Sunday, October 26, 2014

...and they fed us with spiritual food!  Eating Ethiopian near Emory University.  
Yesterday along with the Canterbury Club from Middle Georgia State College, I visited the Wat Lao Buddhist Temple in Atlanta.  My intention as advisor to the club was to promote listening as a path to spirituality.  I like the “Columban” (St. Colm Cille) posture promoted by our Bishop in Savannah, that of working or walking side-by-side, shoulders rubbing, rather than standing face-to-face to engage in a “let me tell you”.   Answering questions is more suitable to me than a mission to “tell”; if asked a question it seems OK to attempt to make an answer.  The barrier to spirituality might be this, that some people seek out opportunities for telling a lot about their religion, as if they have one, including a message about its “rightness”, and thereby leave no time for listening.  It occurs to me that such attempts at telling a lot end up telling very little.  It is a dry crust, a brittle shell.  The wet kernel is never touched.  Eventually, it is absent altogether.  Telling the told answer to a math problem is not the same as knowing how to arrive at the answer oneself.  Process trumps product.  An a priori eagerness for telling or preaching leaves little time for questioning or thinking.  Here today we looked at the model of a boat in front of the Wat Lao Temple and learning about the Buddhist concept of “the journey”.  Involving thinking about Buddhist teachings.  Meditation, letting go, centering.  If preaching is a political act, and I think it is, then listening might be a spiritual one.  So we did some of that today, and talked a lot about it over coffee later in the afternoon.   So everyone took a bit of a ‘journey” today.  And a long step toward authenticity.   And had a good day.

Well, I thought I thought I might chance to find a ‘jumping off point’ that worked for me here, at the Cathedral. I was looking for the original of the Canterbury Cross and some context for it.  I found it, and some context, at the City of Canterbury Museum.  And I found some time for quiet reflection at St Dunstan’s imagining Henry II’s penance for the murder of Thomas Beckett over at the Cathedral.  And St. Thomas More’s head is here, I should note.  Tangible evidence of things said to have happened.  And then I was on my way.  After a  time of that pensive inertia, eyes wide to the blue sky, a time of bent-kneed momentum down a path. I sense movement that may lead obscurely to the meadow of the green man in spring, with the statue of marble and gold.  A vale of truth and discovery.  But it's the journey, not the destination, that holds the gold!