Midday Meditation 5.24.16

Midday Meditation 5.24.16
“The Lord walks among the pots and pans” – Brother Lawrence
 
Since Friday I’ve been working behind the scenes at my work, that is, light duty in the form of washing dishes, getting sack lunches ready, getting snacks ready, and related. In the time I have spent doing this I realize I have been present, even hyper-present almost, to the tasks before me and to those I am helping out by helping feed them.
 
It was while cleaning I was reminded of a 17th century Carmelite brother by the taken name of Lawrence Of The Resurrection, and how his experience in the order was as dishwasher and later on sandal repairer. From his teachings the book The Practice of the Presence of God came forth, and from within it a sense of peace and presence with God and others in what might be perceived mundane everyday life.
 
Working in the kitchen is not always an easy task, but the kitchen staff has been helpful through and through, plus one of my students has helped me in the morning hours leading up to school. He made known to me that he felt privileged to be working alongside of me, how humbling! There in the kitchen, in the midst of dirty pots and pans, I too felt the same thing.
Isn’t that a beautiful example of what life can look like? That it’s not always those mountaintop experiences, but in the small and quiet and humbling ways, ways that point to simply BEing in communion with others.
 
I have been given the green light to go back to working with my students come tomorrow, which I am really thankful to be able to do that. But I am also thankful for my time spent working in the kitchen, my level of presence and BEing has been raised.
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Cleaning as a spiritual exercise; day 7 of Ramadan

https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/cleaning-lady.jpg?w=635&h=427

“As you live deeper in the heart, the mirror gets clearer and cleaner” – Rumi
“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil” – Isaiah 1:16

Day 7 of Ramadan and this fast is proving to be quite a useful spiritual practice in and of itself, but today I found myself in a place where I did a lot of cleaning. Upon getting off of work this afternoon I examined my apartment and I realized that it was in disarray; not that it’s one giant mess, but admittedly I have let some of it go where I probably shouldn’t have.

So with that in mind I started cleaning up my townhouse quite a bit. I worked diligently all the while listening to the tunes of Serj Tankian, Neon Indian, and Com Truise. When all was said and done, I was proud of my accomplishments in such a short period of time. I smiled at my work with a nod and wink to God and a mouthed “it is good” at seeing the progress made of a good cleaning.
I think that’s how God reacts when she lends her hand in the cleaning process; that progress is made and things are better than they once were. I am thankful to God that she lets us partake in the cleaning process as well, in making the world a better place for everyone. The world is being cleaned and being pushed further and further in a better direction, and as the writer of the poem wrote in the creation narrative of Genesis 1 in the Bible, it is good! God never removed that statement from the earth although it’s understandable why sometimes it might not seem that way, but that’s why we should press forward in being good stewards of our world!

So with all that being said, cleaning was my keyword on this 7th day of Ramadan. Thanks me to God, The Master Cleaner, making this world a better place and inviting for all of us to take part in it. We help heal this world, this pale blue dot, every time we clean it up to the best of our abilities. May we continue to clean up where we can when we can, for our sakes as well as the sakes of others!

Salaam alaikum be yours now and always,
Nathanael