Friday, 10 January 2014

Singing Meditation

Sometimes I focus on the Beloved with a singing meditation and I wonder if you do too?

It simply consists of opening your mouth and singing!

You can start with a line from a favourite prayer,
 psalm,  love song, piece of poetry, a word of praise or gratitude of your own,
or an expression of praise in tongues,...
whatever springs up towards the Beloved out of your spirit.

Just let the notes fall where they may.

You will be surprised,
 as you simply lean into the freedom of the Spirit,
 what melody and words pour out of you.

My experience is that I receive fresh revelation as I listen.

You may be thinking you don't have a good enough voice or musical ear. 
 If this is the case remind yourself you are singing from your heart to honour the Beloved
not putting on a performance.
 Crows have a beautiful voice to the creator because it is their own!

 In truth your focus will not be on yourself at all
 so just be free to enjoy drawing near.

The great joy about this is you needn't sing at the top of your lungs
 so you can do it anywhere you feel comfortable in not drawing an audience.

 Working in the house or garden,
 or enjoying the outdoors walking or whatever.

Hubby once did this coming home from work on his motor bike
 thinking nobody would think anything of it if he let rip in his Welsh tenor,
only to be pulled up by the police to be breathalysed
 as somebody had reported him driving  through  the village clearly under the influence.
 - After all why else would he be singing?!

 Needless to say they couldn't find any condemning evidence of what it was
 he was under the influence of, so let him go.
He was still chuckling about it when he walked down the garden path.

Singing is especially precious to me since I was healed from Myasthenia
 and got my singing voice back.
 This morning I simply took the line "How can I keep From Singing..." from the old hymn as my starting point
 because it has such deep meaning for me.

Here is the video of Aled Jones singing the same hymn
in the beautiful Lady Chapel in Ely Cathedral

If you haven't already, you might like to try this way of meditating
 and perhaps me know how you get on?


Monday, 6 January 2014

Send Out Your Light - Part 4

I am taking up my story of the out pouring of God's light and healing into the dark places of my life again, picking up from the point where, after months in a medical ward, I have been transferred to the annexe apart from the hospital.
(You can read the first 3 parts of the story prior to this in the blog archive).

I loved my new surroundings and especially relished the fact of being able to sit up.
Not only did I have a better vantage point but it made the mundane act of eating so much easier too.

Now I could begin to read again,
 something it is very difficult to do when lying flat , or even on your side.
 Lying flat the arms give out after a few minutes,
 and lying on my side was not only uncomfortable but for some reason
 my eyes always watered horribly too.
Now I thought time would pass more quickly and profitably
 as I returned to my passion for books.
I would also begin to draw again!
Equally important was the possibility of (ahem) sitting on a bed pan instead of sort of lying on one like a recumbent banana . (Indelicate but true!)
Things were beginning to look up.

It didn't take long for me to understand that though my move had heralded changes
 I was still very sick.
The pain still remained, and sitting up proved exhausting.
 Simply sitting in bed my heart would beat so hard and fast
 I could see the print in front of my eyes pulsing,
 and the old bed frame castanets would begin their dance again.
Even the bright new company I was so glad of
 could be too much for me and I would be forced to lie flat again and go incommunicado.
 I guess my aspirin migraines and vomiting didn't make me the most congenial ward buddy either.
Above all else undoubtedly the best part of my move
 was leaving behind the smothering atmosphere of suffering in the main medical ward.
Even so it was one thing to leave the physical presence behind,
 and another to jettison the sounds and stories I knew so well.
I felt seared by the pain I had encountered
 and could only keep up the stream of prayer that had begun for those known,
 and unknown to me.
One of the problems of the ward I had been on in the main hospital
was the familiarity which had grown between myself and the young nurses.
I was near their age,
 and some of us were known to each other
 due to the fact of their being a year or so ahead of me in grammar school.
 This, and the fact of my long stay,
 meant I was almost accepted as one of them
 in as much as protocols of confidentiality were often forgotten.

As time passed
 I became increasingly privy to graphic details of the immediate effects,
and the prognosis,
 of the medical conditions my fellow patients suffered.
 Sleepless nights often found me listening
 to the fears of some inexperienced nurse facing a long shift virtually alone.

   On top of what I already heard and glimpsed in the ward itself,
 the extra burden of this knowledge
 increased the stress of living within this world of the sick.
Unlike these friendly young women
 I could not walk away at the end of the shift and take a break
 from the atmosphere and reality of the hidden world of suffering.
The ward had become my world entire.


I was soon to find that the easier regime which was a part of life away from the main wards
 gave greater opportunity for this breaking down of barriers between patients and carers.

It was not unusual for a nurse to wander into my ward
 from the children's ward on the floor above, bottle feeding an infant,
 and to casually describe the little one's medical condition.

If I had found it harrowing to learn of the agonies my older fellow patients were subject to
I was now devastated to discover the cruelty of congenital diseases, cancers,
 and the myriad illnesses these tiny mites were heir to.

I had believed coming to the annexe
 would be to break away from the enclosed world of suffering in the medical ward.
Ironically, even though I could now gaze
 at the world outside the large window alongside my bed,
 I felt even more engulfed by suffering than ever.

If you are wondering why I did not remonstrate with the nurses,
remind them I was a patient too,
 or at least let them know how the knowledge of so much pain affected me,
I ask you to remember I was just coming up to my seventeenth birthday
and had been in hospital for almost a year.
Lonely, and glad of their friendship I was not about to do anything to jeopardise that.

Also I had been in hospital long enough to know there were many and subtle means
by which a nurse who was upset could make one's life a misery.
Especially when you were as dependent on them for everything as I was.

I wasn't to know it, but in the end it was the casual way things were done
 which was to lead to my escape from hospital all together.


The Blessings of Light be with You
 the next time.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A Word for the Year


The last couple of years I have adopted the practise of
finding a word of expectancy
at the beginning of a new year.

Last year the word "Glory" led me into 2013,
  and yes, there has been glory a-plenty,
though I am ashamed to say
 I have often only seen it in retrospect.

Today in my meditation I realised the word
was resonating at a deep level.

I hadn't been looking for a word,
 or even thinking about it this year,
 but there it was,
 and is.

It sparkles with sheer opportunity and invitation,
and far from suggesting a chance to take license
to me it seems rather daunting
in it's uncompromising openness.

Still, it's something I have striven towards
 for the longest time;
 especially in facing down fear,
 and one of my dearest scriptures is Gal 5:1:-
" It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
 Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again
 by a yoke of slavery".

So as the saying goes,
If not now, when?

Be Blessed