When I write my posts it is always scary and thrilling because I am taking a stand. I take a stand somewhere between opinion and truth, between prejudice and openess, between demand and encouragement. I struggle to have my language of soul meet your language of soul in a creative engagement.
I strive to find the words that point to the center of an idea or a feeling or a desire so you can find first your bearings and then the momentum to move toward the center of your relationship to the idea, even to the center of your being.
I imagine center as a place where my being is found unfettered by limiting stories, distorting perspectives, constricting one-sidedness. Perhaps in the center I find my consciousness living free from the distracting and distorting challenges of karma or sin.
There are a number of biological elements in the human body – your body and my body- that give us a living corporeal experience of center. Of course, there is the heart and the spine, and the corpus callosum, but I find the fovea centralis the most exciting. The fovea is the tiny “pit” in the retina which provides the most acute sight – receptive to the brightest light. Perhaps understood esoterically, the fovea is also the place where our own inner light shines forth most brightly into the world, into others sight.
I’ve learned that from the center of our being something can become, something new can enter in that then radiates out. In the ideal, it is truth, compassion, empowerment, love, even freedom, that comes in and radiates out.
In my conversations with clients, I find the collaborative goal or intention is to find their center, so they can stand in it and clearly experience who they are and interact with others and the world from that place. It is so hard to stand in our times and even harder to find our center but once there we can get a clear and empowering imagination of self.
Each year for Inner Pentecost, I share a way to find a deeply personal connection to the great cosmic event that is described in New Testament Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31. This year I celebrate standing in the center.
FYI: I am writing this in the kitchen in front of a big window. Today there is indeed a mighty wind in the earthly sense. Truly blowing with major gusts – almost frightening. And finally, heavy rains falling on the parched Devon earth – it’s been a record setting dry spring. There is a grouping of irises outside the window and they are being blow off center but their strong rootedness allows them to “bounce back.”
The pentecostal event could not occur without one being standing in the center of the gathering of the Apostles and the other devoted souls. That individual was a woman and a mother whose soul carried the twin experiences of innocence and wisdom. In the stories of the New Testemant she is Mary. As a being, she is the Virgin Sophia.
Nothing is out of place in cosmic events so we can learn much about our inmost selves this Pentecost by embracing the image of standing in the center and having a feeling of who stands there.
Ask yourself, “Who am I who stands in my center? Who stands in my center ready to receive the spirit of love and the future?”
Can you hold the circle, all that is you, from the center? Too often we think we can only hold the circle by running frantically around the periphery, by attempting to expand or contract our limiting definitions of who we are. We do not hold our lives and our destinies together by stretching or limiting at the periphery. We hold them together by gently, firmly, warmly, dwelling at the center of our being. Without the center there is no circle, no life and no love.
The center is the neutral zone I wrote about in my post on Mother’s Day. The you that stands in the center has no stories. The moment you tell a story about yourself you have moved off center. We all move off center often.
What is important is to remember the centered feeling and know how to return to it.
When we only hear and speak our own language/stories we are off center, standing in one part of ourselves. When we are not in our center, we can only understand the languages of competing needs and defensive rejections.
Inner Pentecost asks us to find our center and stand in it, relinquishing our own languages so we can experience the universal language and see in clear bright light those who stand around us.
Here is a list of the key phrases I have written in this post that I want to consider more deeply and more personally. I want to find feelings and events that bring each phrase to life, my life. I’ve added some of my thoughts about each phrase.
You may want to follow this example and take a few minutes to note and respond to whatever words or phrases you resonate with. Listen to them and write down what you comprehend.
Innocence and wisdom — Only if I am innocent can I be wise? Being wise keeps innocence alive.
Holding the circle from the center — Holding all the parts of my life together from the core of my being. Given that I have a tendency to pay attention to too many things at once, this holding from the center imagination slows me down and lets me understand more of the language of things.
Center — What is my center? How do I know I am in my center? Is my center where I am most loving, most courageous, most understanding, most understood?
Expanding and contracting the periphery — From the serene power of the center I don’t worry about the peripheral activity.
The neutral zone of no stories — This is my upper room, where my Inner Pentecost takes place every time I can get myself there. I need to make up a list of reminders on how to return to the neutral zone.
Give up and forgive competing needs and defensive rejections — The key words are competing and defensive. We are entitled to have needs and entitled to reject but the pentecostal image of standing in the center sees all needs and rejections with equanimity. This is liberating maturity, not dramatizing adolescence.
Here are my previous posts on Pentecost.