Scripture ~ “The crowd brought to Jesus a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” * that is, “Be opened.”And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Mark 7:32-35
Spiritual Focus ~ “Listen with ears of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love.” Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale- I am, Exhale -open
Story ~ Of all the stories about Jesus’ life and ministry, it is his healing stories that we return to during Lent. This makes sense as many of us look to the resurrection story of Easter as the ultimate healing experience in our relationship with God. There is much to love in today’s story. We have a community that acts on behalf of the deaf man bringing him to Jesus. We see a very private and personal Jesus physically engaged in healing the deaf man. After touching the man’s ears and tongue, Jesus sighs with sadness and compassion. When Jesus looks to heaven, he signals his dependency on God. At Jesus’ command, “Be opened!”, the man hears and speaks clearly. This is a story of a very human Jesus with very divine power.
As we continue to explore the gift of meditation during Lent, we may want to sit with the idea of how open we are to being healed. How open would we be to Jesus sticking his fingers in our ears, spitting, and then touching our tongue?
In the early days of Western yoga there was little openness by many faith communities to accept faith-integrated yoga. It was not until the medical community embraced the health and healing benefits of yoga that attitudes began to change. As the health benefits of gentle movement, breathing, and meditation were studied, more people gave yoga a second look. In doing so, people experienced a renewed relationship with God. In coming to our yoga mats, we invite the experience of God’s healing presence in our practices and in meditation. We open ourselves to healing so that we may listen with ears of tolerance, see with eyes of compassion, and speak God’s language of love.
- In a seated easy pose, find a home base. This can be your breath, a drishti (focused gaze) or a sensation in your body.
- Practice equanimity. This means to accept thoughts without attaching to them. They are just there. Come back to your home base without judgement and an abundance of grace.
- Simply receive; there is no need to do anything.