Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Nine

Frank Ostaseski, Founder & Director Metta Institute, Five Precepts

The Third Precept:  Don’t Wait

Patience is different than waiting.  When we wait, we are full of expectations.  When we’re waiting, we miss what this moment has to offer.  Worrying or strategizing about what the future holds for us, we miss the opportunities that are right in front of us.  Waiting for the moment of death, we miss so many moments of living.  Don’t wait.  If there’s someone you love, tell him or her that you love them.  Allow the precarious nature of this life to show you what’s most important, then enter fully.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Eight

Frank Ostaseski, Founder & Director Metta Institute, Five Precepts

The Second Precept:  Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience

In the process of healing others and ourselves we open to both our joy and fear.  In the service of this healing we draw on our strength and helplessness, our wounds and passion to discover a meeting place with the other.  Professional warmth doesn’t heal.  It is not our expertise but the exploration of our own suffering that enables us to be of real assistance.  That’s what allows us to touch another human being’s pain with compassion instead of with fear and pity.  We have to invite it all in.  We can’t travel with others in territory that we haven’t explored ourselves.  It is the exploration of our own inner life that enables us to form an empathetic bridge to the other person.

Frank Ostaseski is a Zen chaplain who has developed five precepts as companions on the journey of accompanying the dying.  The precepts are also deeply meaningful in other aspects of life.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Seven

Frank Ostaseski, Founder & Director Metta Institute, Five Precepts

The First Precept:  Welcome Everything.  Push Away Nothing

In welcoming everything, we don’t have to like what’s arising.  It’s actually not our job to approve or disapprove.  It’s our task to trust, to listen, and to pay careful attention to the changing experience.  At the deepest level, we are being asked to cultivate a kind of fearless receptivity.

This is a journey of continuous discovery in which we will always be entering new territory.  We have no idea how it will turn out, and it takes courage and flexibility.  We find a balance.  The journey is a mystery we need to live into, opening, risking, and forgiving constantly.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lectio Divina - Forty-Six

Luke 10:38-42, NRSV translation

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”