Cleaning Out Your Spiritual Junk Drawer

I wrote it a few times, so I don’t forget.

The Meditation Mantra of the Month is “May Wisdom Guide & Hope Sustain”. Usually the mantras appear a little more challenging or thought provoking. Or maybe it’s that they can get under your skin and force you to look under piles of clutter and long embedded ways of thinking and responding that it feels sort of emotionally & spiritually productive.

May Wisdom Guide & Hope Sustain feels to me more like a spiritual palate cleanser & bare bones honesty. There is no cue to forgive someone or accept the current situation you are resisting. There is no suggestion to step out of your comfort zone once a day, recognize everyday miracles, or name 5 things you are grateful for. Nothing. There are no tricks or tools for you to do. You take your hands of the spiritual steering wheel you’ve been white knuckling and say May Wisdom Guide & Hope Sustain.

I have become a fan of the less-is-more style of prayer or whatever you want to call it when you really care so much about a person, situation, a happening and there isn’t really anything “to do” but pray. I am increasingly uncomfortable and maybe a wee bit spiritually allergic to the long-winded (and cleverly worded) prayer. It pulls me out of any quiet connection I might have had so that I am just listening (at best) to the apparent lecture being given. Maybe a lecture to God of the gigantic honey-do list we have written up for God to get working on ASAP (or we are going to start getting impatient with God apparently wasting our time and faithfulness); shoulding my heaping pile of fears, opinions, and desires on God to fix and make happen. Or maybe it’s a passive-aggressive lecture to me using God as the decoy?

That’s why I mostly mutter May Wisdom Guide & Hope Sustain, when left to my own devices. I think it is sufficient and keeps me from piling on my emotional baggage or fragile ego. It’s not about me. So this is the Meditation Mantra of the Month. Just for this month empty out that spiritual junk drawer of tricks, gadgets, and tools that have worked for you in the past to accomplish big shifts or fix yourself. In my yoga classes we’ll be practicing 3 minutes of silent mantra meditation.

This is a small votive candle holder I bought at the store 10,000 Villages. This is how I originally learned the mantra & mudra.

There is a hand mudra that goes with this mantra. I love hand mudras because it gives you something to do with your hands! A hand mudra is like tying a string around your finger or putting a post it note on your phone to remind you of what you are doing & keep you present. So when you start having an imaginary conversation in your head (which I do all the time), the hand mudra can help remind you what you are doing, which is repeating silently (or out loud if that’s how you roll) May Wisdom Guide and Hope Sustain. The hand mudra is this; May Wisdom Guide is the cue for your left pointer finger to thumb & Hope Sustain is the right hand open, palm face up.

The next Daily Bread Saturday Morning Retreat is this Saturday in Philo. The theme is The Yoga of Decisions & Unanswered Questions. We will not be making pros & cons lists or hashing over missed opportunities, regrets, or even your most brilliant move. We are going to dig through our spiritual junk drawers to get curious about the HOW & the WHY of decisions, what we control or don’t, and maybe how we respond to decisions we don’t get to make, like when life happens not according to your well organized plans. How do we practice loosening up the vice grip of control and living out My Wisdom Guide & Hope Sustain.

Even if you can’t be anywhere near Philo, Illinois this Saturday you can still practice this, right? You will be there, where ever it is you are. Show up there, where you are.

Peace on your head, you.


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