July 30, 2011

The Power of Spirit

Author and lecturer Paula D'Arcy spent time each week with Morrie (of Tuesdays with Morrie) in his final year when he knew he was dying. They had many wonderful conversations, deepening inquiry and communion between them. At one point Morrie asked Paula to tell him anything she knew about the power of Christ. Paula responded thus:

"I didn't know, but I told him that I suspected: that the Spirit hidden deep within us recognizes truths our minds do not consciously know. And in spite of the barriers and limitations we impose, in spite of our fears and our refusals, in spite of our determination to limit Spirit to certain names or beliefs... there is nevertheless a level of awareness within us that exceeds all names and definitions.  And this awareness responds from a knowledge the mind does not possess."

Later, reflecting on this conversation D'Arcy writes, "More than anything else, Morrie and I were sharing what it means to be a human being, just as he'd requested. We were exploring meaning. We were asking: What does it mean to be alive? Is this human nature our only nature? Is something else trying to emerge? What will we do with the life we were given? How will we live? What limits are we willing to push? How much are we willing to see?"

From Sacred Threshold: Crossing the Inner Barrier to a Deeper Love by Paula D'Arcy

I love these questions Paula and Morrie were asking. I love the question Morrie asks Paula, and I love the answer Paula gave Morrie about the power of Christ Spirit within us. Can you feel the loving communion here - deeper than deep?

July 26, 2011

Contrasts


I love this photo a friend took of her niece. To me it portrays  so many contrasts - hard and soft, young an old, living and dying, earth and body.  And most especially, I see Graceful Presence here. 

What do you see?

July 23, 2011

What's Possible?


Before you can do something that you’ve never done before, 
you have to imagine it’s possible. 
Jean Shinoda Bolen

July 18, 2011

Serene


My room at the Ralston White Retreat Center - where I attended a retreat and kept noble silence for four days. It was deeply quieting.  My World Tuesday

July 17, 2011

Enough


Enough. These few words are enough. 
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now

David Whyte, Where Many Rivers Meet

July 14, 2011

Self Love

My teacher said, "To be real is some measure of self love. A wholesome wanting - to know ourselves as we are - is an essential element that supports our spiritual practice. Love is essential to this practice."

As I have been sitting in meditation this past week, I began to notice the feeling of preciousness of coming home to myself. On the cushion my thoughts go wandering, and I have learned to call myself gently back, back to the core of my being where my heartbeat is steady and my breathing is rhythmic. I began (at my teacher's advising) to feel this as coming home to my self, and finding a refuge here, within me. Then, I began to sense that something much larger than me was actually welcoming me home again, with open arms and a graceful holding. Every time my thoughts would wander, I would begin to realize it and come home again, always being welcomed in a profound way. Deep feelings of tenderness welled within me.

July 12, 2011

My World


Beauty emanating from the lichen on rocks during a hike in the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon. Graceful Presence is here, in this, too.

July 11, 2011

Mindfulness and Inquiry



The past week I enjoyed five days of silence and listening by attending a Mindfulness and Inquiry Retreat with a favorite teacher, Frank Ostaseski. Today, in the return to my "normal life", I am mindful of the teaching to "feel the flow of experience." Moment to moment, I am observing more than usual what is in the field my awareness - especially what my mind is thinking, what emotions I am noticing, and what my body telling me. In this field of awareness, where "the me disappears" I seem to feel more aware of myself than before. At the same time, I sense that this awareness of me comes not from my small self but rather from a larger Presence within or through me. It is as though by simply feeling the flow of experience, my Being is a kind of vehicle for the sacred.

This simple teaching touches me deeply - through it I sense the truth of my self freshly.

July 4, 2011

Canticle of Love

"Somewhere in our history religion became synonymous with God.

Religion is a longing for something, but it is not the thing itself. The thing itself does not need religion. In fact, religion may be the great barrier, because it is so rule-bound and convincing, so driven by ego ("Our" God is the true God).

Spirit, the thing itself, needs nothing to define it.

It cannot be described; it cannot be owned.

It can only be experienced in its wild passion and its love.

It can be encountered, not studied.

The mind cannot grasp it, though it will forever try.

That which we long for has the character of a single relationship, with infinite forms.

All longing is spirit longing for itself.

Spirit may appear as a child, a starlit night, new love, music, art, terror, tragedy, beauty...

It comes disguised. "

Paula D'Arcy in A set of New Eyes