Free flow · Uncategorized

Bliss

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Yes to your blissfulness, your heavenly mindfulness.

Psychologists talk about the importance of spending time in our own company, of being alone and quiet, of being at peace with ourselves so that, for example, we will have a better sense of direction and purpose. It can be hard in the beginning, but there are gentle ways of entry into silence. There is the Three-Minute Breathing Space meditation in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) where a person observes their experience (thoughts and feelings), focuses on their breath, and attends to bodily sensations. Overtime, this practice helps us to develop self-compassion and to build inner strength.

A key element of spirituality is also to become comfortable in our own company, to tune into silence and solitude that yearns for something ‘more’. When we find times to be still, we learn to respond to life with gratitude: we give thanks for the many kindnesses in our day, we relish encounters with friends, we are blissfully present to ordinary moments. We become a well whereby the water is ‘springing in us up to eternal life’ (John 4:14) or whereby ‘rivers of living water will flow from within them’ (John 7:38). We learn to respond to everything with greater presence, with a heavenly mindfulness.

I finish by turning to a painting of the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim. Here, the royal colour of purple fills the scene. The light from the sun is yellow and white, but the clouds, sea and basalt rocks are deeply speckled with different tones of purple. From a darkness in the rocks that are nearing black to a lightness of the sea and sky nearing the brightness of the sun, it speaks of a royalty of which we all belong. I also love the wildflowers emerging from the fissures in the foreground. Like us, they shine like princes and princesses, kings and queens!

Oil painting by Siobhan Murphy.

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