• Eirenicole

Eirenicole

mindful living | mindful leading
Teaching Collaborative Leadership and Life Balance Through Spiritual Mindfulness Practices
Art of Peace
Art of Peace 2050 1920 Nicole

Art of Peace

Jesus heals the royal official’s son and the paralytic to coax their faith, walk them through the process, inviting them into the movements of belief; called them to participate with him (make peace of their relationship) in the healing – to believe …“in Jesus as God’s Word Made Flesh—God’s embodied sacramental presence tent-pitched in the world so that those who believe in him are empowered to become ‘children of God.’”
The two men who both experience Jesus’ healing power, do what they’re told. And in that process, in the doing, they are healed. It is a physical, bodily action, enacting their faith that Jesus’ command elicits. Not to prove himself, to perform a sign, wonders, but tease out the faith he knew these two individuals held, germinating within. No one else would be able to see that but Jesus. Just as I could not see whether my seed was germinating – but, in faith (desperate, on the brink of humiliation before my Trustees) I nudged the mulch and continued caring for them.
The way of peace is not inert – it is active. To walk in the way of peace, faith is a prerequisite. It absolutely does not look the same from one person to the next.
The paralytic had to actually try and stand up. The official had to 1st notice Jesus, then perform an act below his social station, 3rd, follow Jesus’ command by starting home believing his son will be healed, and finally confirm the healing occurred when Jesus spoke those words of healing. It didn’t happen all at once. It was a process.
And what happens? Peace is brought to his home – they ALL believe! because this royal official came to his senses, moved with Jesus through the process of belief.
It’s always process, evolving – creative. And isn’t that what healing is all about? Recreating that which is ailing?: the body, a relationship, a system?
“Tell all the truth but tell it slant”… bit by bit, or it might blind us to ALL the truth. What is the truth Jesus is calling you to today? How is Jesus coaxing you to relationship, to move in faith along the way of Peace? To what creative process is your spirit germinating, ready to press aside the bits that attempt to suffocate, but persist, so full of life, potential blooms, ready to flourish?

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Art of Contemplation 1
Art of Contemplation 2050 1920 Nicole

Art of Contemplation

Lent is a little bit like the pregnancy-birth process. It is a time of waiting, growing something important inside. A mother I needed a partner to take months paying attention to my breathing, my movements; notice signs of distress, to encourage with images of riding the wave of each contraction, and feel the distress each time I believes I would be crushed, drown under the force of it. Practicing contemplating all that is me – the one growing our child within – we grow to know each other more deeply, intimately, and trust each other in/for the process.
In silence and contemplation, we find the space to recreate perspective, so Judgement is no longer something we need fear, but an invitation to discernment, “a growing awareness of how God engages us.” It’s all about our relationships.
In today’s reading, Jesus encounters another woman. This time a stranger, and a Samaritan, and pulling water from the well at mid-day (avoiding the usual times a woman should), whom he ought never approach, let alone accept a drink. And he says, “woman….”
In the case of his mother, they knew each other. Taking a moment of silence, a bit of time to come to her senses, Jesus’ respectful, intimate call for her attention was more than enough.
For the woman at the well, more time was needed. She had an impressive amount of information about worship practices. Like Nicodemus – though certainly not as elaborate – she was well taught the promise of a Messiah to come. She was open to belief, but needed more time contemplating this possibility. Time with Jesus. Talking with others. Testing her faith: “Could he be?”
The woman at the well is unnamed and unknown to Jesus on meeting. When Jesus says, “Woman…” gunē, in the vocative, direct, as if already in relationship, she pauses (as Mary did at the wedding) and then she opens her soul to Jesus. The respect and dignity he offers this woman by addressing her with this word elicits a trust, a hint of the kind of relationship she tried so hard to find – and failed – in her 5 previous marriages and current partner.
She opens her soul to Jesus and is delighted, giddy with the revelation of what relationship is meant to be like – to be known and to be loved. To be loved in the knowing.
To believe this, to understand and experience a reality of relating with God through Christ in the Spirit, we absolutely must first come to our sense. Be still. Be silent. And contemplate. Accept this profound love by being known; know in the loving.
May you contemplate your relationship with Jesus this week. Open your soul to Jesus. Be known and loved; love and know in return. And ride the waves of such exposure that threaten to crush, drown under the force of it.

