In the Interim: 6/7/2019

arif-mamdaniPracticing Beauty:

Last Sunday, we celebrated Flower Communion, a UU ritual that symbolizes the beauty and uniqueness of each of us, while also celebrating the vibrant bouquet that we are together. So, it seemed logical to me, as we enter a month with the theme of beauty, to invite us into a practice of beauty. Below are instructions for a flower meditation – a simple way of sitting and focusing our attention on a flower. Beauty unfolds when we slow down and pay attention, and this flower meditation is a simple way to explore this terrain. Try it for a week (or all month!) and let me know how it goes for you.

How To Practice Flower Gazing Meditation:

  1. Be sure to choose a flower that resonates with you. Set it about a foot in front of you at a comfortable angle, preferably at eye level. For beginners, it’s better to focus on one single flower instead of a bouquet. Feel conscious of your body’s contact with the ground. Connect with the earth that grew the flower sitting before you.
  2. Gaze at it with soft, relaxed eyes. Blink normally, and relax your facial muscles. Plan to meditate for around 10-15 minutes.
  3. Look at it as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen a flower. Discover what it actually looks like. Avoid labeling what you’re looking upon; instead of focusing on petals or pollen, notice the unique shapes, colors, textures, and scents present in front of you. Feel its vibrant life energy. When thoughts come up, notice them, and then gently redirect your attention to the flower in front of you, neither pushing them away nor indulging them.
  4. After 10-15 minutes have passed, thank the flower and offer it gratitude for its gifts. Close your eyes for a minute or so. Can you still see its image in your mind, or feel its presence in front of you?
  5. Continue with the rest of your day and notice that your mind is calmer, your body more relaxed, and your attention sharper. If you start practicing this regularly, you just might start noticing the specific details and beauty not just in flowers, but in every common object you come across.

(Thanks to gardencollage.com for the flower meditation instructions.)

— Arif

Each week, the interim ministry team will share a reflection on the Soul Matters monthly theme, the state of the church, or the state of the world. MegTerri and Arif will alternate writing this “In the Interim” post. We encourage your comments.

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