Growing old

Growing old tutors us in what Jesus taught.
To let go, to let go.
To surrender things, control,
the power to make things as you wish.
To rely, and be grateful.
To know the blessing hidden in being
poor in spirit, with diminished powers,
trusting a greater power, unseen;
to be meek, unlikely to outgun the strong,
and know what you have;
to know mourning, and the comfort that outlives grief;
to hunger for a world
yet to come into its righteousness—
hunger that is strength.
And the blessing that endures. It endures.

To let pain be a teacher and weakness a coach
and failure a school that never lets out.
To leave your works for your heart.
To forgive yourself and others as one.
To renounce what anybody thinks of you.
To be able to see the long story of love,
how it has shadowed you.
To have found a center reliant on nothing
but the everlasting.
To know that your legacy shall be unknown;
that loveliness is not in your face but behind it;
that beyond the Mystery
all is gathered in capable arms;
that all is grace.
To know that when you have lost everything,
when there is nothing left of you

you are still you,
strong and beautiful, worthy and beloved.
And how to see that when others don’t.
To let go, and to let go.

And to trust that if you have loved
you have lived.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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You probably won’t hear a healer by the lakeshore,
with the backup choir of seagulls singing,
gentle waves patting the boats you’re about to leave.
You probably won’t hear.
You’ll suspect.

More like falling in love,
only scarier and more freeing, an inward leaning out
toward something that feels more like coming home.
Despite the nets you leave behind,
a feeling it’s something you’re being given,
even as you yourself are given.
Like the tropical island the bird migrates to,
and the way to the island, only it’s not a place.
A way of being, a direction your life will flow.
A freedom you’re being led toward, step by step,
accompanied all the way, because
it’s not a call to a thing but a person, a friendship.
You go with someone who’s made the journey.
There will be missteps, falterings, wrong turns. All blessed.

There’s no voice, but a certain fullness in the silence.
You hear, and you go. Moment by moment, you go.
Something in you trusts:
the river knows the way.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Holy Trinity – Part III

See how they love each other.
How they include each other.
How they empty themselves into each other.

How they move together, dancing
(perichoresis, they call it, dancing around),
how they make space for each other.

They are not just a being, but being,
not merely existing but flowing,
like electricity—only love, all love.

See their delight in each other,
how none is whole without the others,
each surrendering to each other.

They are infinite, yet intimately present,
eternal, yet coming into being in this moment,
coming into being in you, as you let them.

Yes you, my lovely, are not merely a being
but a being-in-holy-being.
They want you.

They include you.
They are not complete without you.
You are the fourth member of the Holy Trinity.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Holy Trinity – Part II

How easy it is to worship our image of God
instead of God.

The Trinity is not a doctrine, it’s a koan.
It’s a way of slippery=izing our images of God:
God is This, the Opposite of this, and None of the above.
God is More Than One Thing. And The One Thing.
God is beyond our knowing or pinning down;
yet known, revealed, embodied.

The Intimate Beyond, the Infinite Companion,
and the Immediate Arising.

God is mostly mystery, and all love.
Your understanding is fog.
Your certainty is noise.
Your belief is irrelevant.
All there is is love.

Let the Loving Mystery confuse you,
the Unknowable know you,
the Unspeakable do the speaking.

the Lover, the Beloved and the Love Flowing,
holds you.
Let it be so.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Holy Trinity, Praise!

Mother, Son and Holy Spirit,
beyond words we bless you,

you who defeat our words, confound
our images, encircle our understanding,

who are not a thing to be described
but Being, Love, Presence, to be met,

Lover and Beloved
and the love that flows between.

You are this, and the opposite of that,
and something else altogether;

Being itself, and source of all Being,
all giving and receiving;

mystery mostly, and all grace,
a little light and a hand on the shoulder.

Your Being enfolds all creation, nebulae,
one heart at a time, in your arms.

No mode of being, no heaven nor hell
nor hidden heart place, is beyond you.

All is within you. The entire created universe
is the smallest beloved embryo in your womb,

and yet you walk beside us, speak to us
each by name, breathe in us, cell by cell,

inviting us into your blessing,
your delight, your future, yourself.

