First Light Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, 19 May 2019

First light comes early this time of year.
The birds call out in the predawn darkness,
singing their own prayers of redemption.  

We who have lost the rhythm of the day
as it shifts through the hours,
hunger for some deeper meaning.
We mourn for cultures and identities lost.
We raise up logic as our god
In the most illogical ways.

We let our leaders bend our hearts
toward hatred and fear
and away from justice.  

What do you do
when trust is betrayed?
When your heart is broken,
or you’ve broken someone’s heart,
when your faith is shaken,
when the ground beneath you
no longer feels solid,
and you are lost,
unforgiven or unforgiving? 

It takes a leap of faith
To move toward rebuilding
the bridges that have been destroyed.
It takes time and patience
to learn how to trust in yourself,
to welcome self protection
that doesn’t leave you locked
in a narrow, fearful place,
but helps you to embrace
your own vulnerability. 

Oh spirit of life,
We are such fragile
and impermanent vessels
in this eternity.
If only we could see more clearly
the intersections of our common humanity.
If only we could accept wholeheartedly
that we are each other’s keeper.
This is our ancestors’ call:
Break not the circle of love,
but make it wider still,
until it embraces all the living.  

Take the the hand of the hurting child
who lives inside you,
step together into the light,
welcome the cleansing rain.
Face the thunder and lightning
and rejoice that you have survived.

Though we’ve broken our vows
a thousand times,
surely, there’s nothing left to lose
and everything to gain
when we plant the seeds of trust
in our hearts once more.

 Amen.

Transformations

Rev. Diane Rollert, 29 April, 2019

We live through our own trials
with hearts that can be shut
into the darkest of tombs,
waiting for the rock to be rolled away.

We find ourselves standing before burning bushes
not knowing how to respond.
We seek perfection
when what we really need is peace,
absolution, forgiveness
and love for ourselves. 

Change is as inevitable
as the beauty of the coming season.
Even when spring takes its time arriving,
it always comes. 

The wings that will carry us forward,
are waiting within us,
despite the harshest winds
that blow through this world. 

Rise up, fly,
and be transformed.

Early Spring Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, April 14, 2019

Spirit of Life,
This day is bright and full
of long awaited promise.
The spring that was proclaimed
on the calendar weeks ago
has made its first appearance,
and we are finally touched by warmth. 

Out of the dark cold winter,
we emerge
after a long hibernation,
creatures blinking
and adjusting our eyes
to the brightness of the sun.

.Each day we live
with vulnerability and grace,
an ongoing dance
between winter and spring,
warmth and cold,
darkness and light. 

In the passages of our lives,
we encounter joy,
commitment,
hope,
the beauty that is there
in the birth of a child,
in the marriage of honest love,
in the final closure of a life well lived.

Our lives can be so full
and yet so fragile,
our hearts easily broken,
our regrets weighing too heavily upon us,
our sorrows and anxieties so sharp
that they steal our breath. 

Yet grace is there,
waiting,
when we have others to walk with us,
in those moments of passage,
when we find strength
in facing our vulnerabilities,
when laughter rises to meet our tears,
when regret opens the door
to a new way forward,
when spring finally rises green
out of cold dark earth. 

For this beautiful day,
for all the passages in our lives,
for the many companions who sit beside us
in this quiet time,
may we give thanks. 

This is where transformation begins.
Amen.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

- Rev. Diane Rollert, March 28, 2019

Breathe out.
To the places deep within,
to the places where we rarely listen,
but where our bodies know
the feelings
that we can’t express. 

The tightness in our hearts,
the clenching in our jaws,
the heaviness upon our shoulders,
the breathing that wants to come with more ease. 

How do we quiet the constant words and images,
the noise in our minds,
that blocks out everything else? 

I am asking for peace this morning,
for the weight of our burdens to lift. 
But I’m not asking to forget
the imprint they have left. 

I’m not asking to ignore the traces of the past
that have formed the world
we experience today.

 All the words we use
are triggering
when we fail to see the hatred
that rises up around us,
when we fail to see the greed
that controls who wins and who loses. 

Each of us is one
alone
aching to find answers.
Yet together we can find the strength
to speak truth to power.

