Arise, Saints of Scotland

Arise, Saints of Scotland,
in strath and glen,
kirk, croft, and manse,
and where the rivers meet.

Arise, as the stag watches
at dusk’s end,
fixed by a distant bell.
As shadows fall, wind shudders
the silent thistle, and
Andrew’s flag drifts.

Arise, Fillan, Kentigerna,
Thaney and Mungo,
Ninian, Triudana,
Comgan and Oda.
Nature’s tired weal, 
the dank pine grove,
wolf and ox, magpie and puffin, 
the whale in the dark sea, wait.

Sorche Berry ©2019
Artwork by Sorche Berry ©2019

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #6 “The First Confession” of Dame Gertrude More

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #6 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you “The First Confession” of Dame Gertrude More published in 1658.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #5 from “The Presence of Praise” by Ibn Al-Arabi

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #5 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you an extract from Meccan Revelations by Ibn Al-Arabi written around 1238. This is called “The Presence of Praise.”

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #4 from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 2)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #4 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 2 of a series of texts from the “Phaedrus” by Plato.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #3 from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 1)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #3 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 1 of a series of texts from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 1).

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #2 “Asclepius” from the Hermetica by Hermes Trismegistus (Part 2)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and Read by Sorche Berry.

This is #2 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 2 of a series of texts from the Hermetica attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. This one is also taken from “Asclepius” in which Hermes addresses Asclepius.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #1 “Asclepius” from the Hermetica by Hermes Trismegistus (Part 1)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #1 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 1 of a series of texts from the Hermetica attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. This one is taken from “Asclepius” in which Hermes addresses Asclepius.

the watchman

we are all
alchemists of spirit.
watch your vessel closely
for the ch-ch-ch-changes.
from black to red,
from earth to fire,
talamh à teine

follow sophia,
her winding, fractured path,
for she will
find me, find you.
This is the Work,
and there is always
much to be done

we are ripples on the lake,
condensation, distillation,
solve et resolve,
earth to fire,
talamh à teine

Sorche Berry ©2018
Artwork by Michael Maier ©1618
Emblem XLII, Atalanta fugiens

Contemplation Builds Community

Whatever else we do as living, breathing, walking, talking, sleeping, working members of the human race, we need to take time to share ritual space together.  We’re too busy to stop and take a moment to be grateful, too stressed sometimes to stop and ask for help.  Most disturbingly, we’re too busy to look over the wall of our own issues and to reach out to fellow human beings, whose issues – read nationality, customs, faith, religion – may be different from ours.  Like a line in a Robert Frost poem called “Mending Wall,” we think “good fences make good neighbors.” We’re pretty comfortable with this sentiment.  It validates a vaguely held impression that boundaries have their uses and it lets us off the hook of social responsibility.

Of course, some boundaries are useful.They ground us, and they provide a context within which and from which we can operate.  But to see the wall and never to extend across it a hand or a smile is just plain wrong.  That the two men who share a wall in Frost’s poem have a relationship at all is because they meet across it every year to fix the parts that have tumbled down, through bad weather, or damage by livestock.  In fact, this time of connection is so valuable to both men that, as the poem progresses, we begin to suspect one of them may be causing some of the damage, as an excuse for company and communion.  Frost’s point seems to be that boundaries are only useful when they provide an opportunity for relationship. And it is relationship that is, well, priceless.

We don’t need excuses to extend a hand; there’s damage everywhere.  We’ve all made it.

So let’s share sacred space.  Let’s rebuild together and repair together.  But how on earth do we do this, when we pray differently, have different religious agenda, customs, and expectations?  How do we bridge those kinds of divides?  There is one tradition that is common to most faiths – the tradition of contemplative prayer or silent meditation.  What better medium to share than silence?  Silent contemplative prayer brings us to a place of absolute tranquility: a word-less, ego-less, doctrine-less haven, where we can rest, simply and fearlessly, in the sacred.  Sharing silence together – across traditions and across boundaries of faith – sharing silence reaffirms that, while we may stand before gods of a different name, we stand together in our humanity, with all of its faults and all its beauty.

So find a centering prayer or meditation group near you, and try silent prayer on for size.  You and your neighbor, and the things that are broken between you, will be glad you did.

 

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