beloved life practices 44: pilgrimage (on the road)

 

REFLECTION: ‘Pilgrimage is a physical journey made with spiritual intention. And it’s this mix of physicality and spirituality that makes the practice of pilgrimage such a vital one in the tradition. Physical capability is not enough on pilgrimage. Belief alone is not enough. Experience on its own won’t carry us through. Even desire is not enough. Rather it’s in the coming together of all these characteristics of what it means to be human in the world that make a pilgrimage experience and enable it to shape us for good. The physical journey begins to reveals something of our greater journeys though life. And the questions raised by the physical journey begin to work on us…’

beloved life: pilgrimage (on the road)
beloved life: pilgrimage (on the road)

PRACTICE: ‘The first stage of the practice On the Road is a commitment to live with the spirit of pilgrimage. To become willing to see your life right now as a journey, to travel light, to commit to learning from whatever happens on the way, to keep going. And to be changed. The second stage involves making a pilgrimage in the ancient Jesus tradition…’

©Ian Adams ‘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: with angels

 

This new series of Morning Bell is for the Feast of St Michael & All Angels. In the ancient and unfolding Jesus tradition the presence of angels is a quiet but consistent theme. In this brief series we are pondering biblical references to angels, and wondering how their presence and nature might shape our stillness and movement, our prayer and action…

morning bell: with angels
morning bell: with angels

The pictures for this series were all taken this year in the city of Oxford.

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 43: eucharist (taste paradise)

 

REFLECTION: ‘Welcome to paradise!’ is not the usual greeting at the beginning of any Eucharist. But I believe that it (or something like it) could have been the greeting at any time in the first thousand years of the life of the Church, and it could be so again. The Eucharist – the Mass, the Holy Communion, the Lord’s Supper, the Breaking of Bread – is perhaps the central and defining act of communal Christian worship and spirituality across the main traditions and denominations. To share in the Eucharist (which means ‘Thanksgiving’) is to enter a joyful feast that reveals the connection and goodness of humanity, earth and God…’

 

beloved life: eucharist (taste paradise)
beloved life: eucharist (taste paradise)

PRACTICE: ‘The Eucharist both symbolizes and mediates (discloses, makes real, enables) in a particular space and in a particular moment what is going on everywhere all the time – our deep at-oneness with God. If you share in the practice of the Eucharist let the paradise of the Eucharistic kiss reveal the depth of divine love for you,  and let it awaken your own instinctive (but sometimes forgotten) all-the-time love for God.

If this tradition is new to you a way into a practice of Eucharist (taste paradise) that draws on the tradition’s spirit is to open up your table. Invite some friends and their friends to a meal. Be ready to include someone you don’t know well. Breakfast can be a great meal to do this – there’s much less pressure to produce something astonishing, and there’s great precedent in the tradition for this. This meal, you may discover, can be full of the eucharistic spirit – a place of thanksgiving, a taste of paradise, an hospitable home-coming, an experience of presence…’

©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: haiku Beatitudes – 10 songs for a new world

 

This new series of Morning Bell works with the poem series called Haiku Beatitudes: 10 songs for a new world in Unfurling. These short poems are meditations on the Beatitudes – the famous sayings of the teacher Jesus that seem to be at the very heart of his wisdom for the world.  The Beatitudes are always challenging, often turning accepted wisdom upside down. How for example, could it be that the poor in spirit, or those who mourn, or the meek be blessed? They are also full of hope, pointing to a new world that is being called into being within us and around us.  We encourage you to spend time in the company of these poems, and be curious  about whatever unfurls. You might also like to go the Beatitudes themselves – see chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel .

UnfBeatitudes FLYER_4

Jesus is recorded by Matthew as having taught the Beatitudes in the open air, on hill tops. We can imagine his followers sitting around him, and a wider crowd of curious people standing around. The images are all taken one weekend this summer in South Devon.

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 42: become the deep change

 

POEM: LIGHT A CANDLE (TO START A FIRE)

You could take a sledge-hammer to this place.
You could begin to knock it down.
And drag the furniture into the street.
Build a pyre. Pour on petrol.
Then light a great fire.
Stand well back. 
And see it burn.

Or you could light a candle. 
You could put it in a jar.
And carry it with you to your neighbour.
Ask your neighbour to do the same.
Then move in close. 
And find yourself
all flame. 

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

 

REFLECTION: ‘How does the world get changed for better? Most big changes comes in small steps, through unseen experiments, and from intuitive innovations. The practice of Become the Deep Change is about embracing a life of depth – being willing to be low-profile, even at times hidden from sight, unconcerned for any fluctuations in standing, popularity or honour. It’s also about seeking depth in the sense of weight, character and long-term commitment – the opposite of being shallow, bland, manipulative or fickle. But perhaps most importantly it’s about embodying the change we seek…’

beloved life: become the deep change
beloved life: become the deep change

 

PRACTICE: ‘What might happen if we commit to nurturing low-profile ways of life in which bringing goodness is the main priority, regardless of reputation, status or success? This practice will involve us in a practice of resistance and imagination. The arguments will need to be made – our work, if you like. But just as important will be the way that we imagine and then embody alternative possibilities, laughing as we refuse to accept the unacceptable, joyfully offering other possibilities. A way into this practice: decide to do something good every day this week, whether or not anyone will see it being done. Become the Deep Change!

©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 41: choose courageous

REFLECTION: ‘Sooner or later in every human life, there comes a moment, a day or a season when it’s clear that only courage will see us through. This is part of the earthy reality of what it means to be human. And deciding to Choose Courageous in the face of immense difficulty is part of the key to discovering peace for ourselves, and thus key to the bringing of peace to the world around us. The ability to make this choice is deep within all of us. It’s not about having no fear. That would be unreal and foolish. Our sense of fear is there to protect us, and in some situations flight from fear is absolutely the right thing to do. The problem is that fear can begin to characterize how we view the world, everything that we do, and even what we become…’

beloved life: choose courageous
beloved life: choose courageous

PRACTICE: ‘The practice of Choose Courageous is about learning to accept our fear and finding what we need to continue along the good path that offers itself to us. Like most of the practices in Running Over Rocks this practice is grounded in self-awareness. Try to notice the next situation, choice or dilemma in which a courageous response might be an option for you. Catch yourself beginning to make a decision. Ask yourself: What might be the truly courageous option here? What might doing the right thing look like? And so may you Choose Courageous and may the world be changed…’

©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