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adiscussionYesterday at the meeting of our “Wisdom Practice Circle” we were missing two of our members, one of whom was our “token male.” We never think of Don as “token” and spoke clearly at the end of our gathering about the fact that there was a slightly different feel in the energy of the group this time. Of course we also missed Estelle’s deep and meaningful reflections, as we do when any one of us is absent, but it was instructive to notice a subtle, unexpected shift that seemed due to Don’s absence, because his participation in the circle is always comfortable, seamless. As I think about that, however, I realize that his perspective on points of discussion is often dissimilar – one might say “fresh.” Perhaps therein lies the beauty of a complete circle that manifests both the similarity (peaceful presence, in this case) and difference (male perspective, for us yesterday) of human possibility.

Our lectio divina text at the meeting consisted of quotes from Entering the Castle by Caroline Myss, her book based on The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. As I re-read those lines this morning, two jumped out at me, begging to be heard.

You must learn to love the discipline of the interior life and all that it requires of you…Now your role is to empower the life you have and the person you are with the energy of grace that listening to your soul gives you.

Perhaps the depth of meaning in the lines is reflective of what we were feeling  yesterday. Each of us comes to that circle desiring to deepen our lives and each offers our particular “energy of grace” that benefits the whole. I am again aware of how blessed I am to be in such a grace-filled company of individuals who come together to form a unity of purpose in the service of love.