Now that I live in a world where I hear cows (and roosters and horses) from my porch every morning, I notice things I might otherwise have missed, like this sign on the cattle scales for sale at the Co-op.
"You can't manage what you can't measure?" Well that's for sure.
While my neighbors may look across their pastures and see beef and dollar signs, I am seeing fields of sweet-faced cows, the incarnation of calm, slowly chewing their cud, like a field of mystics contemplating the feathery haze of tall grass, the peace of a morning breeze, the lilting lament of a mourning dove.
Things they can’t measure, and certainly are not trying to control.
Just … ruminating.
I have to say, daily cows are slowing me down and helping me loosen my futile attempts to manage the Measureless. My current spiritual practice these days begins with the first cup of coffee, during which, regardless of everything else, I sit the porch, listen, and gaze. Sun rising over the treetops. Mooing. Crows overhead. Wind in the branches. For minutes at a time, my mind can become as gentle as a cow in a pasture.
Whatever happens next, with the second cup – dreamwork, prayers, the daily plunge into existential panic over the morning news – the gazing is what really grounds me. For at least a little while. And during the day’s annoyances, fears, and outrage, gazing can bring me back, bring me back, bring me back.
So may I ask – how do you keep your Seeker self grounded in the real world, tethered to the life?
As we learn to discern, it seems to me - and believe me I am no expert here, but this seems true – that to feel our way along in our lives,
we allow an alignment to create itself in three dimensions
Some of the dreamers I talk to suggested ways of being present and mindful just enough to feel those alignments taking shape. For many of them, these practices are forms of prayer:
Notice how most of these suggestions are not so much about doing something right or excellently , but about just being. Being open to being.
Not trying to measure or parse or define or control anything.
There is enough going on in the world to keep us ungrounded
and reactive every single minute.
May we remember to be alive to the Measureless these days,
as we ruminate, belong, moo.
Deep dreams to you,
Fall Dream Groups at Fire by Night
It's time to sign up for dream groups!
If you are moooved to join us for a season of dream exploration, let me hear from you directly at email@example.com.
I have two open groups and will add a third if needed.
(Established groups, you know who you are and we’ll carry on as usual.)
All groups will meet by Zoom on 1st and 3rd weeks of each month, beginning the week of August 22 and running through the week of Dec. 5 for a total of 8 sessions.
Sundays 7:00-8:30 pm EST
Thursdays 12-1:30 pm EST
Groups are small (4-6 people) so let me hear soon! We’ll schedule a free 20- minute conversation to get to know each other and talk over your questions.
$200 for the season.
And of course, a picture book for you:
Here's the classic tale of Ferdinand, the delightfully contemplative bull.
Click here to enjoy the story, read aloud with pictures and music:
Cow photo credits: Thomas Oldenburge nsplash.jpeg
Laura Huff Hileman
Dream Consultant, Spiritual Director
Fire by Night Dreamwork