May we give thanks this morning
for the courageous ones
who speak out against the injustices,
who dare to find their roots,
and celebrate what has been lost
as something beautiful and whole. 

May we give thanks for the heart beats
that echo the drum beats.
May we give thanks for the wide river
that supports us
as we sail past each other
in respect for our boundaries.

In your heart
cry out,
sing,
listen to your breath,
and keep breathing.

Breathe into what can be,
breathe into your courage,
breathe into change.

A First Prayer (Perhaps of Many) for Christchurch and Quebec

Rev. Diane Rollert, 17 March, 2019

The pain hits us
as blinding as the white light
reflecting off the remaining snow. 

Blood spreads across carpets
that we try not to imagine.

 We have seen this tragedy
in our own nation,
in our own province. 

A massacre happens 15,000 miles from here,
shaking us and shocking us,
but in a few hours drive
we can see the shoes
of the men who were shot and killed—
their shoes
still carefully lined up in the entryway
of the Islamic centre,
a memorial to their lives
and their faith. 

Scream, cry, get angry,
that their deaths and their families’ pain and heartache
became inspiration for more carnage. 

We have seen this hatred
in our own city,
on these lands
that were taken
and claimed as our own.

History teaches
what happens
when we believe we have the answers,
when we see other humans
as less than human,
when we believe our way
can be the only way. 

I’m not praying for our contrition
I’m not asking us to take on the sins of the world,
but I am asking us to listen
to the wisdom of the voices
that cry out to us
to be better allies. 

I’m asking us
to be stronger
in our rejection of hatred,
to be less complacent in our lives,
to seize this moment
to say no,
to seize this moment,
to seek reconciliation,
to hear the songs
that were whispered in our ears at birth —
the beautiful songs
that can still be sung in harmony.

These are the songs that remind us
we were born for peace,
we were born to love this earth,
we were born to love each other,
we were born to begin again,
to courageously lift our voices
and carry on all that remains to be done. 

Amen.

The Healing Begins

- Rev. Diane Rollert, March 10, 2019

The healing begins when we cry.
The healing begins with the tears.
The healing begins when we open our hearts to the truth,
when we recognize the discomfort
that moves us toward action.
The healing begins when we break the silence.
Let us sit in quiet together,
sharing in this pain,
remembering that we do not have to do this work alone,
that we can turn to each other.
And when the drum calls us,
may we light a sacred fire of hope
together.

Inquiry: A Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, 17 February 2019

Each morning I rise to wonder
at the day.
The sun streaks across the horizon
in bands of rose-coloured light,
fingertips reaching to touch
the sky. 

This is the early morning prayer
I write each day. 
Ice and snow bar the door.
Our passage through this world
is interlaced, lifted up and limited
by the things we hold too dear,
by the stories we write for ourselves,
that become intrenched
in our hearts,
until the narrative is lost
and only the feelings remain.

Source of love,
unknown weavers of this life,
may we be like the youngest child,
with a mind open in curiosity,
living in the moment,
revelling in fascination
with the way
the smallest things work,
willing to try again and again
to embrace what isn’t yet known.

May we judge ourselves less harshly.
May we turn around the anger and hurt
into forgiveness for ourselves,
May we welcome
gentle understanding and gratitude,
as they arrive,
unexpected guests,
in the silence. 

Amen.

A Prayer for the Soul

Rev. Diane Rollert, 27 January 2019

We sit in silence
together,
aware of breath,
of heartbeat,
of thoughts,
and sensations,
of words,
that form
and disappear,
of feelings
that weave themselves
around us,
and remain too often
unexplained.

We are made up
of atoms
and molecules,
of elements
that were once
overwhelming heat
that became stars,
that became us. 

Us becomes me,
becomes I,
becomes you,
becomes this uniqueness
that exists,
as we sit
together
in this moment,
children of the ages,
the genetic code passed
down
from generations.

The Eternal
rests unnamed,
indescribable
in the equation of
the mystery that goes
unanswered,
the soul that we cannot
weigh,
or measure,
or see,
as it lives in the body
or leaves at the end.

