The sound made me do it !

Last weekend I had to do a presentation on the history of therapeutic drumming. Like many others on the course the discussion went back to sound and vibration. The first sound we hear is our mother’s heartbeat, a pulse, the life force.

My presentation was about sound and movement (dance) I started by describing how it is so natural for young children to move to the beat. When my 2 year old hears music he moves his body, he can’t help it, it is impulsive, natural, part of who he is. The older we get – we lose this ability and lose connection with our body.

While researching I was reminded that sound was at the core of creation – when God spoke.. “let there be light� there was light. Sound was connected to something physical happening. In Hebrew the word “Dabhar� which we translate as ‘word’ implies deeds and actions not just words, accomplishments not talk and creation not verbalising.

Dabhar is active, imaginative and playful.

I like this… so much better then boring old words….so many said, texted, written that are meaningless, pointless and powerless… less is definitely more.

Let there be Dabhar !!

Gideon Salvage Duty

MSC Napoli beached ship

On Sunday afternoon my family and I went down to Beer Head (cliffs) to have a look at the beacked container ship MSC Napoli off Branscombe.

From this BBC News item I see that foreign language Bibles are being washed up. As a Gideon (! who’d have thought it eh?) part of me wonders if I should try and procure these items, however there does seem to be a bit of argument about the legality of picking up salvage. I just hope that they won’t be wasted. I’ll keep my ear to the ground (or should that be seabed?) on this one.

The Zahir

I’ve recently been reading some books by Paulo Coelho including, ‘The Alchemist’ and ‘By the river Piedra I sat down and wept’

I have found his books a great inspiration written from the heart and I would certainly recommend them. The latest book of his I’m reading is called ‘The Zahir’ which is all about love and what it means to follow your heart. Below is a passage from this book on relationships and communication.

“The most important thing in all human relationships is conversation, but people don’t talk any more, they don’t sit down to talk and listen. They go to the theatre, the cinema, watch television, listen to the radio, read books, but they almost never talk. If we want to change the world, we have to go back to a time when warriors would gather round a fire and tell stories�

The longest night of the year

Tonight we celebrated the winter solstice with a few friends around a lovely fire in our garden.

We seek to celebrate the passing of the seasons and connect with the ancient rhythms and cycle of the year. My interest in celebrating and connecting the passing of our days has been informed by my interest in Celtic and creation spirituality and my inner need for rhythm. I need to do this – to keep connected to myself, to god, to others, to the seasons and to creation.

I believe that the further we move away from creation the harder it becomes to connect with our soul. I believe that everything belongs and therefore I need to keep connected with the sacredness of life – with all living things.

When God speaks – the physical is created – in the first instance creation and in the second when Jesus was born – this is sacred materialism or incarnation.

I love winter – I see it as a time for going inwards – for reflection, for hibernation – ideally I would love to reduce my work time and listen to the seasons and my body, but our busy world often prevents this… so in our liturgy we seek to reflect on the past year, taking time to feel the cold and then the warmth of the fire…. Below is part of the liturgy that we use…

Tonight we welcome and celebrate winter
Light nights have faded and darkness covers the hours
The moon is visible longer than the sun
We welcome short days and long nights
We welcome coldness and cosiness
We welcome winter nights

Tonight we become aware that we have passed from the brightness of the sun
To the softness of the moon.
We have moved from neon illumination blinding us into outward activity
To the warmth of mellow light leading us inward
Help us embrace and discover this feminine journey in the comfort of sister moon.
We welcome you sister moon

God Giggled

It was the first Christmas and…

God giggled
God farted
God burped
God gurgled
God needed a cuddle
God was a baby…

Christmas reminds us:

That we don’t have to find God – he finds us in our humanity –
We don’t have to go up – he came down
We find God in the physical, in our bodies, in material, in humanity.
God became one of us….


Is anyone going to, or knows anyone going to IASYM in Cambridge from the South west that I could share a lift with, I am happy to drive but thought a car share may be good. I am in Somerset so could meet up here if someone was coming from Cornwall, Devon or Dorset, then I am travelling via A303 and M3?

Advent reflection for today

For God to become a baby he had to
Squeeze himself into a small space
Confine himself into a fallible body
Restrict himself to humanity
Reduce himself to limited movements
Become weak and vulnerable
Rely on humans to take care of him
For Christ to become one of us
He had to be born like us
The light was hidden within the womb
The thirst quencher received refreshment from the breast of Mary
The bread of life had to learn how to eat
The one who holds us, first had to be held
The Lover was loved
The way had to learn to walk
The word had to learn to speak
The teacher was taught
The creator how to create
This is our God…

Christmas is all about receiving !

The following is a reflection I prepared for an Advent session…..

Christmas is all about giving!!
The lord loves a cheerful giver!!
Giving is better then receiving – or so they say
But what about being a good receiver…
It seems to me that receiving is much harder
And when we think about it isn’t receiving what Christmas is actually all about
Giving is relatively easy – it may challenge our selfishness or priorities
But giving doesn’t expose our needs

I don’t like surprises, why? Because I’m not in control..
What if I get something I didn’t like or want – what do I say?
Do I lie and say how much I like it, do I have to be grateful?
Knowing that I will either give it to someone else or give it to a charity shop.
Have you ever received a Christmas gift from someone you hadn’t expected one from?
What do you do? Do you feel guilty and rush out and buy them a token gift?
What happens if that gift is perfect, something you really appreciate and yet you had no idea that you would like it.

Mary was open to receiving an unexpected gift,
She welcomed and wondered at the gift given and created space within her to receive it.
This unexpected gift radically changed her life
She ultimately gave over her whole world to this gift.

Giving can make us feel powerful, competent, self-sufficient and capable sort of people, giving doesn’t expose our needs.
Learning the art of receiving calls us to intimacy, honesty, openness and evaluation.
To receive the love of another, calls me to intimacy, I have to expose something of my inner world, of who I am. To receive another’s love I have to allow my innermost self to be touched.
To receive I have to open my hands, ( I love the Eucharist in this sense, this childlike openness to receive the body and blood.
Inner growth comes from opening ourselves up to receive from others
Christmas is about receiving the love that Jesus offers to us.
To be loved means that I must bring myself with all my insecurities, pain and needs to be embraced by another.

To be on the receiving end of love requires that we see our lives not as our possessions, but as gifts. Emptiness is a gift, to have enough room, to not be too full. To be needy, poor, weak, can be a gift.
Ultimately the gospel is about receiving a precious unbelievable gift, the gift of God being born in us.
When Mary offered space, love and belief in her life, her life changed forever.
Learning the art of receiving is a powerful call to change.
In receiving I need to welcome the other
In receiving I need to make room and space to accept that which I frequently fail to realise I need.
In receiving – I change.