Episode #42- Contemplation of Nature with Chinua

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Hi friends, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* As usual, Ro and I talk about our week, including a worldwide leukena tree celebration, more singing, and love for contemplation of nature.

* Chinua guides a contemplation of nature meditation. You’ll need an object of nature for this meditation—either something you can hold and look at, or something you can see/feel.

(If you want to skip to the meditation, it’s at 06:54 but don’t skip the intro because you definitely need to hear the kids romping in the background.) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

I’ve been reading about Emerson, and his play between the life of action, and that free flying internal life of the spirit. Here we are for a purpose, but we still need to connect to the gentle and inspiring words of the Spirit, or we become thirsty and a bit angry, like hedgehogs. 

I pray that you find that connection this week. Pour your heart out. The Father inclines his ear to you.

Love to you all,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #41- Meditation on Light with Rae

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Hi beautiful ones, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* Ro and I talk about the week we’ve just had, including coming home, my new book, singing, and   butterflies. 

* I guide a lectio divina on Light with a short introductory imagination meditation on moving around in the dark. 

I used a collection of verses from different translations: 

Psalm 119: 105

Matthew 4:16

John 1:5

John 8: 12

Ephesians 5: 13 and 14

Ro mentioned that she thinks this meditation is an excellent one for people who are new to meditation, so if know anyone like that, or you are new, feel free to share! 

(If you want to skip to the meditation, it’s at 08:03 but don’t skip the intro because it’s a bit like a rare butterfly.)

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

This morning I’m thinking of the seemingly endless juggling of life. Tasks, food, clothing, lists, prayers, views, talks, things to do, things to see, things to pay. And in the midst of it all, a call to come away and be at rest. I pray that you find a little circle for yourself today, a place to be at rest, even in your heart while you do the things you need to do. 

Love to you all,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #40- Imagination Meditation on Jesus healing the centurion's servant, with Neil

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Hi beautiful ones, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* Ro and I chat about our week, including a soul care retreat, water buffalo, and food!

* Neil guides an imagination meditation on Matthew 8: 5-13

(If you want to skip to this, it’s at 08:40 but don’t skip the intro because it’s not a skimpy breakfast.) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

The retreat we just had brought so many emotions to the surface, and I’m reminded of how much we need God’s help in sorting through feelings, so we feel surrounded and embraced rather than lonely in emotion. So this week I pray that you feel the companionship of God in whatever you go through. 

Love to you all,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #39- Meditation on the Jesus Prayer with Rae

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Hi friends, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* Chinua and I chat about our week, including working with wood, music, singing, and a blessing way.

* I (Rae) guide a meditation on the Jesus Prayer

(If you want to skip to this, it’s at 07:26, but don’t skip the intro because you’ll miss Chin’s thoughts on the perfect chord.) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

This week may you have joy, and I have joy, and all of us have deep, deep joy. 

Much love,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

A Poem from Laura

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I used to think I had to shove my doubts deep down

Keep them locked up

Only personal

Afraid the questions may make an earthquake

A trembling across the ocean of others’ faith

But a constant smashing up against the reality of the world - a tidal wave

Crashes my paper-thin and vulnerable faith

Confronted by my own shortcomings and denial of injustices, a turning a face

Maybe this is where real faith begins

When I am weighed to the ground with their cries

When I do not have answers

When it no longer makes sense

When pain reveals I do not understand creates a well deep of questions

This is where you offer me a drink

Of a water that is life

This is where I can offer you drink

In the midst of my uncertainty

In the midst of our uncertainties

When I do not feel God

There you are

Right in the midst of this wrestling

Spill your secrets and I’ll share mine

An exchange that brings connection

With you and the divine.

Episode #38- Contemplation of Nature with Ro

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Hi friends, 


Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* Ro and I chat about our week, including an embodiment workshop, immigration adventures, and the beauty of God in the midst of bureaucratic headaches.

* Ro guides a contemplation of nature meditation.

(If you want to skip to this, it’s at 10:55, but don’t skip the intro because you’ll miss some deep theological musings :) ) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

I pray this week that you hear the still small voice of God during the days and the nights. 


Much love,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Can we sing it again?

A couple of weeks ago we started our Devotion Circle times back up again. Meeting on a Monday afternoon as a community, welcoming travellers to join us. Making a rangoli in the centre of our space - a symbol of welcoming the Divine among us.

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And then singing and singing and singing. We sang a few bhajans - worship songs to Jesus, in the Indian style. After finishing one song, a lovely new traveller friend Jaelle said “Can we sing that one again?”

And why not? These words are true and beautiful and we repeat them again and again. We sing them, we pray them to God, we sing them to our own hearts, we repeat them to remind and encourage each other.

