Cultivating Compassion, Freedom and Courage, and Gratitude in Tough Times
When I saw the term you are using for this "sacred space" it made me think of the Russian monastic retreat - a poustinia (or "desert"), but then you said it is not a retreat, so scratch that. As a public space it serves other purposes. Even Thoreau's Walden had space for a couple of visitors who comprised "society." But as it is a place for prayer I take it in that Barthian sense of "the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world." That has legs. I'm just coming to find this sacred space here at the end of the 2020 we all want to forget, but do so at our peril. I look forward to more DBB! Mark Chaffin, Interfaith Chaplain, Interspiritual Spiritual Director
A couple people asked me to explain "freedom" a bit more. If you can, take a look at Marcus Borg, Convictions, pp. 227-229. He understands freedom as liberation from fear - not as a personal permission slip to do whatever with no regard for others. It is a freedom to be our best selves, unencumbered by false conceptions of God and ourselves. I think that's right. As I've mediated on this over the last few days, I keep thinking how important that awareness of liberation is to shalom, the healing salvation of our souls and the world. Not surprising that Martin Luther wrote "Freedom of the Christian" as one of his first tracts!
So good. To cultivate intentionally compassion freedom courage and gratitude is to lead one into the god relationship we long for and are created for.
"cultivate compassion, freedom and courage, and gratitude" So often these days, I find myself bracing for the next awful piece of news. It often feels helpless and overwhelming. These words touched a deep and true place in me this morning. I am more than "not helpless", I have a beautiful and beloved task today... to cultivate compassion, freedom and courage, and gratitude". Not to summon them full grown into the moment (far beyond my capacity), but to cultivate them!
Thank you for this beautiful hope.
I am grateful for you. 🙏
Thank you for this. It’s exactly what I needed to begin a new week of who knows what!
As I sit in my office, anxiously pondering the list of tasks I have to do and the re-opening of my school in person next week, I needed to read this and "center down" this morning. Thank you.
Lovely reflection to begin my day and my week. Thank you. It is helpful to recognize these attributes as the natural outcomes of the practice, and essential to make me a constructive presence in a fractured situation.