natural world. 

morning bell: Unfurling Devotions
morning bell: Unfurling Devotions

The images are all photographs taken in summer close to where we live in South Devon. Wherever you are may they open up the wonder of your setting…

Grace and peace to you

Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

Unfurling cover final - Version 3

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 38: Speak Up! Speak Out!

POEM: ONE HUNDRED MILLION SEEDS

The boy who played on a dirt cave floor
has been walled up.
The man who wove a bird’s nest for the world
has been taken away.
The sower who sowed one hundred million seeds
has been concealed.
Without tools, far from sunlight, away from rain
in hard ground.

So they came for the gardener
in the end
as they always do:
too close to the earth
too familiar with buds
too conscious of spring

But the dirt will sing out
and the flowers will bear witness
and one hundred million seeds will shout his name
Ai Weiwei!
Ai Weiwei!
Ai Weiwei!

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

REFLECTION: “If you don’t act the danger becomes stronger.” / “Once you’ve experienced [freedom], it remains in your heart.”  –  Ai Wei Wei in the 2012 movie ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ directed by Alison Klayman

‘Our part in creating a path to a more just world can and must begin here and now. It’s time to Speak Up! Speak out! It’s time to tell the truth to power. And there have never been so many accessible ways to do this. The social media are changing the way that movements for justice can build momentum. The situation for which you seek justice may be five minutes walk from you door. It may also be 5000 miles away. It could be both. And you can be involved. It’s at your fingertips…’

beloved life: speak up! speak out!
beloved life: speak up! speak out!

PRACTICE: ‘Our capacity as human beings for creating injustice seems to be unlimited. The boulder field of injustice stretches beyond our sight. On the other hand our capacity to Speak Up! Speak Out! feels limited. Because of this dilemma this practice needs to be lived alongside other practices like Find your stillpoint and Live from your joy. The fight against injustice is all the more effective whenever it takes shape within people who have come to recognize their own imbalances, who carry a strong personal sense of peace, and who are already living a life of justice. In this context the struggle against injustice just becomes a natural part of who we are. The successes in the fight don’t define us, the losses don’t deter us. This gives us space to breathe. We can’t sign up for every struggle. But we can Speak Up! Speak Out! for the struggles into which we are called…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around the 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!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 37: Namaste (I see the light in you)

 

REFLECTION: ‘You are amazing. I know it’s rude to stare, but it’s hard to tear myself away. Namaste* (I see the light in you!) You are full of light. This practice of bringing peace is about seeing the wonder in another person. It’s about recognizing their extraordinary being, and sensing that this is so mysterious and so good and so potentially peaceful that we might even say that it’s about coming to recognize the divine nature of every human being that we meet.  [*Namaste – a greeting from the Indian subcontinent meaning something like ‘I reverence you’]…

beloved life: namaste
beloved life: namaste

PRACTICE: ‘One way into the practice of Namaste (I see the light in you!) is to nurture an awareness of how you are seeing others. Try to catch yourself whenever you are making an assumption about someone, and therefore potentially when you are judging them (another of Jesus’s teachings focusses specifically on the damage caused by judging others). This can be alarming. You’ll soon realize how frequently you are looking for the small darknesses in others, not seeing their greater light. But with persistence and practice you will find that by catching yourself you can stop that judging process, and exchange it for a seeing-with-mercy, embodying the love that is already moving towards the other…’

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

Look out for short daily posts around the 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!

Unfurling cover final - Version 3
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

morning bell: Transfiguration

 

This week we celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration – often neglected in the West but remembered and celebrated in Eastern / Orthodox Christianity as being full of gift for the Church and for the world. In this story from the Gospels the man Jesus, in light and glory, is revealed as divine. In this moment we also glimpse the light and glory of the cosmos, and – amazingly – our own becoming-divine…

 

morning bell: Transfiguration
morning bell: Transfiguration

I created this series of images from some photos I took a few years ago of beautiful sculptures by Peter Eugene Ball.  May this season reveal its giftedness to you…

Grace and peace to you
Ian

There are various additional ways to access Morning Bell each day:

Tumblr / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Flickr / Eyeem

 

Unfurling cover final - Version 3

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

Read More

beloved life practices 36: re-imagine the world

 

REFLECTION: ‘The prophets are on the streets. And they are proclaiming that ‘another world is possible’. This tagline of the Occupy London site at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2011 would have been recognized by the prophets of the Jewish scriptures. The way things are is not the way things always need to be. There are other possibilities! And we can begin to change the world through our imaginations. Not imagining as pretending, but imagining as thinking, as believing, as yearning, as praying and as acting, bringing into being something new…’

beloved life: re-imagine the world
beloved life: re-imagine the world

PRACTICE: ‘So how do we work out what we could or should be doing to Re-imagine the World? There may need to be an element of self-education here. We may need to engage with the media to understand the issues that are around. If you do that don’t rely on one source of news alone. Research the different views present in the media, see what’s getting covered (or missed) in social media, and if the issue has a local aspect try to engage with it on the ground where you are. Also take time to ponder on whatever your own story may be telling you. How might your life journey to this point have prepared you for a particular cause? What are you being called to do and to be as a joyful re-imaginer in tough times – bringing flowers and faces, stars and traces of light to your street? Let’s Re-imagine the World!’

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

Look out for short daily posts around the 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!

Unfurling cover final - Version 3
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository with free delivery world-wide.

 

Read More