• Eirenicole

Beyond Experience

Beyond Experience 1080 1080 Nicole

To be eirenic is to be aimed at peace, oriented toward reconciliation. As a centering prayer I have adopted the prayer attributed to St. Frances, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. So, that is why I call my website Eirenicole – a composite of eirenic and Nicole.

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. The image is included in the post for this podcast, and accompanies the places where this is posted. If you do not have access to the photo, but do have access to internet, you can google “White Clematis, 1887, Claude Monet.”

So as you settle in your space, pay attention to your breathing.

Notice your breath as it passes in through your nose, out through your mouth.

Pay attention, slowing your breath a bit.

Welcome the stillness; open to quietness

Settle into your space and invite your senses, your feelings to sit with you.

Maybe you’re so bored you have no substantial feelings?

Notice what has taken space in your heart.

Greet it.

Breathe out an acknowledgment of its presence.

Breathe in the grace that God also fills the space with you.

As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of welcome, embrace.

Continue breathing in and out, allow the Spirit to saturate, to fill you with peace.

Pay attention to God’s invitation to be present.

Settle into the peace of Christ as you listen. Hear the mediation and notice what the spirit of God draws your attention to in this painting. What is Jesus speaking to you here, now?

“It is inadequate, even misleading, to speak of ‘experiencing joy,’ … for what it makes us recall.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent

For what it makes us recall… Joy, immeasurable, cannot be confined to a single moment, assigned an isolated incident.

Spills out… effortless, the color, the essence of joy – goodness, generous, all that is right, comes to us from the Father of – Source of lights.

We cannot contain it. We can’t even adequately describe it.  

And we know we don’t always recognize joy at its inception.

It is always in presence – noticing, intentional

until it no longer requires effort

Because with rehearsing a thing, a disposition, with intention

sustaining that intention, persistent, that the discipline becomes habit

And then a way of being.

We recognize Monet’s message, not because it is precise, “accurate.”

We recognize Monet’s communication because leaves space for the viewer to

perceive through her eyes, understand with his lens.  

The painting may only be a composite of swirls in various colors of paint on canvas, yet we all can see the beauty in it. That is, if we pause and remember.

When do you pause? What beauty do you remember today? Look for it.

May you notice beauty everywhere today, and may you walk at the pace of grace.

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About the author

Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).

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