Spiritual Directors International

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Practice Challenge: Go in - and Down - Until You Float Back Up

Guest Author: 
Jinks Hoffmann

 

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 POEM:

Be still.

 

Go in

and down.

 

Throw away

the marbles, cigarettes,

chewing gum.

Stop rocking

the chair.

 

You may encounter bumping

roads, dust, even a scorpion.

 

But if you are still

long enough,

the tears

that have waited

your entire life,

will find you.

 

Be still.

 

Trust

your tears—

 

After a time

you will find yourself

floating back up.

 

And like after

a rainstorm,

where dust

has been lovingly

patted down,

you will hear the sun

yawning hello,

smell something

that puts you in mind

of frangipani,

and notice, with wonder,

that you, indeed,

are a thing of beauty.

 

~ Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann

November 2018

 

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.

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