Soul Food

I'm re-reading Annie Dillard's For the Time Being. You're not going to find odder works of non-fiction and yet I come back to so many of the images in her book. Part poet, part mystic, she writes:

Ours is a planet sown in beings. Our generations overlap like shingles. We don't fall in rows like hay, but we fall. Once we get here, we spend forever on the globe, most of it tucked under. While we breathe, we open time like a path in the grass. We open time as a boat's stem slits the crest of the present.

and

There is no less holiness at this time- as you are reading this- than there was on the day the Red Sea parted.

Dillard weaves into the story the thoughts of Jesuit paleontologist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who wrote that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”


If this is true, then becoming a spiritual person cannot be reduced merely to tips, techniques, and a certain posture… as helpful as these may be. It’s not even really about a religious experience or a holy feeling. Spirituality is the attentiveness between our soul and the Spirit of God. It’s about coming home to our humanity.


In our DNA is the desire—no, the need!—to connect with something bigger than ourselves and life can teach us that it’s right here in so many ways.


So how do you become a spiritual person? That’s the problem- you and I, we don’t really become anything. You let something emerge in you. It’s an active attentiveness- an awareness of what has always, already been with and in you; if you will, it’s a soul resuscitation.


Some authors use the phrase “monkey mind” to describe the crazy dramas we often create when we lose consciousness. The opposite of monkey mind is mature spirituality. See if this sounds familiar:

  • When you take the time to reflect on something beautiful, simple, stunning or inspirational, you’re being spiritual

  • When you ponder deeply something that occurs to you from a place of profound truth and knowing, you're being spiritual

  • When you think seriously about the highest values in your life, whether you’re at a crossroads or while you’re sailing smoothly, you’re accessing what's called spiritual

  • Whenever your mind moves away from the frantic and frenetic, when the ego stops bossing you around and you stop the “stinking thinking” of the monkey mind, then you’re living on the level of the spiritual

You’re a spiritual person. Be aware of your depth and let it start seeping OUT of you. Seriously. Watch it happen. You cannot help but be even more intentional when you realize how spiritual you already are!


If you want some help, contact me (daniel@alivenwell.net). I'd love to help you move beyond any obstacles that are preventing you from living out of your truest, most spiritual, self.


In the meantime, take a look at this short article:

4 Powerful Ways To Quiet The Mind
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