The scientists and the theologians
cannot definitively prove,
not yet—
perhaps not ever,
what it is
that gives us life
leaving us with our faith
or our impatience
to guide us. 

We can only offer
in return,
our deeds,
our kindnesses,
our offerings of light,
to reassure each other
that no matter
where the answers lie,
we will care
for now,
for each other,
for this world.

We have been entrusted
with time,
with the nothingness,
and the everything
that may exist
long before us,
and long after,
or cease and never endure. 

Perhaps
we haven’t evolved
enough,
not yet,
maybe never,
to know the answer.

Perhaps there are mysteries
that are better left
as inexplicable,
and uncontrollable,
leaving us only with the power
to shape this one life
we are given,
to leave behind a legacy
that is formed by love. 

In this quiet that we share,
in this thinking and being
and breathing,
may you find loving kindness
for your own soul,
for the souls who sit beside you,
and in front of you
and behind you,
and for all the world’s souls,
as we live in the shadows
and the promise
of the mystery.

 Amen.

Blessed Be the Meeting

Rev. Diane Rollert, 16 December 2018

God,
spirit of life
ground of our being
are there prayers enough to save this world?

Where do we find sanctuary
on these darkest days
when sunlight touches us briefly
and then disappears?

 Rain follows snow
and ice threatens our passage.
Yet here we are safe,
we are warm,
there is enough to share,
to give,
to remember,
the meaning of openness and generosity. 

I give thanks for the love that exists
in this very place,
for the many kind souls
who find ways to reach out to each other,
who find their way here each week
to build community,
to welcome the stranger,
to prepare a feast
for all of us who need this shelter
more than we realize. 

I give thanks for the hope
that lives between these walls,
that finds forgiveness when
we are less than perfect,
that offers solace
when the pain of loss seems unbearable,
that lets humour and music
spill out into our hearts,.

The days may be short,
yet here we are,
bringing a bit more light into each other’s lives,
one candle at a time. 

Maybe these simple acts
are prayer enough—
the flame that is lit,
the silence that is held,
the songs that are sung,
the stories that are shared,
the sanctuary that is given
to strangers who become dear friends,
the hope in the eyes of the children,
the future that still waits,
reminding us that goodness,
kindness and honesty
still matter.

Holiday lights shine in the night,
the solstice waits for us,
and we, the guests and hosts,
meet at the door’s threshold,
finding oasis
in the welcome. 

Blessed be the meeting.
Holy be the sanctuary.

Amen.

Meditation Towards a Universal Kinship

Rev. Diane Rollert, 18 November 2018

The street lights shine
as the sun rises over city spires,
the promise of the sun’s warmth
reflected in the remaining snow.

The world keeps turning;
the beautiful and the decaying intertwine,
peace and war live side by side.

The word is still spoken,
of hope,
of a return to human decency. 

We can speak of love,
but we know the frustration
we can harbour in our hearts.

We can speak of common ground,
but we know the differences
that can divide us.

We dream of a universal kinship,
of all of us, the entire planet,
waking up one day to sing in harmony. 

It’s a dream that we know
has an infinitely small chance
of being realized in our lifetimes. 

But what greyness would descend
without the world’s dreamers. 

So for now,
we continue working toward peace,
we continue reminding ourselves
to nourish love and not anger,
we encourage each other

to stay strong on the journey,
and we move toward honesty
in the stories we share.

We let our faith lead us
toward the stranger,
toward each other,
and away from fear.

We do more than speak,
we reach out
in forgiveness for our imperfections
and in love for our humanity,
and the divinity that dwells within us,
with the eternal love that guides us
toward our better nature,
toward our deeper kinship.

Amen.

A Prayer for Our Ancestors

Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 October 2018

Spirit of Life,
Source of Love,
may we give thanks for the blessings of our ancestors—
inherited and chosen.

May we offer up our mistakes,
and our misgivings,
as we take responsibility for the burdens
they have left us.

May we hold onto the light
they have granted us,
while we move with the clarity
that they did not have.

May we work in solidarity
with those whom their actions
may have harmed.

May we learn from our own accomplishments
and mistakes
as much as we learn from theirs.

May we join with those
who love all the earth’s relations
and generations.

