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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Being Present with guest artists and commentary

"Three Tongues," Suzanne Copleston.

Image used with gratitude & permission of the artist, copyright Suzanne Copleson, 2013.  All rights reserved. Please visit Ms. Copleston's website here to view more of her beautiful work.

Present Love

Let love come unbidden
  in each moment's unfolding,
  like petals that open up around our feet
  the instant we step upon the ground.

Let us meet others in the present--
  our hearts and minds reflecting
  Love's heart and mind.

Let us not diminish into
  small views and perceptions,
  but step into our fullness,
  shaking off the dust of fear,
  separation, and outcome.

We awake in present love.

Desire only to reside there,
  buoyed by awakened sisters and brothers,
  a circle of love that vibrates,
  rippling outward, in a

      constant now.

Guest Poet, Tina Karagulian from her collection Under the Papaya Tree, Black Rose Press, 2013.  "Present Love" used by permission of the poet.  All rights reserved.

Centering Prayer is one way of "waking in present love."  This method, taught by Fr. Thomas Keating, uses a centering word or phrase one chooses for the practice to bring the mind back to the present  and to the practice of contemplation.  I began to incorporate this method into my spiritual practice decades ago after reading Fr. Keating's book, Open Mind Open Heart.

Microcosmic focus on beauty is another way of being present and awake, as in this photograph.  The artist, Georgia O'Keefe is said to have stated (paraphrased) that no one sees a flower, really.  

In her poem, Ms. Karagulian urges us to "let love come unbidden."  This line is most interesting to me as I have spent a good amount of energy throughout my life calling love, seeking love, practicing unloving behavior and calling it love.  

In other words, being consumed by what is not Love, because as this poet suggests, Great Love comes unbidden.  It simply is.  

And it is fully present to us by grace when we awake.

D. Ellis Phelps

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