Tag Archives: mindfulness

Caring for the Soul of the Family…

By Thomas Moore, Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationships

A major part of caring for the soul of the family involves doing whatever is necessary to honor its sacredness, but there are other ways, too. A family is a form of community and so we could discover ways to honor both self and other in it. Gatherings of a family help nurture the group aspect, and it is equally important to respect and promote the individuality of the members. It often happens in families that one member lives a life quite different from the rest, or sometimes one member will be visited by extraordinary difficulty that may seem unusual to everyone else. These occasions are fertile opportunities to care for the family soul by responding to the individual, knowing that the soul manifests itself more in unique expressions than in what is normal and expected.

We care for the soul of the family by allowing it to reveal itself gradually over many years, in the individuals who make up the family and in the family as a whole. Soul is not a static object, but an endless source of changing life. One reason it is difficult to live a soulful life is that it isn’t always assuring to be confronted with change. Because soul is usually in movement, forward or backward, it’s necessary to observe it carefully. We might watch with interest as our parents or grandparents go through life changes, deal with illness and crisis, and find some of the goals they are seeking. We might notice the flowering of our brothers, sisters, and cousins as they ride the bumpy road of soul-making. We might be fully present to our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and our godchildren, not interfering as they find their way, but always offering involvement: our care, our attention, and our stories of experience.

We might see the family spirit and myth alive within ourselves, being fulfilled once again in a unique way, and, loyal to that spirit, we might be proud of it and weave it consciously and artfully further into our lives.

Let soul emerge on its own, tend it in times of blockage and wounding, and to honor and celebrate its slightest manifestations and modest initiations. This ordinary entity, the family, may show itself to be one of the most powerful creative forces in our lives.

 

Take A Mindful Walk On A Labyrinth…

I thought this prior post was worth reposting, especially as the beautiful spring mornings and evenings are upon us!

labyrinth image 1

 

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meaningful but purposeful path.
Labyrinths have long been used as a tool for meditation and prayer. A labyrinth
is a metaphor for life’s journey. Walking the labyrinth affords us an opportunity to go inside of ourselves and commune in the solitude of our own heart, mind, and soul.

Many people use the terms labyrinth and maze interchangeably; but the two are not the same. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind
alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into and out of the maze. A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal (one way). The way in is the way out. You cannot get lost. A labyrinth is a right brain task, and involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made, and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made: that choice is whether to enter and walk the spiritual path. A receptive mind is all that is needed.

Representing the deepest part of ourselves, the journey toward the center offers many opportunities for contemplation. Once one reaches the center, they are in a
place to receive the answers to their questions. On the journey out, a person is sent back into the world energized and with a broader sense of who they are
and what they are to become.

Three stages of the walk:

Letting go – a releasing, letting go of the details of your life. This is an act of shedding thoughts and emotions, letting the mind become quiet and empty.

Illumination – the center of the labyrinth. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive. Stay there as long as you like.

Integration – joining your Higher Power or the healing forces at work in the world. Each time you walk the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work your soul seeks.

Guidelines for the walk:

  • Clear your mind and become aware of your breath.
  • Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go.
  • Pass people or let others step around you as it seems appropriate.
  • The path is two ways. Those going in will meet those coming out.

Worldwide Labyrinth Locator: http://labyrinthlocator.com

*Adapted from instructions by Rev Dr. Lauren Artress, Vereditas.