Diversity found in Houston…smiles.

September 25, 2010 Evolutionary

Well, my visit in Houston is coming to a close this coming week after the longest time I’ve spent here since moving away in 1986.  While my last blog entry seems a little harsh when I re-read it, I’m not at all intimidated by it.  While what I describe is only “the story” of the past, it is a genuine observation, one that I don’t look upon favorably but with every understanding that life unfolded just as it was supposed to to bring me, to bring everyone involved, to this very moment.  Staying with my parents for so long has been an opportunity to really see that I must choose to be who I am even in their home..but with respect for who they are.  We are entirely different people; indeed, every member of our immediate family is entirely unique from the next.  While I’ve known this for some time, I finally feel in my bones, grateful for the soul stamina within me, that it’s okay for me to be absolutely and completely on my own, fully established in alternative world views, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, political views, choices in lifestyle and overall differing approaches to life as it presents itself in the eternal now.

What has been of great support is finding out, through complete strangers at times, about non-denominational chapels and art/meditation spaces located throughout a very hip but diverse part of the middle of Houston.  Though no pictures were allowed, Rothko Chapel and the Byzantine Chapel across the street both boasted wonderfully peaceful environments, often stark but fully equipped to facilitate undisturbed meditation.  I absolutely loved sitting in the Byzantine Chapel where 13th century frescos were purchased from a chapel in Italy and pieced back together in a small-scale, re-created, glass-walled chapel to reflect the original feel of Italy but in a modern way.  The surrounding space was all black so that the fine lights only illuminated the glass walls and the frescos placed in the small dome, apse and altar.  It’s hard to describe but, as the brochure discusses and the link above provides, the glass walls represent the impermanent material world, the illusion of walls around the permanent, Infinite Mystery of Christ or for me, Christ-consciousness.  The Holy Spirit reigns forever; the worldly is only temporal.  Surrounded by darkness but caught in the glow of the “chapel,” I was removed from the outside world, lost in welcome prayer and meditation for well over an hour, transfixed by the wholeness of space.

Altar of the new Co-Cathedral in Houston.

A few days before, I was able to attend a sacred choral concert in Houston’s new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  It’s a co-cathedral because the eastern and western sects of Catholic Christianity built a place of worship together to help begin to bring together the two in unity.  It was an excellent symbol of coming together for the good of all.  Of course, the concert was amazing with the acoustics, the choir singing my favorite Thomas Tallis piece and others.  The Co-Cathedral was completely modern but built with a sense of the old style in shape and architecture.  I truly loved the whole experience and realized – Wow!  Houston may not be as closed off as I thought.  I forgot how passionate Houstonians are about the cultural arts of all types.  With places and performances like these, I could live here…but let’s not get carried away.  It certainly helps me disengage from family dynamics while engaging in soul dynamics; in turn, I can then return to my parents with a greater sense of divine love at play because I’ve taken care of my own spiritual needs.

Jesus the Christ floating in a bath of light inside the Co-Cathedral.

Before leaving Houston, I’ll visit Villa de Matel, which has a full Byzantine Chapel on the convent’s retreat grounds.  I’m looking forward to that and to returning to the road.

Mary awash in light inside the Co-Cathedral.

The Holy Spirit high in the dome of the Co-Cathedral.

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Entry Filed under: byzantine, cathedrals, chapels, Consciousness, Houston, Journey, Love, Meditation, Retreat Centers, Spirituality, Texas, Travel

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sarah&hellip  | 

    I have found that sitting in Byzantine churches and chapels to be an incredibly healing and nurturing experinece too… they seem to be really speacial places, I wonder why?

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