Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Death and Resurrection: Week 2 Summary

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Death and Resurrection: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, November 18-Friday, November 23, 2018

As I’ve come to understand that life “composts” and “seeds” us as autumn does the earth, I’ve seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the hardest of times. —Parker Palmer (Sunday)

We can cultivate spiritual disciplines designed to dismantle our identity so that we have hope of merging with the Divine. Or someone we love very much may die, and we may find ourselves catapulted into the emptiness we had been striving for. —Mirabai Starr (Monday)

I see [life after death] as infinite love, as if the whole atmosphere of heaven is filled with God as a kind of vibration going through us. It strikes me as a homecoming, us returning home to where we come from. —Joseph Boyle (Tuesday)

The dying process is the culmination or the peak of the whole development of the spiritual journey, in which total surrender to God involves the gift of life itself. It’s not really death, but life reaching out to a fullness that we can’t imagine from this side of the dying process. —Thomas Keating (Wednesday)

Some form of death—psychological, spiritual, relational, or physical—is the only way we will loosen our ties to our small and separate false self. Only then does it return in a new shape which we might call the Risen Christ, the soul, or the True Self. (Thursday)

We are each a holon, a part that is simultaneously whole within itself and part of a larger whole! We all participate in the one single life of God. (Friday)


Practice: Vinyasa and Savasana

The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit for “to yoke”—to join or unite. The intentional movement, breath, and relaxation within yoga provides an opportunity to welcome the seeming contradictions of our life. Muscles are engaged and the body releases into deeper stretches. The mind is both concentrated and stilled. Within vinyasa the body flows through a series of poses, such as Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara), and then finally rests in Corpse Pose (Savasana).

If you are not familiar with yoga, consider joining a class in your area or find a short video online to lead you through the poses and breaths of Sun Salutations. If you already have a yoga practice, reflect on the wholeness of life and death as you go through the familiar movements.

As you salute the sun, bend and bow in gratitude for the life force that flows freely in you without your striving or control, yet invites your complete participation.

As you inhale and exhale through each of the bends and lunges, challenge yourself to breathe deeper, to stretch more fully, and let this practice be easy, natural, without effort or strain.

As you lie on your back and let each muscle in your body—from toes to the top of your head—relax and sink into the ground, remember that you will die, but there is nothing to fear. Not even death can separate you from Love, and from death comes Life. Rest in this awareness.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (CAC Publishing: 2016), 136-137.


For Further Study:
Thomas Keating, From the Mind to the Heart (Temple Rock Company: 2017)

Thomas Keating and Joseph Boyle with Lucette Verboven, World Without End (Bloomsbury: 2017)

Thomas Keating with Carl J. Arico, The Gift of Life: Death & Dying, Life & Living Companion Book (Contemplative Outreach, Ltd.: 2013)

Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.: 2018)

Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (Jossey-Bass: 2013)

Mirabai Starr, God of Love: A Guide to the Heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Monkfish Book Publishing Company: 2012)

Image credit: Autumn Leaves (detail), Koan, 2018.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: As I’ve come to understand that life “composts” and “seeds” us as autumn does the earth, I’ve seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the hardest of times. —Parker Palmer
Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.