Staying In ~ Article by Peter Tigchelaar

Here’s a portion of a fantastic article by my buddy Peter that you all need to read!

Leaning into a biting wind, I pressed through the dark towards the hermitage I’d been nesting in for a few days.  Relying on the map of each turn and ascent that my memory had charted in daylight, I navigated the 17-minute walk away from the forced air heat of the retreat center, relishing the delight of my return to solitude and the companion warmth of the woodstove in my waiting nest.

Back inside, the brisk walk with its crescendo of anticipation was already solidifying into a gift I’ve grown to treasure, and for which I gave immediate thanks: not only was I safely sheltered from the bleak cold and snowy ghosts outside the hermitage windows; in that moment I knew myself in a fresh manna way as just who I was, a child loved and held by warm silence.  It was an early, wintry beginning to Lent that year, and it just felt so good to be in!

This gift has grown to be more than metaphor.  Time and again I’m reminded of how impossible it is to resist the consistent, impulsive distractions prompting me to go out — unless I counter with an equally consistent and calm determination to stay in. Nowhere has this been more evident than in my efforts to keep up a daily meditation practice, when staying put becomes a navigational necessity when aiming towards the stillness needed for knowing that God is God, and we’re not. Whether it’s the Jesus prayer, or the Benedictine Maranatha, or Brennan Manning’s “Abba, I belong to you,” or Mary’s “Let it be to me,” staying with your mantra traveling companion begins to quietly reinforce the value of staying in, of remaining present to your deepest self.

To read the rest of the article, check out Catapult Magazine

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