There is so much available to us in the world we live in . . . I have both weekly and daily practices where I find myself taking in some of the riches of life. I am drawn to the things that are life-giving and nourishing to my spirit. One of those weekly practices is listening to each week’s Episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. It airs Sundays on NPR. From the website it states: “On Being opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? We explore these questions in their richness and complexity in 21st-century lives and endeavors. We pursue wisdom and moral imagination as much as knowledge; we esteem nuance and poetry as much as fact.”
Few of the guests are Christians and some unthinkingly say, “you can’t get anything from those who are not coming from a Christ-centered place” and I wholeheartedly disagree. Mainly because I believe all truth is God’s truth and true wisdom comes from above, whether a person acknowledges truth and wisdom coming from God or not. We have so much to learn from our fellow image bearers. Let us not count them out and may we be granted the humility to learn from those who we may disagree with theologically.
In the middle of July Marabai Bush was the featured guest of On Being. Recently, she has worked with Google and developed their “Search inside Yourself” employee program. “Mindfulness space stress reduction” was the subtitle of the course. There is much more to who Marabai is. She co-founded the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society and is the co-author ofCompassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service. At the outset of the interview Marabai talks about the “L” word, Love.
“It is really when someone’s heart opens that things really change. I am more and more willing to take the risk to offer those practices in secular circumstances. People really want to be loved it turns out…I have found it to be really powerful if you find the right way.”
There is a gentleness in this particular conversation. As Marabai converses with Krista about emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and contemplative practices, I am reminded how important it is to pause, stop, and breathe and practice meditation. Marabai’s compassion for others and whose lifework has been in helping others is inspiring to me.
The discovery of being gentle with myself has been a long time coming. It is one of the keys of overcoming perfectionism which is an enemy of loving-kindness and sweet forgiveness. I’ve wrestled with some difficult internal struggles this past week and I am so grateful for life-giving and understanding friends willing to walk through it with me. And a discerning spirit to feed upon messages that promote compassion. It all starts with me.
What do you nourish your spirit and soul with these days?