Every Anchoress has Benefactors, those who have cared for her throughout her lifetime, who have brought her to the place where she may assume the mantle of anchoress.
Jay Markranksy's book, 'Awakening to Love, Unveiling your Deepest Good,' draws our attention, and gratitude, to those who have brought us to our current place in the world. In his 'Learning to Recognize Benefactors' exercise, I brought to mind the many people who have gifted me with their love, attention and instruction over the years. I was swamped with an endless parade of characters, some known to me, and some not. It rather felt like being part of that old Christmas Coca Cola television commercial that begins with the face of one child in full frame and then pulls back to reveal two children, then pulls back to reveal four more, then eight more and so on until there is an enormous Christmas tree of faces, the first child seemingly supported by all the others. While doing this meditation/practice this is the image that came to mind. When you look at me there is one face looking back. But trailing behind me are the millions of connecting people who have made my current existence possible. Makaransky comments that "very few of us would have survived our childhood had it not been for the countless, now mostly forgotten, acts of loving kindness extended to us." (Awakening Through Love, 18).
Here are just a few of the many who hold me in love, either by their own personal love for me, or for the fact that they have extended their love to serve humanity, and I am by virtue of being alive, in their embrace: My husband Bruce, and children Michael, Christopher and Madelaine; my parents George and Ruth; Martin Luther King and all those who have given their lives to uplift the lives of others; all the woman who come to my home and into my life to serve the larger good; Albert Schweitzer, whom I have had a crush on since I was six and who shares by birthday; two of the many girlfriends without whom I am a lost creatures, Leisa and Ann; so many elders throughout my life; the gracious Little Flower; my beloved grandmother Jane Jardine; Rabbi Abraham Heschel who taught me about Sabbath and beauty in faith; Jesus' presence, my ultimate Beloved; my personal Saint Simone; George Grant, a man of deep integrity; all the musicians, singers and performers who have supported my work; more girlfriends - can you have too many?; mes beaux-parents Anthony and Esther; Evelyn Underhill, the consummate spiritual director; churches, especially the rural ones; choirs offering celebration and joy; Gandhi, with whom I share the battle of of the lentils and the search after truth. Benefactors all. And I, the fortunate recipient of their love and gift.
WORKING BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR THE THOUGHT BEHIND
'CONTEMPLATION. COMPASSION. CREATIVITY.
THE SACRED TRINITY OF POSSIBILITY.'
Six Canadian Thinkers Who Have Influenced Me
I am also drawn to the theologians from the Jewish and Christian tradition who suffered through the Holocaust and WW2 and yet discovered the deep desire for goodness in humanity.
Here will be a wall of instagrams that can be sent with quotes from their thinking.
And also of influence is the movement of deep ecology initiated by Thomas Berry and Teilihard de Chardin and continued on by Brianne Swimme, wendell berry, Mathew Fox, Diaramid O'Marchu and others.
instagram wall with links to their works to come.