You live in our tininess, share our unknowing,
suffer our pain, tremble in us.

Moment by moment you create all things,
die and rise, enliven and enloven us to holiness.

Eternal mystery, indwelling presence,
infinite grace, we cannot name or picture you,

but only worship you. We cannot divide you,
nor ourselves from you, but only Be.

Mother, Son and Holy Spirit, all praise!
We are present to you in love. Alleluia!

Holy Trinity – Part I

Father God, we say.
As if we know just exactly what we’re talking about.
The Ineffable, the Unsearchable, the Infinite—
made into a specific creature, a Thing.
A guy. Definitely male. X Chromosomes.
Old (but not too: 60, maybe, but buff.
Certainly not 120. No wrinkles.)
But white hair. (What color was it before?)
With a face and hands. Not flippers, not wings.
We’re pretty sure what The Invisible One looks like.
Silly, huh?

If God is infinite, God is not human. If God is Spirit
there is no such thing as what God “looks like.”
The image of God is love, not physical appearance.

The image of the Holy Trinity undermines all our images,
our cartoons of gender, age, ability and power.
If God is both parent and child, and neither,
then God is both male and female and neither,
both human and non-human and neither,
Supreme and also Crucified and also Newly Alive,
beyond all dualities, categories, distinctions.
Every little insistence is a lie.

The Trinity lets God be Not What You Think,
All Of The Above, and Other. All at once.
God says, “I am not this or that, I AM.”
Question your assumptions
about what God “has to” be like.

Silence. Word. Breath.
Mystery. Presence. Rebirth.
Mother, Son, Holy Spirit.

Infinite. Love. Spirit. Nothing else is absolute.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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I adore

You Who Are Present,
Beautiful Mystery,
Lovable One,

I surrender my knowing.
I do not even imagine you.
I simply let you be.

I adore you without words,
I trust you without comprehension,
I rejoice in you without fear.

Wholly Love,
Holy Thou,
I am yours.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

Flower and bee

In my morning prayers I ring
a little summoning bell that is the world.

The bird rises up into the air
and the breeze carries it.

The sea beckons the rivers,
who come, and the sea receives them.

Into the hunger of your lungs
the air comes happily.

The lovemakers offer their desire
and receive one another’s pleasure.

In the woods you breathe deeply
and the trees in the woods breathe deeply.

The incense lifts the question
to which you are an answer.

All of the world is a crying out.
All of the world is a responding.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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           God declares,
           “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh.”

                           —Acts 2.17

The Holy Spirit is not a ghost,
neither Casper-friendly nor haunting.
God is Spirit; the Holy Spirit is God,
the movement of God, the movingness of God,
like how light isn’t a thing, and isn’t anywhere,
but moves, like the movement of love, which is
not a thing but a reaching-out, a connecting,
a movement, a breathing, in and out,
never held for long, but shared,
which is how Spirit connects us, the only one Spir-
it breathing in and out of us all the time, God’s re-
spiration, breathing in us, which is our in-
spiration (until it no longer moves in us and we ex-
pire) and so we all breathe together
because there’s only one breath, in which we con-
spire with God (which is why we sing,
because it invites us to breathe together),
moving with the movement of God,

all one, breathing together in the great con-
spiracy that is life.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
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Parthians, Medes, Elamites

On Pentecost the real miracle
was not the momentary wonder
of people speaking languages
they hadn’t been taught,
but the lasting miracle
of people making connections
despite all their separations,
discovering how they were alike
despite apparent differences,
knowing belonging
despite their being foreign.
They were one;
the boundaries did not exist.
They found a shared story,
tapped into the one Spirit
that breathed in them all.
Wonder at this: not that you could
speak some foreign language
but that you could love someone
who speaks a foreign language,
knowing by listening that
your hearts speak the same language,
you and they breathe the same Spirit,
one breath in all of us,
members of one body.
Something divine is going on,
partly in your heart and partly in theirs.
Only together will you behold the miracle.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
Listen to the audio recording:

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