In addition to my work as the chaplain and bereavement coordinator at Hancock Regional Hospice, I am also the pastor of Noblesville First Friends Church, a welcoming and peaceful Quaker meeting. Friends have a tradition of what is known as “unprogrammed worship,” which is also called silent worship. This sitting together in silence and waiting for the inward prompting of the spirit is very nourishing and refreshing…and it can be similar to meditative practices in other traditions.
Last night, during our silent worship time, one Friend felt led to read a quote:
Learn to linger with what provokes you.
You may just find the spirit of God moving there.
I so love that. And it is a mindful practice. Instead of running away from the anxiety, we can put our hand on our heart and with compassion, think, “Wow, I am really feeling anxious right now.” Instead of fuming about an insensitive comment, we can notice how we feel and bring the light of awareness to that place. Perhaps the tightness of our stomach or the ache in our shoulders will tell us why it bothers us so much. What is it triggering in us? Can we be gentle with ourselves when we are upset? Can we stay present, even and especially when we are provoked?
That lingering, that openness, that staying is that-of-God-in-action. And the bless of it is that it helps us be more fully awake, be kinder to ourselves, and be more present for the movement of spirit, in and around us. Win-win-win.