Tag Archives: spirit

Spooky Stuff

In honor of Halloween, I’d like to take a moment to talk about something that came up briefly in class the other day–clairvoyance, intuition, spirits, and all that heebie-jeebie, potentially spooky stuff.

Most of the experience here at St. Gertrude’s isn’t focused on honing those skills, probably due to the fact that a large number of people discredit these sorts of things. But, I think it’s all fascinating, and I can certainly see why someone who is incredibly in touch with God (or the divine or the energy of the universe) wouldn’t have a certain extra level of perception. In fact, I almost feel that it’d be inevitable. I think of it this way: when I learned about typography, I couldn’t stop myself from noticing tiny typographical victories (or mishaps) in my everyday life. People often don’t think twice about tiny things like typography because we tend to see the broad, practical purpose rather than the underlying, essential ‘why’ of how things affect us. But because I understand why typography works the way it does, I can better predict whether an advertisement will get read, what program it was made in, and what audience the creator was targeting. Physics is much the same way. Once you understand physics on a deeper level, you would be much more equipped to figure out what the results of a motion will be.

But to get back to clairvoyance.

Today I had the oddest thought while I sat in chapel. I thought about hard-boiled eggs. Now, there are plenty of reasons I could have thought about hard-boiled eggs. Usually, I’d assume I was hungry or that I was craving eggs. However, neither of those things was particularly true. The thought came and passed, fleeting and inconsequential, and I went on to think about other things, namely the people I love and how I want good things for them.

The only reason this makes an interesting story is because tonight for dinner we’re having deviled eggs. First of all, this makes me happy because I do really like deviled eggs. But second, when I found this out, I couldn’t help remembering my random thought. The logical explanation could be that somewhere my nose detected a tiny trace scent of eggs. Or maybe we want to get spooky and say that my intuition is being heightened, and somehow I tapped briefly into the happenings of the kitchen a couple floors away. Either my ‘real’ senses were bringing in extra information, or my ‘spooky’ senses were. Either way, I think it’s kind of cool.

Now, this is a silly experience and makes no real difference in my life. But, I like to think that we can work to hone our ability to perceive the world, the people, the energy around us by being more mindful and aware. Why would we want to do that? Well, I suppose that might depend on each person’s beliefs. But since I think the universe often works in the favor of the good and peaceful, I’d rather be more in touch with it so I know when I’m on the right track. I think listening to that deeper essential part of life can only lead you to a better place.

And that may be kind of superstitious, and it may be kind of spooky, but it works for me.

I guess that’s why I like Halloween!

 

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Praying for Rain

Prayers are, as I may have mentioned before, not exactly my forte. I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of praying for something specific, like getting a job, clear skies, or some other particular outcome. It seems to me like prayer is not supposed to be about asking God for something specific to happen or not happen. That sounds simple enough, until you realize… What exactly do you pray for?

For instance, my personal qualms at the moment stem from my dad’s health. As much as I would love for my dad to not be going through what he is, and as much as I don’t want his life to be shortened, I can’t bring myself to pray for those things. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t see God as a master planner who can change the course of events at will. And, as counter-religious as it may sound, I don’t think of God as a ‘he’ who ‘answers prayers.’ Results-oriented prayer doesn’t seem too logical if you don’t think the force you’re praying to has direct control over results. So who am I asking? And what do I really expect to get from my asking?

Well, the best way I can explain it, I think, is in terms of the Spirit. I pray to the spirit, or the force, or God, that exists in and around all of us. So, in a way, when I’m at my most prayerful, I’m really asking myself for help–my innermost, intuitive, inherently natural and good self. When I ask for peace, I somehow know that I already have that peace within me. When I ask for love, I am tapping into the deep capacity I have for love as a spiritual being. And when I pray for other people… I suppose most of all I am hoping that they will be able to find the peace and love inside themselves that will make them happier and healthier individuals.

I believe prayer is really about being a better person and cultivating peace and love. That may sound hokey. But I do believe that energy is a powerful force and that the Spirit (or God) thrives on positive energy. And since I want to feed the good of the world and the good in me, I pray.

I don’t know what most people do. I am actually very curious about it, since most people don’t say their most personal prayers out loud. Plus, most people at the monastery have been praying their whole lives. It’s kind of assumed that everyone already does it. Admittedly, I don’t know how much my prayer style has in common with the Sisters’. Maybe soon I’ll pluck up the nerve to ask.