What Hidden Things Await Your Discovery?
 
 Wonder what hidden things are waiting for you? Our Listen to Your Life program is a discovery of the hidden goodness within each life and begins each fall. Now is the time to apply for September 2016!
 
There's a wonderful and haunting chant called Hidden Things* that runs counter to the voyeuristic media coverage of our culture that rips the veil off too many intimate moments in life.
 
The hidden things of the chant are mysteries that reveal the deep workings of God toward health and healing of a people in pain: "Call to me and I will answer you and I will show you hidden things you have not known..." (Jeremiah 33)  Here, the hidden things to be revealed are toward goodness and are treated as sacred.
 
The first time I heard this chant I was driving in haste toward Berkeley having received word that my daughter had gone into labor.  I popped my new CD in the player thinking it might ground my scattered flight and this chant began to fill the car and my soul. Something hidden and infinitely precious was about to be revealed and I could imagine no greater privilege that being there to witness her arrival.
 
That same spirit of holy expectancy is core to our Listen to Your Life: A Sacred Voice is Calling program. While I wonder how many hesitate to listen to or look at their life fearing what they'll find, I can say with confidence that the 'hidden things' that are revealed bring courage and hope and a sense of meaning and purpose.
 
But don't take my word for it.  Here are some reflections from the group that just completed their 9 month program about hidden things newly revealed:
  • that my vulnerability IS strength
  • that everything is holy given eyes to see
  • that real transformation is about inner work in relationship
  • that in a deep way I can only be in quest
  • that attending to my spirit in this way energizes rather than depletes me
  • that the resistances I encounter inside myself are never walls, but doorways
  • that a new reverence for what it is to be human is growing in me; amazingly every part of us is on our side!
  • that I AM on a path, but it’s more meandering that I expected & I’m much more willing to let it unfold.
  • the big surprise is that I fell into a deeper relationship with God
  • that I’m learning the pace of grace and it's a very different pace that the one which has driven my life
 We often hear that the Listen to Your Life year is the most significant experience of coming home to oneself in God that participants have ever encountered. There are two key ingredients to the design that make the journey of discovery possible:

1. Creating a community of mutual commitment where the depth journey can blossom fully.
2. Offering experience (spiritual practice) and reflection on that experience in community. Experience helps to plant us in the ground where God gives the growth and transformation can happen. Information alone, no matter how good, cannot do this.
 
 
*From Sounds of the Eternal: Meditative Chants and Prayers by John Phillip Newell (2007)
 
 

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Entries
 
Posted by Dianne Aldrich on 16-Nov-2016 at 08:34:07 EST
Subject: Providing a Pathway

Thank you for these necessary words we will need over and over again in the coming days, months, years. May the voice of BOL remain strong and beautiful providing a path through the wilderness.

Posted by Sue Mannshardt on 15-Nov-2016 at 07:03:44 EST
Subject: Renewing Hope

Thank you, Sandra…as always your words hit home, inspire, and help make clearer the road to healing that we need so desperately in our country and world. Many prophetic voices, including yours, have come forward these past few days…from Maria Shriver's interview with Desmond Tutu a day or so before the election, to Jim Wallis, Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault…some pretty challenging stuff. I sent at least one of these to our daughter who is deeply grieved (as are we all are), who replied, "I don't see the hope yet!" And as more and more of his cabinet appointees are made known, that hope seems dimmer and dimmer…For me the the question is, what can I do other than contribute to programs like Planned Parenthood or some agency/program that supports saving God's creation, gay rights, civil rights etc etc etc…My hope is that with the approach of Advent, and the coming of hope, joy, peace renewed, my hope will grow stronger and more and more light will shine through the cracks in the darkness you call a sticky pit, and once again we can sing "Holy Darkness!"

Posted by Lynne L on 15-Nov-2016 at 06:19:48 EST
Subject: Engaging

Staying present in the discomfort is the not-so-easy task. It is not easy to stay in the process with the finger-pointing and name-calling when it touches our own ire. Active, engaged presence and deep listening is essential. I am so grateful for the skills, and especially the attitudes, that we have been honing over the past couple of years as interns. May we all remain humbly engaged.

Posted by Carol Abbott on 14-Nov-2016 at 08:59:38 EST
Subject: Community

I join you in wanting to open myself to the times of meeting and listening that will begin to heal our deep divides. Right now my grief makes that seem impossible, and yet I trust that the breath of God IS still creating. I am grateful for the breath of life and hope that comes with and from Bread of Life community.