YRU

Wonder.  Appreciation.  Eagerness.  Curiosity.  Excitement.

These are the words we have been drumming to this year and it seems that youth was intended to keep us in step to the beat. Our meditation practice and the retreat center saw an influx of children and teenagers. Who better to bang the drum of those fun-filled words?

There is a newness to the experience of wonder, a sense of amazement at what’s unfolding in front of you. It was captured in the faces of a delightful group of young girls discovering spotted newts under every log on our trails this past spring. Discovery happens daily through Spirit Fire and I feel wonder-full as I look around at all we have created and all that continues to unfold. The examples are many: the center’s new Art Barn, Spirit Fire Radio, and a brand new Board of Directors to assist Spirit Fire in turning over many new ‘logs’ in the next year. I am excited for our discoveries. I am curious and I am excited.

Excitement was in the eyes of a Haitian teenager who pulled me aside this summer to talk about meditation. He was visiting the US as part of an international conflict resolution group meeting at Spirit Fire on retreat. He had a natural knack for deep meditation, but was unable to discuss it with anyone back home… and he was eager to do so. Eagerness. Curiosity. He spoke so fast and with a heavy accent. I was struck by the light in his eyes. It matched the light that he described seeing with his mind in meditation. He wanted book titles, mentor names, guided meditations. All he needed was affirmation that the path he was walking is well populated. And so it is. My appreciation runs deep for those trailblazers, including our founder, who have made meditation accessible to the masses and ‘mindfulness’ a common word these days. Undoubtedly, that young man’s bright mind will show him a bright future. Meditation continues to light the way for so many. I am honored to be a teacher of The Practice of Living Awareness.

During a wintery retreat of young stage performers, I listened in as this multi-cultural group of first generation American kids were asked to say grace before dinner. They were to take turns, reciting the words in their parents’ native tongue and then asked to describe what the words meant. It began as a begrudged assignment and soon became a celebration of exotic sounds and unique storytelling. ExcitementAppreciation. It was quickly moved to a during-dinner exercise as grace had so much to offer. We are fast becoming a united global community, despite the news reels. Consciousness is universal. Kids know it; they feel it. Me, too.

A spiritual life need not contain any more than those five words: wonder, appreciation, eagerness, curiosity, and excitement. Together these words create magnetic presence. You need only to turn to a child and observe the quality of their presence and the level of their engagement with the world around them… this is consciousness in action. Spirit Fire offers me this daily, and through its mission, offers the same to so many people around the globe. I am fortunate to be a part of a creative educational organization with well-being as its primary goal… and one with so many fine drummers!

Read more reflections on 2015 from the stewards of Spirit Fire by clicking here.

Today is Giving Tuesday. This is a global day in which communities celebrate generosity in its many forms. For many in the non-profit community, it is a day to bring attention to year end fund drives. After all, we cannot thrive without your support. Please consider donating today.

Thank you for being a part of Spirit Fire,
Steve Kramer