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Art of Silence
Art of Silence 2050 1920 Nicole

Art of Silence

Silence is hard. Silence leaves us vulnerable to deeper, darker thoughts. But we cannot hear anything if we don’t listen. And it is only when we are willing to meet whatever it is we find in that silence – in all of its sometimes frightening discomfort – watered by our attention – that something might grow out of the deep, dark, and clumpy soil.
When Jesus responds to Mary during the wedding at the Cana, “Woman…” there is something so intimate about that. Jesus is saying, “Woman, individual, human of great worth, you matter to me – listen.” And Mary does pause. She seems to take a breath and center on Jesus’ words, Jesus’ presence in that time-space. And this moment of being silent in Jesus’ presence brings Mary to herself, to the reality that all will be well. Timeless. Suspended senses.
And in the 2nd story, again, there is frenzy – of buying and selling animals that will be used for sacrificial rituals. But they have missed the point entirely. They are trying to do everything they can to keep the synagogue running in the way that others are doing it, to do worship just like all the other synagogues in town. And Jesus had to tear the place apart before they would stop and listen and notice. God incarnate. Jesus, in their midst.
And it is all for the disciples – so that they would believe Jesus was who he said he was. So they would listen, be silent, stop making assumptions, but truly hear.
The “unreflective practice” with the wedding and at the temple, speaks to the economic, political and religious. When rituals and ceremonies are practiced without reflection, without pause, silence – when we are overwhelmed by entering these rituals in a manner that everyone else is compelled to do, we miss the point entirely. And we reveal our lack of faith, our belief that Jesus is who he says he is.
We need silence. We need to be still. We need to listen to the heart of God – in our particular situation. Notice. Look again. Discern that which is going on here. Not blaming others, not judging – God is the one who has the capacity to pass judgment – but discerning. And it can be scary, even terrifying. Because in my solitude I have to ask, What is my part in all of this?
Let us notice that which is within rather than the flower that will wilt and crumble. Let us dig deep into the dry clumpy soil and tend it, water it. Let us first be silent, even jolted out of our frenzied worry and turn our face to Jesus – and believe.
May we recreate a perspective unique to us, to our situation in silence. It’s an art from: the art of silence.

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  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is confidence. Our meditation for today is entitled, “A Bright Fortress,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Seaside Residence II, 1994, Pia Stern. It’s about a 7-minute listen. Feat @bradandslim Link in bio 
#BrightFortress #lent #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is confidence. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Courage,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Gilles, 1721, Jean-Antoine Watteau. It’s about a 7 - minute listen. feat @__riceboii  link in bio
#lent #courage #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is confidence. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Joyful Confidence,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Diana the Huntress, c.1550, School of Fontainebleau. It’s about a 7 1/2 - minute listen.
#joyfulconfidence #lent #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • Finally! Taking advantage of #shelterinplace order by practicing what I preach: #doingartinplace with @greersnyder 🧡
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Beyond Experience,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, White Clematis, 1887, Claude Monet. It's about a 7 1/2-minute listen - and a treat from @insecureasiankid !
#beyondexperience #lent #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Radiant Truth,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Pink Bowl With Green Grapes, 1992, Craigie Aitchison. It's about a 7 1/2-minute listen. 
#radianttruth #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Lost in Time,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Children on the Seashore, Guernsey, 1883?, Auguste Renoir. It's about a 7-minute listen
#lostintime #lent #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Embracing Joy,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, By Moonlight, 1994, by Margaret Neve. It's about a 7-minute listen.
#embracingjoy #lent #shelterinplace while #prayingtogether
  • For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is Joy. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Joy in Infancy,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Baby in Red Chair, c.1810-30, by unknown artist. It’s about a 7-minute listen.
#lent #joyininfancy #prayingtogether while #socialdistancing
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