Shape & Form

"If love were merely thought and merely meaning, your prayer and fasting would not have a form." - Rumi

"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us." - Psalm (NIV)

Shine Your face upon us, Lord.
Bring shape and form to Your loving kindness.
Make Your Word descend in bodily form.
Fill our spirits with peace.
Fill our hands with right works.
Fill our minds with right thoughts.
We lift our voices in praise.

(Sometimes this life causes us to tremble.)

Surround us with the presence and
   bearing of the Saints.
       Selah.

Built-Up Places

"The person who reaches the sacred, the inexpressible, who has permeated his mind with it, who is in control of his senses, is one bound upstream." - Buddha

"Be sure, your dreams and fancies are like buildings, and treasure’s never found in built-up places." - Rumi

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you." - Psalm (NIV)

Permeate my mind with sacred things.
My soul longs for holiness.
Continue to transform 
this life,
these thoughts,
this livelihood,
this spirit,
   into something pleasing to You.
And lead me to right ways of being.

   Your plans cannot be frustrated.
   Your ways are impeccable.
   Your will is higher than mine.

Thank You for loving me.
Thank You for extending grace to me.
Thank You for Your just teachings.
Thank You for Your providence.

       I love You,
       Amen.

Ash & Smoke

"Threatened with danger, many go for refuge to gardens, sacred trees, mountains and forests." - Buddha

"For pride’s repulsive, more so in a beggar, like wet clothes on a cold and snowy day!" - Rumi

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him." - Psalm (NIV)

The sole purpose of incense is to slowly turn to ash
  while releasing sweet smoke.

       My life feels like incense.

Yesterday’s focus turned to today’s particulate thoughts.
Do I have the audacity,
  patience, 
  tenacity, 
to walk steadfastly down this road with You?

Life is filled with many things:
   work, rest, eating, releasing, sweat, sleep.
A foggy window to the world of the soul.

Please grant me patience and clarity
as I learn to walk with You from here.
       I love You.
       Amen.

Look Into Permanence

"However, whoever gives up this habit of finding fault with others’ offerings will know peace, day and night." - Buddha

"This world is void - look into permanence. Its form is empty - look into your spirit!" - Rumi

"For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies." - Psalm (NIV)

Focusing on spirit in the midst of visceral needs.
I know You are faithful and I will not be afraid.
   Lead me to the right path.
   Guide me to right actions.
I can honestly say I have no idea what I should do.
   (and I’m o.k. with that.)

Father, I love You.
Please continue to provide for my needs.
Please extend Your grace and peace to my loved ones.
I don’t have much to offer, but what I have is Yours.
       Amen.

Radiating Life

"A single days life of one who puts out great effort is better than a life of a hundred years lived in idleness and sluggishness." - Buddha

"The sun on high is radiating life, each moment emptying and filling up. O sun of spirit, radiating soul, direct your newness to the worn-out world." - Rumi

"Awake, my soul! Awake harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn." - Psalm (NIV)

I know You will provide and care for me.
   Lead me to right ways.
I know You have written a higher destiny.
   Lead me to right actions.
I know You write the truth on men’s hearts.
   Lead me to right thoughts.

Use my voice to sing the angels’ songs and fill the world with Your music.
       I love You,
       Amen.

The One Who Keeps Watch

"I call him a Noble One who is meditative, serene, free of lust, having completed what needs to be done, stainless, having achieved the highest good." - Buddha

"Invite the One who’s keeping watch to join you." - Rumi

"Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?" - Psalm (NIV)

In many ways I stubbornly refuse to take wise and discerning action.
Resisting both the vision and a life of fruitful servant-hood.
Resisting Your unstoppable will, Lord.
I falter when I should stand firm,
   and stand firm where flexibility is required.
In every respect proving my own foolishness.
You patiently and persistently push me
   closer to the life You want from me.

Seer.
Noble One Of Heaven.
Savior.
Friend.
   Thank You for being with me
      and patiently taking my hand
         again and again.
       Amen.

Firm Steps

"Lift yourself up. Be attentive. Act virtuously. One who does good deeds lives happily, both in this life and the life to come." - Buddha

"The soul is perfect and its calling is perfect." - Rumi

"If the Lord delights in a man’s way he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand." - Psalm


Credibility and the way of the righteous.
I am not so pretentious
   as to consider myself holy.
We are all a mix of right-ness and brokenness.
Neither is a virtue.

Honest Soul, direct my life in a way pleasing to the Lord.

Virtue takes long diligent practice.
Become a virtuoso of virtue.

Re-animate my sleeping servant-hood, Merciful Father.
       Amen.

Veiled Or Unveiled

"Whoever leads others evenhandedly, but not by force, is a guardian of justice and is called righteous." - Buddha

"God’s summons to us, either veiled or unveiled, gives what He gave to Mary from His heart." - Rumi

"The days of the blameless are known to the Lord, and their inheritance will endure forever." - Psalm


The signs of right ways and the fruits of the spirit of God.
Continue to call out evenness and diligence within me.
Continue to lead me to right thoughts and right ways.
Captivate my moments with Your higher calling.
Help me to think on what is good, what is holy and what is pure.
   Light my way with Your mercy and grace.
You know my nature.
I am quick to judge and slow to loving kindness.
I have pride and stubbornness.
Continue to teach me the use for these gifts (encumbrances?)
   Thank You for Your providence.
   Lead me to Your will.
       Amen.

Pride’s Net

"Let one mold himself in accordance with the precepts he teaches. There can be no gap in credibility, and no disgrace." - Buddha

"Its ugly to be plain of face and haughty; it’s cruel to be blind and suffer eye-pain." - Rumi

"Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me [….]" - Psalm


If I was soaring, I would not walk into the pit.
If I was flying, no net could reach the spaces I delighted in.
   It is this haughty countenance - 
   a dream of flight but not truly gliding -
   that runs me into unexpected snares.
Putting my failings in plain view.
Humility the antidote for hubris.

My finances are an utter train wreck.
My personal life suffers from a lack of accountability.
I am ignoring the sacraments as held in community.
I am not contributing to the betterment of my community or the world.
I have relaxed my high standards.
I am putting off my responsibilities in relation to my talents.
I am ignoring my loved ones.

I do not stand on a foundation of credibility.
I have no right to request Your grace in sight of my unfaithfulness.
   Please make my ways right again.
   Please renew my life and livelihood.
       Amen.

Encamped

"Unwholesome mind states disappear among those who are mindful of the nature of the body, who stop doing what is right not to be done, and fulfill what needs to be done." - Buddha

"Without God’s care, we are nothing - naught." - Rumi

"The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." - Psalm


I have the tools and resources available to accomplish what You’ve set before me.
Why does my heart linger?
Why do I put off Your plans?
I am left without excuses.
   I will take action on Your vision.
   I will embrace Your holy mountain.
   I will continue my journeys within Your presence.
Teach me to cease my tarrying.
       I love You.
       Amen.