Dearest monks, artists, and pilgrims,
During this Jubilee year of sabbatical we are revisiting our Monk Manifesto by moving slowly through the Monk in the World retreat materials together every Sunday. Each week will offer new reflections on the theme and every six weeks will introduce a new principle.
Principle Two: I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
Today I offer a suggestion for practicing hospitality in your life.
Begin by pausing for a few moments and connecting to your breath. Gently draw your awareness down to your heart center and take some time to notice what you are feeling right now. See if you can make space for the truth of your experience without judgment or trying to change it. Then bring to your awareness what the mystics across traditions tell us – that the infinite compassion of God burns in our hearts. Breathe it in and allow it to fill you and your experience. Anytime you are feeling tender or hurt, allow some inner space to fill with compassion. Then extend that compassion to someone in your life whom you love. Then see if you can imagine this sacred compassion filling someone whom you find difficult.
How does this help you in your offering of hospitality to the stranger within and without?
With great and growing love,
Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, REACE
Photo © Christine Valters Paintner