Sunday, February 21, 2010

"Try sitting with the feeling..."

Artist: James Carroll Beckwith

Today is the first Sunday in Lent. My own take on the custom of Lenten disciplines is that we are thereby invited into a greater mindfulness. I was interested to learn that Barbara Brown Taylor seems to think so too:

That hollowness we sometimes feel is not a sign of something gone wrong. It is the holy of holies inside of us, the uncluttered throne room of the Lord our God. Nothing on earth can fill it, but that does not stop us from trying. Whenever we start feeling too empty inside, we stick our pacifiers into our mouths and suck for all we are worth. They do not nourish us, but at least they plug the hole.

To enter the wilderness is to leave them behind, and nothing is too small to give up. Even a chocolate bar will do. For 40 days, simply pay attention to how often your mind travels in that direction. Ask yourself why it happens when it happens. What is going on when you start craving a Mars bar? Are you hungry? Well, what is wrong with being hungry? Are you lonely? What is so bad about being alone? Try sitting with the feeling instead of fixing it and see what you find out.
See what you find out. What a radical thought. Find out more about yourself, how your mind works, how your impulses get triggered, instead of just putting gratification first.

The above is from a Christian Century article that you can find right here.

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