I might have appeared to be deep in meditation. Inside, though, my mind careened from one inane topic to another. As I was bringing it back to center yet again, the title phrase of that rollicking Mary Chapin Carpenter song popped into my head~~Shut Up and Kiss Me. I laughed out loud!
Of course, those words took on a wholly new meaning to me in that moment. They were a reminder that my incessant chatter was keeping me separate, preventing a deeper communion with the Divine. More importantly, though, they pointed out that I had been neglecting a step so essential for me. I needed to still my thoughts, yes, but I also needed to open my heart. So after my laughter ran its course, I did just that...and fell into a sweet surrender.
God as Beloved is a foreign concept for many Westerners. Ecstatic union is as well, with our spiritual practice often seeming rather staid and filled with shoulds. Across time, though, mystics have offered us a different way. Their writings, detailing rapture and an intimate relationship with God, can serve as a roadmap should we choose to travel into this unknown territory.
St. Teresa of Avila encouraged us to let God “settle into our bones,” and to allow our souls “to sing, dance, praise and love.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux described a divine kiss, and with a startling sort of intimacy she writes, “You kiss me with a kiss of Your mouth.” And that wild Sufi poet Rumi writes, “I am filled with you. Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul.” He urges us to “stay bewildered in God,” and finds kiss an apt metaphor, too, as he prays, “Teach me how to kiss.”
In the weeks since that Grammy~winning country song enlivened my meditation practice, the words, “Kiss Me,” often come to my mind unbidden...
Riding my bike home from the Farmer's Market, paniers loaded with fresh veggies, I hear them. Thoughts stop, and my heart opens to the glory of the clear autumn day, the very air shimmering beneath blue skies.
My pager goes off, signaling a client in crisis. As I reach for the phone, those words remind me that the Sacred permeates even the most painful of experiences, and my awareness spontaneously shifts to greet it.
And writing this column now, as my husband prepares lunch in the kitchen below, “Kiss Me” comes again, awakening me to the holiness of this moment in all of its ordinary splendor.
St. Therese's divine kiss is just one of many metaphors used to spur our recognition of the Divine Presence dwelling in all things. Here's another, from Rumi again:“Fish don't hold the sacred liquid in cups. They swim the huge fluid freedom.”
So pick the metaphor that works best for you. Kiss, swim, dance, fill to overflowing or open to bewilderment. But whichever you choose, don't tarry. Do it now!
And here's a link to the song, if you need a refresher~~Shut Up and Kiss Me