“Staying Grounded in this Time of COVID” by Ann Russell

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Rituals can be powerfully grounding, inspiring, transformative…when mindfully conceived, authentically communicated, artistically executed.

Or they can be repetitive OCD behavior, pretty much devoid of lively, meaningful metaphor and depth, disconnected from the very real challenges of life. At best, perhaps a comforting superstition

Since my first experience of Compline at St. Paul’s in 2004, I was hooked. Here it was, the care and respect of the depth of tradition, while continuing to allow the tradition to breathe and evolve, and to dare to offer an unambiguous welcome to ALL

With the onset of COVID-19, our much beloved rituals have had to really stretch to continue to breathe and adapt and find new expression, while bringing the essentials forward in fresh and creative expression. Not “throwing the baby out with the bath water”, as my mother would say

Now much of how I receive the rituals and social gatherings that are offered is my own responsibility.

I also must be willing to breathe and stretch and prepare the soil of my heart to receive the livestream Eucharist, Compline, morning meditation and Zoom social gatherings.

Preparing a special environment, lighting a candle, establishing a steady seat in a quiet space to breathe and listen and participate, I experience the nurture of familiar sights and sounds that are at once familiar and new when seen and heard via a different medium.

I want to deliver a hearty “Amen” to Father Daniel, Mother Louise, Jake, Marsha, Don, the hands-on vestry. Your continual exploration of reviving and rethinking tradition and ritual via new media, new mandates around gathering safely and new ways offering social support in these days of social-distancing, has been nothing short of amazing.

Much appreciation for all the mindfully conceived, authentically communicated and artistically executed Sadhanas (spiritual practices) and Satsangs (sacred gatherings).

Om Shanti & Amen!

Categories: Weekly Reflections