December 14

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

James 1:19 (NIV)

 

Finding home is a process I feel we all are always undergoing. One moment it is our physical home, the next it is the richness of our inner life and dreams, the next it is a loving embrace from a family member or friend. I have felt most at home in the quiet and solitude of long meditation retreats as the snow gently fell to the ground when I was living in a Buddhist retreat center in Massachusetts, in the middle of playing a joyful piece of music by Duke Ellington and feeling my entire being ignite with joy, and in holding my son as he fell asleep in my arms as a baby. These are a few places I have felt most at home and all of them are examples of the wholeness of my personal faith expression which I try to allow to reflect both the spiritual and mundane aspects of life with a sense of importance and reverence.


Whenever one can simply listen and hold the space for someone else to be themselves they create a safety that feels like home to that person. When I am with others I try to get out of the way and let them be who they are. I try to drop my agenda and just listen. I frequently fail at this and it is easier said than done. But, in times where I've done that, even for a complete stranger, I feel that they feel understood and heard in a way that is rare. 


The Buddha stated that suffering is caused by attachment (clinging, grasping) to impermanent objects and not being able to let them go. I think when we let go we make more room for things to be just as they are. We see things with more clarity as we let go. Letting go can be scary too. To let go is very challenging, especially when our identities are wrapped up in what we hold onto. So, I think letting go is often an experience of deepening for me. If I hold firmly to needing things to be one way or another I often miss an opportunity for my life to be refined or for my understanding of my faith to deepen. As I do this, I feel more and more ordinary, but that ordinary quality feels so rich and full of life. When I am holding onto some notion of who I think I am, who I should be, what I should do, I find that I often am trying to distance myself from the vibrant, mundane, ordinary beauty of just being a total mess like everyone else on the planet. Only when I allow myself to “be” do I realize that it's not just me that is a mess; it's all of us together! So, we share in this beautiful, difficult moment together and that feels to me like letting everyone in! But also, in my life I never thought I would be a husband or a father, or that I would be a Buddhist guy playing in a church service every week and being asked to share these thoughts with you all. So I think I often let in things that surprise me.

 

Aiden Plank


Back to Devotions Main Page

Section Title

Type the content for this section here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this section. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this section, you will see the filler text disappear, and you can begin typing your real content. We’ve simply put in filler text in this area. No need to get caught up in the actual content of this body text, we just typed a bunch of meaningless sentences. If you get anything from this text, please understand that this is just example text to give you a feeling for what your real text might look like.