Whenever I sit down to write a sermon, I seek inspiration from what is happening around me and from the energies that are engaging with me at that moment. The past month has been hectic: work has picked up, my studies have increased, I started a new exercise and diet regime, I've begun new spiritually-focused workshops and courses in my local area, my 5-year-old nephew has been on school holiday so there's been a lot of emphasis on family time recently, not to mention all of the behind-the-scenes and front-of-house work here at the Temple. Trying to make sense of all that action in a neat little sermon...well, it was practically impossible!
So I stopped.
Took a deep breath and slowly let it go.
When I opened my eyes, I was immediately drawn to a framed print on my wall. It's a rendition of a card from the Osho Zen Tarot deck and I bought it at the Big Green Gathering (an environmentally-conscientious festival in the UK) a few years ago. The picture always reminds me of that time – in a busy year, I took a week out to relax, chill out and unwind in the company of friends and with the most amazing experiences. I never took the trouble to look up the meaning of the card before so I present a condensed form of it to you now:
“Now is a very precious time. It will be easy for you to rest inside, to plumb the depths of your own inner silence to the point where it meets the silence of the universe. There’s nothing to do, nowhere to go, and the quality of your inner silence permeates everything you do. This moment, as the silence penetrates in you, you can understand the significance of it, because it is the same silence that Gautama Buddha experienced. It is the same silence of Chuang Tzu or Bodhidharma or Nansen.... the taste of the silence is the same. Time changes, the world goes on changing, but the experience of silence, the joy of it, remains the same. That is the only thing you can rely upon, the only thing that never dies. It is the only thing that you can call your very being.”
So this is my lesson for today, the guidance that the Force has seen fit to show me. In the turbulence and frantic activity of life, do not be afraid to just stop, even if only for a moment. Great speech-writers know that the pauses and silences are as important as the words that they nestle between and our actions are the same. As Jedi we seek to move from a position of understanding and usually this first requires us to stop and consider.
This weekend celebrates the festival of Beltane, a pagan festival that marks the start of Summer. Traditionally a time of activity, this season is full of light and movement, song and dance, passion and fire. All light springs from darkness and all action rises from a moment of stillness. Without those pauses, these times of reflection, we would be constantly moving and acting, reacting and racing through life from one thing to another. It's only when we stop that we truly appreciate what we are doing.
So cherish these moments when you can, for they allow us to connect with the flowing, all-pervading, graceful harmony of the Force. At the centre of every storm is a place of calm and within all of us, the beating heart of a Jedi reflects this quality just the same.
If you wish to join in celebration of the festival of Beltane and to send some positive energies out into the world, there is more information at the following post: