Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Being Prepared

I was watching a travel/cooking show last night and heard the phrase mise en place. Curious as to the meaning of this, I looked it up. It means, "putting in place" and refers to a chef getting everything ready before he or she begins to cook. All of the chopping, dicing and cutting needs to be done before a dish is assembled and cooked.

Just as it is in cooking, preparation is critical in life. Right now, I'm preparing my syllabi for the three courses I'm teaching in the fall. Such preparation allows me to know what topics I'm going to cover and lets the students know what they need to read to be prepared for class.

Preparation is also important in the spiritual life. In the context of spirituality, preparation involves being open and receptive to the sacred dimension of life. How do we prepare ourselves to be receptive? One way is to have times of silence built into our daily schedules. Silence may be the best way to prepare ourselves to be open to the sacredness of the world around and the world within.

There are surely other ways of being prepared in a spiritual sense. Some prepare themselves by reading a sacred text or by reflecting on a specific concept or idea. I find that anticipation and expectation are important ways to be receptive to the spiritual dimension of life that continually surrounds us. We can find a connection with this dimension if we have the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to perceive.

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