Click on the play button in the box above to listen to the meditation on SoundCloud. Click on the orange button to download the transcript.
This meditation uses images from the natural world. Although it refers to the Bible and Christian tradition, this is in a fairly open way. It can be used with people who are sympathetic to Christianity, at least at a cultural level, but might not describe themselves as Christian.
It’s designed to be used flexibly to suit the needs of the particular group you are working with. For example you might use the reflection as a way in to a period of silent prayer or meditation which you finish with a piece of music. Or you might use it right at the end of an otherwise lively session for young people to calm things down. You might organise a session in which people bring favourite poems, pieces of music, or pictures on the theme, using some of those suggested here to start things off.
It’s meant to feel light touch but with the capacity to go deep.
- Thomas Traherne: Shadows in the Water
- Gerard Manley Hopkins: That Nature is Heraclitian Fire and the Comfort of the Resurrection
- George Herbert: The Elixir
- R.S. Thomas: Wrong, in Selected Poems (Penguin)
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Bloomsbury,2014)
It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall: his body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backwards through the ragged veil hanging from the arch.
Harry saw the look of mingled fear and surprise on his god-father’s wasted, once-handsome face as he fell through the ancient doorway and disappeared behind the veil, which fluttered for a moment as though in a high wind, then fell back into place (p 741-2).
(See p 794 for more ‘veil talk’)
*Translation of Après un Rêve
In a sleep which your image charmed
I dreamed of happiness, ardent mirage;
your eyes were sweeter, your voice pure and ringing,
you shone like a sky lit up by the dawn.
You were calling me and I was leaving the earth
to flee with you towards the light;
the skies parted their clouds for us,
unknown splendours, divine half-seen gleams…
Alas! Alas! Sad awakening from dreams!
I call on you, o night, give me back your deceits;
come back, come back resplendent,
come back, o mysterious night!
© Christopher Goldsack
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