Practice Challenge: Go in - and Down - Until You Float Back Up
If this feels like a paradox, perhaps even impossible, then you are on the right track and it's the perfect time to try it.
1) Read the poem below by spiritual director and SDI Poetry Editor Jinks Hoffmann.
2) Find a quiet room.
3) Close the door (or open it if you prefer to be outside).
4) Invite and welcome stillness.
5) Celebrate every interruption your mind brings you.
6) These thoughts are gifts, reminders that you have the blessed ability to choose stillness again and again and again - to renew your will to listen deeply, to seek the indwelling infinite, to welcome the intangible unimaginable depth that is as much a part of you as your genetic code or your childhood.
7) As the poem says: "Go in and down."
8) Embrace whatever arises in this contemplative practice as a friend. But cling to nothing.
9) When it feels appropriate, give thanks to Jinks - as we do every day at SDI for she is a gem - and then give thanks to yourself.
We are grateful for each one of you - for you are whole and deep beyond measure and your very being enhances our own.
the marbles, cigarettes,
You may encounter bumping
roads, dust, even a scorpion.
But if you are still
that have waited
your entire life,
will find you.
After a time
you will find yourself
floating back up.
And like after
has been lovingly
you will hear the sun
that puts you in mind
and notice, with wonder,
that you, indeed,
are a thing of beauty.
~ Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann
Quote chosen by Jinks to accompany the poem:
"We religious types personify Being because we see ourselves as living in relationship to the underlying One."
—Arthur Green. Radical Judaism. p. 19
Jennifer "Jinks" Hoffmann was born and raised in South Africa, but has lived with her beloved husband, her soul historian, in Canada since 1966. She is a retired psychotherapist, and is a spiritual director, poet and writer. She has numerous publications, primarily of poetry. Jinks was on the Coordinating Council of SDI from 2008 to 2014. Jinks’ favorite ways of paying attention to Mystery, and listening for guidance for the big and little things, are through dreams, reading, and poetry writing. She also studies the divine as she walks though her days, since clues for awakening are hidden everywhere, in plain sight. Jinks has nineteen grandchildren and nine great-grands, and counting.