December 3, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 11, 2010
flows into a pure soul
the way that light rushes into a transparent object.
The more love that it finds,
the more it gives itself;
so that, as we grow clear and open,
the more complete the joy of heaven is.
And the more souls who resonate together,
the greater the intensity of their love,
and, mirror-like, each soul reflects the other.
October 31, 2010
They reveal it. The sky
never fills with any
leftover flying. They leave
nothing to trace. It is our own
in chill air. Be glad.
They equal their due
moment never begging,
and enter ours
without parting day. See
how three birds in a winter tree
make the tree barer.
Two fly away, and new rooms
open in December.
Give up what you guessed
about a whirring heart, the little
beaks and claws, their constant hunger.
We're the nervous ones.
If even one of our violent number
could be gentle
long enough that one of them
found it safe inside
our finally untroubled and untroubling gaze,
who wouldn't hear
what singing completes us.
~ Li-Young Lee
October 27, 2010
of elephants. With trunks curled high, tusks thrust forward, thick
legs trampling the earth, these carved beasts seemed to trumpet to the
sky. One day, a king came to see these magnificent works and to
commission statuary for his palace. Struck with wonder, he asked the
sculptor, “What is the secret of your artistry?”
The sculptor quietly took his measure of the monarch and replied,
"Great king, when, with the aid of many men, I quarry a gigantic piece
of granite from the banks of the river, I have it set here in my
courtyard. For a long time I do nothing but observe this block of
stone and study it from every angle. I focus all my concentration on
this task and won’t allow anything or anybody to disturb me. At first,
I see nothing but a huge and shapeless rock sitting there,
meaningless, indifferent to my purposes, utterly out of place. It
seems faintly resentful at having been dragged from its cool place by
the rushing waters. Then, slowly, very slowly, I begin to notice
something in the substance of the rock. I feel a presentiment . . . an
outline, scarcely discernible, shows itself to me, though others, I
suspect, would perceive nothing. I watch with an open eye and a
joyous, eager heart. The outline grows stronger. Oh, yes, I can
see it! An elephant is stirring in there!"
"Only then do I start to work. For days flowing into weeks, I use my
chisel and mallet, always clinging to my sense of that outline, which
grows ever stronger. How the big fellow strains! How he yearns to be
out! How he wants to live! It seems so clear now, for I know the one
thing I must do: with an utter singleness of purpose, I must chip away
every last bit of stone that is not elephant. What then remains will
be, must be, elephant."
When I was young, my grandmother, my spiritual guide, would often tell
just such a story, not only to entertain but to convey the essential
truths of living. Perhaps I had asked her, as revered teachers in
every religion have been asked, "What happens in the spiritual life?
What are we supposed to do?" Granny wasn’t a theologian, so she
answered these questions simply with a story like that of the elephant
sculptor. She was showing that we do not need to bring our real self,
our higher self, into existence. It is already there. It has always
been there, yearning to be out. An incomparable spark of divinity is
to be found in the heart of each human being, waiting to radiate love
and wisdom everywhere, because that is its nature.
--Eknath Easwaran, in God Makes the Rivers To Flow
October 22, 2010
October 16, 2010
September 30, 2010
September 14, 2010
September 12, 2010
September 2, 2010
August 31, 2010
August 30, 2010
August 27, 2010
August 21, 2010
And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
~ Wendell Berry ~
August 18, 2010
I thought the earth remembered me,she took me back so tenderly,arranging her dark skirts, her pocketsfull of lichens and seeds.I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,nothing between me and the white fire of the starsbut my thoughts, and they floated light as mothsamong the branches of the perfect trees.All night I heard the small kingdomsbreathing around me, the insects,and the birds who do their work in the darkness.All night I rose and fell, as if in water,grappling with a luminous doom. By morningI had vanished at least a dozen timesinto something better.~ Mary Oliver
August 17, 2010
August 16, 2010
how we stood and faced one another
and we took hands
and the love came.
And all the flowers swarmed about our heads:
deep deep the sting goes.
Let love be welcomed the moment it seeks us.
August 15, 2010
August 14, 2010
In the evening at sunset,
When there's a slight breeze that touches your body,
And makes the leaves and the trees move gently.
You're not trying to do anything, really.
You're simply allowing yourself to be,
Very open from deep within,
Without holding onto anything whatsoever.
Don't bring something back from the past, from a memory.
Don't plan that something should happen.
Don't hold onto anything in the present.
Nothing you perceive needs to be nailed down.
Simply let experience take place, very freely,
So that your empty, open heart
Is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion.
- Tsoknyi Rinpoche in Carefree Dignity
August 11, 2010
"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony."
~ William Henry Channing
August 8, 2010
Metta Inst Last night Ram Dass taught a group of caregivers, 80 in all, via Skype about "presence". His wise council included how to find a level above the disease, the story, the suffering, to relate soul to soul with another. He reminded us that we are not our personalities, our roles, but rather just loving-awareness. His grace touched hearts and minds, and then we fell back into silence.
August 6, 2010
August 4, 2010
August 3, 2010
July 27, 2010
July 26, 2010
Recognizing truth requires selflessness. You have to leave yourself out of it so you can find out the way things are in themselves, not the way they look to you or how you feel about them or how you would like them to be.
Harry Frankfurt, Princeton philosopher and best-selling author of “Fighting Bull”, in a NY Times magazine interview.