This Living Water

An excerpt from “Dearest Friends” by Laurence Freeman OSB in WCCM Quarterly Newsletter, vol. 46, no.1, October 2022, p. 5.
Rain drops on glass

Learning is not being brainwashed. It demands a change of approach, a shift of perception and an openness to other points of view. The experience of pure prayer that meditation opens will change the way we understand the teaching of Jesus itself. In the parables and in the life-story of Jesus, we will still see the obvious, first level of meaning. But, with the pure and loving attention that changes our minds, we will see other aspects at more subtle and real levels. It is not about finding answers or solutions but of seeing what we did not see before. In this sense, life itself is a parable teaching us its meaning and goal. When it is lived to the full, it asks us to read its joys and losses, changing the way we see it and how we live.

After meditation: “A Blessing for Teachers: My People, My Heroes, My Friends” by Kim Stafford in SINGER COME FROM AFAR (Pasadena: Red Head Press, 2021), p. 91. 

You are a teacher because, helplessly,

you love the invisible future thinly disguised

as a child who does not yet know her power, his gift,

and it is up to you to create conditions where

these wonders may be revealed.


So, alchemy in a crowded room,

transmuting the lead of device-medicated torpor

to the gold of fevered engagement with the self, 

each other, and the Earth—this is the mission

you have chosen to accept.


A teacher, you befriend the invisible future

by looking into the eyes of beginners, and there

find the glimmer, the shimmer, the glance outward

from reticence to a few words, from a few words

to a story bristling with thought. 


Knowledge is a fossil we turn over in our hands,

but learning is this living water for the young

we ladle out by looking into the eyes

of the children entrusted to us

by the hard world.

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