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Our Devotion Circles are pretty organic. Between songs, we intersperse prayers sometimes, or quotes and poems, verses from Scripture. I read a Mary Oliver poem called ‘Praying’:

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

(a post by Ro)

Episode #37- Lectio Divina on 1 Kings 19: 11-13 with Naomi

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Hi loves, 

I hope you’ve had a beautiful weekend, and if you’re in any space that celebrates Father’s Day this weekend, an excellent Father’s Day. Maybe a day of remembering, or celebrating, or even sifting through the good and bad of your experiences of fatherhood, whatever they are. 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

* Ro and I chat about a busy week, shouting out to my parents, who have been married for forty years, and shouting out to Ro and Neil, who have been married for 13. Ro tells us a bit about their epic road trip over the weekend, and we chat about people on their way, people who are leaving, garden work, and moving house. 

*Naomi guides an lectio divina mediation on 1 Kings 19: 11-13, reading from the Voice translation.

(If you want to skip to this, it’s at 09:50, but don’t skip the intro because you’ll miss the gardener and his whipper snipper!) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

I pray this week that you feel the expansiveness and promise of God’s love for you. 

Much love,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #36- Lectio Divina on the theme of peace with Ro

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Hi beloveds, 

I’m getting the podcast out after a day of unpacking at our new house, as well as a bit of puzzle time with Christy. Good times. 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*Ro and I chat about the week, including a labyrinth, moving strong people, and singing our hearts out.

*Ro guides a Lectio Divina meditation on the theme of peace. 

She reads from Ezekiel 37:26-27, Philippians 4:6-7, John 14:27, Romans 5:1, and Romans 15:13. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 07:47, but don’t skip the intro because there are night sounds! Night sounds!) 

Here’s a shot of the labyrinth Joshua made at Shekina Garden.

Here’s a shot of the labyrinth Joshua made at Shekina Garden.

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

I pray that this would be a week of many, many tiny beautiful things for you.

Much love,

~ Rae


The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Community Lunch at Shekina Garden

It is lovely to be back home after adventures in the USA recently. Good to be back among my community, good to be back into our weekly rhythms. I do well with spontaneity in my life, but also with some good habits and rhythms and regular things that happen each week.

This week was my first week back cooking for Community Lunch. I head out to the market in the morning and enjoy loading up my scooter with lots of fresh vegetables - this week I made Magic Orange Soup, named by Isaac, which is full of pumpkin and potato and carrot - and fresh bread. The ladies at the market enjoy seeing how much produce I can stack on my scooter.

I get to the Garden, open up the kitchen, turn the fan on full blast, load up a podcast (this week was Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam to begin with) and get chopping.

A little way into cooking, I get a message from Winnie that the funeral of the beloved Rachel Held Evans, who passed away just recently, is on YouTube. At first I feel hesitant to watch the funeral of a stranger, but then I re-read Winnie’s message: ‘I’m a mess, there are tears in the cake batter, but Jesus is so stinking beautiful.’ It is enough to make me turn it. on. Soon enough I am a mess too, crying into the soup as I listen to family and friends pour out their love, honouring Rachel and turning my eyes to Jesus.

I finish the soup, butter 5 loaves of bread, chop more veggies for a fresh salad with Japanese dressing and do some quick dishes. Other folks have come and swept and mopped the salaah, set out cushions to sit on, bowls to eat out of, and fresh water. Someone is playing slide guitar. Friends are starting to arrive and kids are running in and out of the kitchen, everyone greeting each other, hugging, catching up. Some tears, some shared words about the beautiful sad funeral and other life stuff.

Eventually we are ready to eat. We introduce our space to newcomers, telling people that all we do here is just an overflow of love that we have received form the Divine and want to splash around. We sing. We give thanks. We eat!

And the afternoon goes on, gypsy jazz music, kids playing, good chats about deep things and fun silly things. Our dear Reillys are up for the weekend, so we make sure to squeeze them extra tight and enjoy seeing them back in the circle, feeling so normal and natural and a bit sad because it isn’t the norm these days, since they moved to Chiang Mai.

Dishes are washed, little kids play with the hoses in the hot afternoon. Older kids embrace being hot and sweaty and hold push-up and sit-up competitions! Chai and cake is served. We have a Sharing Circle, answering the question “Are you happy?”, which can be as simple or as deep as you would like it to be. Beautiful people share their hearts together.

Ahh, it is good to be back.

Here are a few snaps from lunch yesterday. A quick comment on the last one - if you sneakily take my phone to take dozens of silly selfies, you may just end up with one of them on the Community Blog! :)

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(a post by Ro)

(a post by Ro)

Episode #35- Imagination Meditation on the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda

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Hi beloveds, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*Ro is back! We chat about her travels and what’s been going on around here, including her visit to Nomad’s Land, hobbit houses, moving house, and vision talks. 

