centering prayer, Finding the On-Ramp to You Spiritual Life, Jan Phillips, journey, opportunities, resistance, spiritual path, spiritual practices, surrender, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, yield
In looking ahead to possibilities for the autumn “semester” at the Sophia Center, I began re-reading Finding the On-Ramp to Your Spiritual Life, a little book by Jan Phillips. The impetus came from two different conversations – one with Jan and another with a member of my Spiritual Practices Circle who is considering reading the book with a group in her Church. It’s a catchy title and the idea of using traffic signs as chapter titles was, it seems to me, quite an inspired idea. It’s part of Jan’s genius, I think, to see deep meaning in the connections that exist everywhere and use everyday experiences to mine deep truth. Think about all you could say about “STOP” or “DIVIDED HIGHWAY” or even “FALLING ROCKS AHEAD.” (Actually, that’s not a bad idea. What would you say about each of those things vis-à-vis your life?)
Last night I read the chapter entitled YIELD, which is a familiar concept to someone who learns the daily letting go in the practice of centering prayer. Here’s how Jan began that reflection.
The word yield has a variety of meanings. On the road, it means to surrender, to give way. In nature, it means to engender, to bear fruit. On the spiritual path, one leads to the other. Once we give up our notion of how life “should be,” we free ourselves to experience the lives that we do have.
Simple, right? But not easy, of course. Give it some time today as you drive or shop or interact with others…See how yielding is a better choice than resistance and bow to the opportunities that so often just show up to help us along on our journey.