May we open the space
for each spirit
to find its own way home.

May we work toward
meaningful connection.

May we never give up trying.

Amen.

Meditation for Dignity and Freedom

Rev. Diane Rollert, 30 September 2018

Spirit of life
Source of love,
there is the beauty we witness,
the pouring out of a soul,
the story of a life,
lived with courage
to fight for freedom,
to never give up dreaming of peace.

There is the sorrow we share,
the finite reality of being mortal,
the desire for dignity,
that is not always met with justice,
the wrenching feeling of being asked to let go,
when we want to hold onto the living forever.

There is the incompleteness of a story,
that leaves us wondering,
if we have responded with enough
understanding
or love.

There is the world,
aching in its losses,
the loss of innocence of children,
the futility of war,
the injustice of the oppressor
who demands privilege
when the truth has been hidden,
when lives are crushed
in service to ego.

We know we are not perfect,
that we are ridden with flaws,
that we have amends to make,
and a life’s work to complete
before it is too late.

In this silent moment we share,
may we fill this space with love,
for the self that is longing and lonely,
for the ones that surround us,
who need love as much as we do.

May we fill this space with love
for all the courageous story tellers
who share their truth,
and for those of us not able to speak,
who still carry words to be shared
in the silence of our hearts.

May the love that surrounds you
wash over you,
heal you,
and make you whole.

Amen.

June Morning Meditation

Rev. Diane Rollert, 6 June 2018

Ground of our being,
we walk in beauty this day.
Sun has turned the canals and river to gold,
trees are dancing in green,
lilacs are living out their final days,
fragrantly thankful,
as they greet the emerging peonies.

This is spring,
finally—
The gateway to summer,
the moment when everything 
returns to life
and beckons us 
to respond
with a resounding yes.

Read More

A Blessing for Mothers and Others

Rev. Diane Rollert, May 13, 2018

Blessed be the mothers who brought us into this world
Whose wombs carried us,
From whom we heard the first sounds of life.

Blessed be the ones in our lives who have shown us love,
Whether we have called them mothers, fathers or parents, 
Whether we have known them by blood or by adoption.

Blessed be our presence on this earth
No matter what our joys or regrets may be
No matter how we count our blessings.

Read More

A Spring Blessing

Rev. Diane Rollert, 6 May 2018

Spirit of Life,
Ground of our being,
God,
and Nameless one,
Gracious silence:

We hunger for home,
we thirst for belonging,
we long to know 
that we too 
are blessings to this world.

Sometimes we forget
how to honour each other,
how to love,
or how to give and receive.

Read More

Early October Meditation

Rev Diane Rollert, 1 October 2017

Source of love,
Spirit of life,
Everything is connected.
The beginning and the ending,
the life we live in between.
Our imperfections and our pain.
This ground we stand on,
this firmament of blue sky that stretches out above us, 
the drops of water clinging to the fence,
reflecting the morning’s rising golden light,
the pine needles on the path,
and the falling leaves that crackle beneath.

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Letting Go

Rev. Diane Rollert, 24 September 2017

Ground of our being,
Source of life,
how precious is this breath we breathe
as we come into this world.

How painful it is to let go
of those we love.
There are no words
for the weight of loss,
but inside we hold the memories,
the eternity of love,
the depth of gratitude.

Read More

Forgiveness for the New Year

Rev. Diane Rollert, 17 September 2017

Glorious day.
The golden sunlight rising into clarity.
A moment of summer warmth
Before the days shorten
And the cold descends.
This is a day for returning to the source.
For remembering the sweetness of life
For asking ourselves and each other
For forgiveness
for all the wrongs of the past year.

Even we, who are so sure of ourselves,
We have our silent regrets.
Even we, who are so unsure of ourselves,
We need release from all that weighs too heavily upon us.

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Meditation for a Playful Mother’s Day

Rev. Diane Rollert, 14 May 2017

Whatever your burdens may be,
whatever weight you may carry
upon your shoulders,
whatever worries may fill your mind
and tighten your heart,
may this time of quiet
bring you peace.

And if you have come
brimming with joy,
if you have come
with thanks singing in your heart,
may your joy
spill over
as a gift to those around you.

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