Into the Unknown

Sunrise mission team

Twice this week I have sensed the high drama of being in spiritual communities filled with people who were about to leave our gathering and walk out into the unknown. A distinct awareness of the uncertainty of each of our lives and paths arose as we drew near the end of our times together. I felt wide awake to the remarkable unpredictability of life. I had a visualization of our many unknown paths streaming out of the doors and into the day or night in myriad directions.

Fascinating! I sensed the diverse journeys which were about to unfold as we closed our Blessing the Hands service on New Year’s Eve with at least thirty four of us wandering out into the night. As nineteen of us were leaving Parker United Methodist Church today, I was aware of our nineteen unique paths departing the worship space.

A great reason to celebrate a New Year is because we need reminders of the sacredness and preciousness of each moment of the particular life we are given. We need help in waking up to the unbelievable reality that we do not know what is coming next, that every moment is new, and that each moment is another opportunity to really live.

Renewing my own practice of mindfulness through an online course this past month has been helping me to awaken once again. I started learning and teaching mindfulness based stress reduction eighteen years ago, and I am still like a beginner who keeps starting over. For me it is true that we teach what we need to know. And I really want to know how to be awake to my life.

So I will be launching a new eight-week course, with twenty hours of mindfulness training, in February. Sure the course will be for others to practice the art of mindfulness, to help them wake up to their moments. I really do love to share the attitudes and practices which have been so helpful to my own awakening because I know that will help others. But I am making this two month commitment of teaching this path because I need to keep beginning to walk it myself.

I want to stay awake to the new, and to enter this new year by living with vitality in the company of others who are also ready to come home to their actual lives. May we find the ground of our beings, the Center and Source of all that is, and learn there the courage to walk together into the unknown.


About soulcare4u

I am the author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic World, published by Wipf & Stock and available through; and of a blog on, "A Contemplative Path." I serve as the founding spiritual director of The School for Contemplative Living (, adjunct faculty of Loyola University, and as a pastoral counselor and spiritual director in private practice.
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