23 Sept 2018


Amis Letter 04

A new old friend called A Wareness


Dear Amis



Last week’s exercise really opened my eyes to a few things within me. (I posted that on the Amis Discussion Group). When I planned the exercise, I imagined myself doing it easily. The reality was quite different. It was much more difficult and complex than I expected. I really was a good learning experience with some lasting effect.


What have I learned? (apart from what I have posted)


  1. I have more memories and experiences within me than I am usually aware of. Every single moment of our lives are packed with impulses and experiences. None of these get lost. Some might have a bigger influence than others but they are still there. Unconsciously they influence us. Sometimes they revisit us as dreams. But because we live our lives forward, we rarely stop to think about all these events. We all run just to keep ahead of life. But once I stopped to think about my life, I realised there are so many things which have formed and influenced me. My page of names, ideas, places etc could have been very full.


  1. This exercise gave me a wonderful gift: awareness. (Not that I live my life unaware!) Spending some time on this made me think why I wrote down some names, why I have mentioned certain places. Answering these questions made me aware of some very important personality traits. A lot has been written about awareness.

There is a short story from one of the Desert Fathers (whom we will meet in more detail later in the Amis journey): A brother went to see Abba Moses in his hermitage at Scetis and begged him for a word. The old man said: Go and sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.  What does this story mean? It definitely means something about solitude and silence. There might be something else though… My interpretation of this short saying is the following:


The “cell” Abba Moses is speaking about is the heart. We must visit our heart and really see what is going on there. This exercise helped me to do exactly that – to look and see more clearly into my heart. The heart is the symbol the Bible uses for your deepest being.


I will call it our character – or who we really are. It is only once we become aware of the quality of our heart (the real things that determine our lives) that we can or want to change! If I do not want to change and grow, non-awareness is good and preferable. But if I have a search, a longing to grow and change: learn from this friend. I think it is the doorway to transformation.


  1. By looking deeply into the quality of my friendships I discovered more about the quality of my hear and my spirituality. I am convinced that the awareness of the quality of our friendships is an important doorway to spiritual growth. This is a rather complex issue and hopefully we will discover more about this in Amis.


I will revisit the exercise sheet this week! And your name is scribbled on that piece of paper too!


With great love -Amis greetings.




  • Revisit the exercise

  • What do you do with what you have discovered?

  • Do have a look at some of the “heart” texts in the Bible. Any Bible app, online Bible or concordance will be of great help. Three examples: Deu_4:29 Psa_17:3 Mat_5:8 

  • Our hearts are like fragile compasses – they know true North. If you bring another magnet or metal close to a compass, it loses direction.  Our hearts are the same. What are the magnets that disorient you heart compass?

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