Sunday, February 13, 2011

On peace and passion: being Crusader Rabbit

I've been doing the (wonderful) 20 minute meditation tape that comes with the Spirituality and Practice website's course on Interspiritual Meditation.  But what I find is that it's not enough: it does a terrific job of getting me into "that space" -- whatever that space is -- but I don't get to stay there long enough to get some of the work done that usually happens for me in Centering Prayer.

Not that it's work, exactly... but there's a sort of awareness that can occur if I can get into the space and sit with it long enough both to watch what thoughts are bubbling up and to listen for what lies beneath.  My realization of this -- there's always a lesson in everything, isn't there! -- came from noticing my blogging process felt more awkward, more contrived; it didn't seem to flow the way it usually does. 

So I decided to tack on another 10 to 15 minutes of music after the provided meditation ends: pieces from Carlos Nakai's album, Canyon Trilogy (so beautiful!). This picture captures the way I felt after this morning's combination of Interspiritual and Nakai: so deep and cool and clear and peaceful...

But then instead of writing I went to church, where Bill was preaching on that awful passage in Matthew, the one after the beatitudes, about plucking your eye out if it sins, and hellfire, and marriage after divorce as adultery... Oy!  So I'm kinda not in that peaceful space anymore.  Not in hellfire, either, but... you know.  Sometimes the Bible takes WORK; you can't just take it literally.  Which means now my brain is engaged, trying to put the violent imagery of this passage together with the peaceful soul I've come to know in Jesus.

And I think Bill's right: Jesus must have been pretty angry when he said this stuff.   And thinking about it, I find myself feeling angry, too.  Because what he's talking about is the difference between playing by the rules -- obeying the letter of the law -- and Abiding by The Rule -- his cardinal rule of Love. And when I think about that, I think about people in high places who somehow manage to make piles of money and stay unpunished even though they are responsible for bilking thousands of others out of their life savings, or the ones who keep sending thousands of soldiers to unnecessary trauma and death in order to protect our oil interests, or who can poison an entire Gulf with relative impunity.

And thinking about that, I'm totally there; I can totally get frustrated with that sort of rampant disregard for fellow man; can totally imagine myself saying, goddammit: if you even THINK about pulling shit like that, pluck out your goddam EYE!  It's sort of this angry parent thing: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!  YOU'RE GROUNDED, young lady.  GROUNDED!

Sorry.  I get like that sometimes.  I was reminded of my capacity for that sort of passionat anger when my daughter sent me this youtube link to Crusader Rabbit.  I think I must somehow have watched that show in my formative years.  Because normally I am this small sort of quiet rabbity person inside (even though I'm 5'9" and 175 pounds) but when I'm brimful of righteous anger on someone else's behalf I get FIERCE.  Not to say that's good, or a great quality in me -- it's definitely gotten me into trouble on SEVERAL occasions.  It's just... what I do.  Who I am. 

Which is probably why I'm someone who NEEDS to meditate everyday; NEEDS to get back into that peaceful space: it's a way of containing and channeling that energy, keeping it directed where it needs to go; reminding me that I am not infallible, reminding me to always ask that wonderful Joey question: what is it about that person that I don't like in me?

So yeah -- that was a tough passage to hear.  But it's good, I think. Not that we want to get fixated on what sinners we are.  Just that we need to be reminded that none of us is perfect -- which means we have to be very careful about directing any of that righteous energy anywhere other than right here where it belongs: on fixing our own stuff; reconciling our own relationships, straightening out our own lives.  Let Jesus deal with everybody else's sins; I've still got plenty of my own to work on...

Hmmm.  can you tell we're heading into Lent?  To paraphrase a remark a friend left on Facebook: if Eustace Tilley arrived in my mailbox this week, can Lent be far behind?

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