Christmas 2017 – Letter from President
Dear Members and Friends,
This time of year often propels us into a vast amount of “doing” in an attempt to recreate an atmosphere that might reflect the transcendent mystery celebrated at Christmas. I have recently been reminded that the only doing which can open us to the Hope and Light of this season is the doing of waking, noticing, and trusting the present moment in all its fullness, mystery, and wonder. There is no need to attain anything, all is given and is available as we become aware of our subtle resistance to stopping right now, allowing ourselves to drop into the fullness of this present moment.
Recently I was sent a poem by Sylvia Plath which reminds me of the importance of keeping our eyes open to the subtle and hidden nature of the Divine as revealed in our midst. The Christ Child was revealed to us in the humblest of settings, within the mundane stuff of life. How easy to forget this and seek instead a brighter more transcendent star rather than allowing our subtle senses to be touched by that still point available through a deeper noticing, even of a “black rook”.
I only know that a rook
Ordering its black feathers can so shine
As to seize my senses, haul
My eyelids up, and grant
A brief respite from fear…
In a world that seems so often to be tilting towards harshness and violence, it is ever more important that we hold the light for the gentle art of listening and opening deeply. As Cynthia said in an Advent address in Aspen Chapel in 2009:
The eye of our mind can only see separation and feel ourselves to be in competition to everything else.
But, when the eyes of the heart open, we see the connection and alignment which we really participate in. As we enter that which is really true, we begin to prepare ourselves for the Christmas message of peace on earth and good will to all humanity.
We on the board are grateful to you for sharing with us in the ministry of The Contemplative Society as we provide support for contemplative practice that might guide us into deeper seeing. Your faithfulness makes it possible for us, through Wisdom Schools, retreats, workshops, books, on-line e-courses, and audio recordings, to continue reaching people hungry to hear this ancient wisdom of the heart.
God bless you all in this season of hope, peace, joy, and love and may our attention be drawn to “whatever angel may chose to flare suddenly at my elbow.”
If the work of The Contemplative Society inspires you, please consider making a tax deductible gift!
I also was very moved when I first read Sylvia Plath’s beautiful poem, “Black Rook In Rainy Weather.” And I agree that it is a very powerful Advent message. Thanks you for reminding me!