I have mentioned Heron Dance before and invited you to have it sent to your email box.
If you didn't do that, and even if you did, here is some of what come today from Rod MacIver and Heron Dance.
If the prophets did so, and if Jesus did so, we too must go out into the desert from time to time.
It is not a question of transporting oneself there physically. For many of us that could be a luxury. Rather, it implies creating a desert space in one's own life. And to create a desert means to seek solitude, to withdraw from men and things, one of the undisputed principles of mental health.
To create a desert means learning to be self-sufficient, learning to remain undisturbed with one's own thoughts, one's own prayer, one's own destiny.
It means shutting oneself up in one's room, remaining alone in an empty church, setting up a small oratory for oneself in an attic or at the end of a passage in which to localize one's personal contact with God, to draw breath, to recover one's inner peace. It means occasionally devoting a whole day to prayer, it means going off into the loneliness of the mountains, or getting up alone in the night to pray.
When all is said and done, creating a desert means nothing more than obeying God. Because there is a commandment -- arguably the most forgotten of all, especially by the "committed," by militants, by priests -- and even bishops -- which requires us to interupt our work, to put aside our daily tasks and seek the refreshing stillness of contemplation.
—Carlo Carretto, from In Search of the Beyond
Dear Heron Dancers,
To live a well-lived life, a conscious life, a meaningful life, we each need to carefully think through what of this culture we will make room for in our lives, and what we won’t. To live a creative life, we need to make time for silence, for a relationship with one’s self and one’s God. God is the singular of the plural good.
For years, I’ve had an affinity for National Public Radio news that at times has bordered on an obsession. I listen, often in fascinated horror, and think long and hard about what I’ve heard. I’m starting to wonder about the negative effects of this practice. I’m coming to the conclusion that this, along with many other similar practices, needs to be carefully thought through.
I’m learning that the impact on my creative life of spending half an hour in quiet reverie in the early morning is profound. For the last week or so, bird song has come flooding at me from all directions during this quiet time, but it feels like silence none the less.
The role we make for quiet time in our lives affects the rhythm of our thought patterns and the whole rhythm of our lives.
In celebration of the Great Dance of Life,
Rod W. MacIver