while sitting in a team meeting with a mass rehab counselor last week i realized that he had an image of a violet, multi-petaled flower tatooed on his right wrist. as the meeting drew to a close my client asked the counselor what the image represented and he said it was the seventh chakra. this image, he asserted, reminds me to shut my mouth and listen to others with my whole mind and whole heart.
now i don't know much about the chakras and i'm a little less likely to get a violet tatoo than i am to commission a permanent commemoration of the 2006 world series, but i was inspired by the intention behind the counselor's tat. i realize that truly attending to and receiving God and the other is an essential path towards uncovering the unspeakable beauty, truth and goodness in this world. of course, at the same time, i realize that i was once the recipient of a "foot in the mouth" award and i will probably always find it easier to assert my opinions that to receive others.
don't get me wrong, i have no interest in simply turning future conversations into reflective listening exercises and i am interested in much more than rogerian talk therapy. rather, in my heart, i want to be a man who intentionally enters into silence so that he can learn to fully attend and extend hospitality to God and others. i suspect that in doing so i will begin to see the former in the latter and vice versa.