*Mili guides an imagination meditation on the man beside the pool of Bethesda. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 08:33, but don’t skip the intro because if you do, you won’t hear the faint background sounds of Chinua playing jazz piano. :D) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

I pray that you find home in the heart of God this week. 

Much love,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #34- Lectio Divina on Psalm 19: 1-3 with Ro

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Hi beloveds, 

We’ve had rain! It’s glorious. 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*In the introduction, I chat a bit about fences, climbing plants, and community lunch. (Next week Ro will be back for the introduction- yay!)

* Ro guides a Lectio Divina on Psalm 19:1-3. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 06:07.) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

This week, let’s take some time to wander and see the things that God has made. Clouds, dirt, ants, and giant beetles are some things I saw today.

Much love,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

A Prayer.

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We bring our hearts before Father, Son, and Spirit. 

Breathe on us. Reflect back to us what we are, what holes need to be filled with grace and mercy. Show us how we have taken on arrows, or let parts of ourselves fade to apathy. 

Wash us so we can live truly in freedom, untethered from the tricks of worry or opinion. Tethered to your strength, power, and grace. Tethered to your endless ability through love. 

Through love that cleanses, we are able to rise up. Through love that offers, that bridges worlds, we are drawn deep into the love of Father, Son, and Spirit. Through love that burns, we are able to overcome our fears. 

Through mercy we are invited into your being, to walk in your glittering shadow, to find rest in coming home to you. Through mercy we invite others to come closer, to find rest. 

Help us to be very near.

To curl up in our home in you, next to your heart. 

Cleanse us, restore us. Let our palms flow with love for others, giving life to all we touch. Give us peace that passes all understanding. Help us to live in this peace.

Amen.


*

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Episode #33- Lectio Divina on Psalm 69: 13-18 with Mili

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Hi dear ones, 

It’s Mother’s Day in some parts of the world- happy Mother’s Day! I pray that you and the mothers in your lives are surrounded by mercy. 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*In the introduction, chat a bit about what has been going on around here.

* Mili guides a Lectio Divina on Psalm 69:13-18. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 05:15.) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

Many blessings,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

Episode #32- Lectio Divina on Psalm 23 with Mili.

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Hi beloveds, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*In the introduction, I share a little about the beginning of the new season. 

* Mili guides a Lectio Divina on Psalm 23. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 06:26, but don’t skip the introduction because I love you!) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

Surround one another with kindness this week, friends. 

Many blessings,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you! Special thanks this week to our new patron, Anne!

Episode #31- Lectio Divina on Psalm 34: 1-8 with Rae

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Hi beloveds, 

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:

*Neil and Ro chat about getting back to Pai, garden projects, and a quiet book club. 

* Rae guides a Lectio Divina on Psalm 34:1-8. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 06:11, but don’t skip the introduction because you won’t get to hear a lizard making his podcast debut!)

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

Be warmed by love this week, friends. 

Many blessings,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!

The gift of strength, give to us

He Srijanahar, Prabhu tumhaari

Ashish hum par hove

He Annadaata, Jivanadaata

Baldaan de do hame 

O Creator Lord, your

Blessings be upon us 

Oh Giver of food, Life giver

The gift of strength, give to us

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A recent favourite song we have been singing during Yeshu Kirtan - worship songs to Jesus, in Indian style. Words and music by Swami Anil Dev, Matridham Ashram; arrangement by Miranda Stone. You can find a beautiful recording at https://yeshusatsangtoronto.bandcamp.com/

Episode #30- Contemplation of Nature with Ro

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Hi beloveds, 

I’m posting this late after a traveling day and a long power out yesterday. It’s Easter Sunday where I am, and I am spending a week in solitude, writing and reflecting. I’m very, very thankful for the opportunity. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of silence to catch up on. The seasons are changing again, the first rains have come, and our rhythms will start up again at the beginning of May. It’s time to reflect on the last season and plan for the next.

Here’s what to expect in this episode of the podcast:


* Neil and Ro chat about their last days in Koh Phangan and what they’ve been up to, including sweaty hikes, meditation, small furry creatures, and of course, birds.

* Ro guides a Contemplation of Nature meditation. (If you want to skip to this, it’s at 05:14, but don’t skip the introduction because it knows its way to the top of a mountain!) 

Here’s the podcast on iTunes. 

Here’s the episode on Youtube.

We would be the saddest people in the world if not for the resurrection. I pray that you would find a moment to let the reality of the glorious new body of Jesus, and all that means, make its way into your heart. 

Many blessings,

~ Rae

The podcast will always be free, but you can support us on Patreon.com and get extra audio each month. We're so thankful for your support, which helps our communities to offer this kind of meditation and other Christ-centered practices for free. We need it! So, thank you!