Two Halves of Life: Week 1 Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Two Halves of Life: Week 1 Summary

Two Halves of Life: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, June 12-Friday, June 18, 2016

It is when we begin to pay attention, and to seek integrity precisely in the task within the task, that we begin to move from the first to the second half of our own lives. (Sunday)

The only thing strong enough to move you from the first half of life to the second half is faith in the midst of suffering, the ability to bear darkness and uncertainty, to carry the mystery of paradox. (Monday)

If you can face your mortality and let go of this small self early on, you’ll experience heaven here and now. (Tuesday)

It’s not what you do for God; it’s what God has done for you. You switch from trying to love God to just letting God love you. And it’s at that point you fall in love with God. (Wednesday)

In the second half of life, you start to understand that life is not only about doing; it’s about being. (Thursday)

The advantage of those on the further journey is that they can still remember and respect the first language and task. They have transcended but also included all that went before. (Friday)


Practice: Drawing Empty Space

It’s difficult to see what is not yet manifest, to imagine there may be more to life when we’re stuck in the first half of life with its concrete, dualistic view of reality. Yet we can learn to see differently, to be present to Being. This simple practice shifts our usual way of literal seeing and invites an inner change in how we view ourselves, the world, and the Divine.

Sitting at a table or desk with a pencil and a piece of blank, unlined paper, look at a nearby object. Turn your attention to the empty or “negative” space surrounding the object. Rather than focus on the object’s contours, look at the lines and curves of the space butting up against the object, the places in between and around the object itself. Breathe deeply and begin to draw these nooks and crannies of air and emptiness. Keep your focus on the negative space as you draw.

You might draw all of the spaces around the object or spend just a few moments drawing. When your pencil comes to a stop, observe the form and detail of the “nothingness” you’ve drawn. Know that your True Self, though perhaps less visible than ego and persona, is spacious and objective. Let your inner witness quietly observe the “negative space” within yourself. Rest in this abundant emptiness, full of Presence.

Gateway to Silence:
Guide me on the further journey.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Adult Christianity and How to Get There (CD, MP3 download)

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Richard Rohr, The Two Major Tasks of the Spiritual Life (CD, MP3 download)

Richard Rohr, Ron Rolheiser, and Edwina Gateley, Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey (CD, MP3 download)

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