Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Centeredness, a language of centeredness pervades our modern society. We speak of being centered, of living a centered life; frequently we associate this with the idea of balance. If we can just appropriately balance all the demands we will be successful at surviving the multitude of burdens life brings. The balance scale and the teeter-totter are two images that quickly come to mind. They suggest that if we put equal weight on the opposing ends that we will be able to bear the load, it is just a matter of equal placement. I loved my teeter-totter as a kid, but the joy of the teeter-totter isn’t experienced when the ride is in a state of equal balance. The objective of the balance scale and the teeter-totter is the lowering of a heavier end, the visual measure of imbalance.

So, how might we better perceive centeredness? I suggest we look to the natural world, our solar system for guidance. The earth’s energy source, the sun, is the center of our universe; the planets are ordered around the center of universal energy. As we seek to better understand the concept of centeredness, what if we apply this same idea to our own lives? I believe we must first ask: What is the center of our life, from where does our energy, our sustainable source of life, come? Once we have identified our center, the source of our life’s sustenance, we must then ask: Do the things in our lives move around our center – our sustainable source of life, or is our energy – our source of life demoted to an inferior position, forced to move around the things in our life?

The garden is a grounding presence, a continual reminder that the sustainable source of our life is found outside of ourselves. We are reminded daily that we do not control the elements of the natural world; that we are part of a greater system of sustaining life. We might find that working in cooperation with the sustainable source will yield our greatest centeredness.

Emptiness is not ‘nothingness’ – it is not the absence of all matter.  For the followers of Christ, it took an empty grave to awaken them to the transformative power of divine relationship.  Like the empty tomb, the empty garden is an invitation to a place of fertile transformation – transformation through interior reflective journey & transformative relationship.  For Christians the empty tomb is an invitation to relationship with a living God – a divine being that purposefully creates empty spaces for fertile transformation.

For many of us emptiness can create feelings of anxiety, when we respond to it in fear.  Allowing ourselves to dwell in a space of perpetual spiritual emptiness can leave us feeling as though our lives are meaningless.  Frequently, in search for a cure to our feelings of meaninglessness we adopt a state of perpetual busyness.  Our society is exceptional at measuring an individual’s value by their state of busyness.  Unfortunately, this perpetual state of busyness keeps us from experiencing the fertile transformation that the gift of emptiness can offer. 

Throughout spring humanity is invited into this fertile empty space of the garden; a space teeming with all the elements that will birth new life and transformation. How, like the gardener, might we embrace emptiness and cultivate within our hearts openness to our own transformation?  Will we join the divine in the empty fertile space of transformation, or will we continue to measure our value by perpetual busyness?