Archive for November, 2009

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Recently someone I consider to be a wise teacher in my life, Philip Golabuk, stated that we are too much with the world and not enough with the self.  I pondered what was the meaning of this statement.  What does it really mean?

I’ve come to see it means I am too much with trying to make things happen in the world.  Too much with believing there are an endless string of things to be worked through.  Too much with giving attention to what I don’t want.
Too much being reactive to the world.   Too much with shouldering burdens I am not meant to carry.
And too much with believing I am in control.

Too much with getting and not enough with letting.

Too much with reacting and not enough with Being.

Too much with the head and not enough with the heart

Stated another way, as Meister Eckhart said: The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

Who is this inner man and which self are we not enough with?

Perhaps it is the inner self that doesn’t die.  The inner self that lives in the deepest truth.  The inner self which, when unobstructed, freely finds its way to goodness and grace.  The inner self that rests in calm, still waters.

The self that reaches a turning point and lays down its arms, literally and figuratively.  Knowing now there are no more causes to be fought or won.  Our arms drop to our sides and then, perhaps only then, does the Field/Universe/God take up our cause.

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All God wants of man is a peaceful heart.

Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure.

Every creature is a word of God.

God is at home, it’s we who have gone out for a walk.

He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.

Grace is no stationary thing, it is ever becoming. It is flowing straight out of God’s heart. Grace does nothing but re-form and convey God.

If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is “thank you,” that would suffice.

The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.

There exists only the present instant… a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.

~Meister Eckhart~
German Writer and Theologian

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Just for a moment…

Be still

and know that I am God

Be still

and know that I am Peace
right along side any state of war

Be still

and know that I am Joy
even amidst your sorrow

Be still

and know that I am Faith
in between the spaces of your doubt

Be still

and know that I am Limitless Possibilities
right next to your fears

Be still

and know that I am Clarity
right beside your confusion

Just for a moment…

Be still
Breathe deep
And know that I am God.


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It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a
whole year to bring into the house three great white
peonies and two pale blue iris.  It seems altogether
right and appropriate that these glories are earned
with long patience and faith. . . . and also that it is
altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last.
Yet in our human relations we are outraged when
the supreme moments, the moments of flowering,
must be waited for. . . . and then cannot last.  We
reach a summit, and then have to go down again.

May Sarton

* * * * * *

There is so very much that we can learn from the natural world.  We are constantly surrounded by reminders of the cycles of life, the natural order of things, and if we can just recognize and appreciate the lessons of the natural world, our own lives could become so much easier and so much more comprehensible.  We live our lives in seasons much as the flowers and the trees and the animals do, and one of the reasons for which we tend to become unhappy or frustrated is because we sometimes expect to live in perpetual spring or summer, not allowing or wanting winters to be a normal, important part of our lives.

One of the reasons that spring is so beautiful in the colder areas of the world is because the flowers are coming after a long period without them–we’ve been deprived of their presence for a long time, so they mean much more to us.  We all know that for everything there is a season, but most of us would like to make those seasons longer, or to have some control over them.

But we have to let life be what it is.  Life is a beautiful experience, yet we tend to diminish its beauty by placing our false expectations on it.  One of my favorite art forms is that of ice sculpting, for the artists have a clear understanding of just how short-lived their works will be–yet they’re willing to put in hours of work to create beautiful works of art.  It’s possible that some of the most beautiful sculptures ever made have melted into puddles of water, only seen by a limited number of people for a very short time.

Enjoy the great parts of life, but enjoy them in the right here and right now, which is truly the only time that we can experience anything at all.  And when their time to leave comes, let them go with grace and dignity rather than trying to hold on to them in desperation or fear that you may never experience them again.  You will, if you simply let life be life, and accept the seasons of our lives with love and trust that they will return.

* * * * * *

For further thought:

A garden that never died eventually would weary.
Robbed of springtime, unacquainted with the
extraordinary perfume that rises from the soil after
it’s had its rest, the garden that winter doesn’t visit
is a dull place.  The return every spring of earth’s
first freshness would never be kept if not for the
frosts and rot and ripe deaths of fall.  So when I go
out from the garden for the last time in autumn,
I leave the gate open behind me.

Michael Pollan

Source: Living Life Fully

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Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up drenched in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.

~Wislawa Szymborska~
Monologue of a Dog

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a blustery autumn day today
the last of the maples
the cherries and the stately alders
releasing their leaves

they compel me to set free
the old that hangs on

in favor of what newness
may blossom
from my limbs


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Anais Nin

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

A leaf fluttered in through the window this morning, as if supported by the rays of the sun, a bird settled on the fire escape, joy in the task of coffee, joy accompanied me as I walked.

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.

Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.

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The greatest trick and most subtle secret to doing anything really, really well, is loving that you get to do it at all. And I’m pleased to say, you get to – The Universe

I am loving this quote that popped up in my inbox this morning from none other than the Universe at www.tut.com

Next time you are feeling that you “have to” do anything, what about shifting it to “I get to…”  I have to feels so much like bondage and I get to feels so welcoming and expansive.  It’s embracing the moment over opposing it.

If you can’t come by “I get to…” wholeheartedly then look beyond what drives the activity.  What are the benefits it provides for you?  Even the most commonplace humdrum activity can become something wonderful when viewed with a heart that says: I get to.

As always, both the hands that bind us and the hands that free us, are really our own.  Thanks for that lovely reminder today from the brilliance of Mike Dooley, the genius behind TUT.

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Sophie’s Choice, as some of you may remember was an American film from the early 80s.  Since then the term “Sophie’s Choice” has come to symbolize a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” standard of choice.  It’s really the no-choice.  As in the movie, Sophie must make the choice between her son living or her daughter living, choose one and the other must die.

Often when we are wrestling with a problem, we don’t see outside of the paradigm of a Sophie’s Choice.  We might see two options and often apart from the framework of our current beliefs lies a third choice.  The one not yet visible to us.  To illustrate an example of this, often creative people, musicians, writers, artists, etc. want to make their livelihood doing what they love but they don’t see how that could happen.  In that case, following your passion may signify losing financial security.  We have even coined a term for it “the starving artist”.  Risk going for your passion and you risk everything or maintain the status quo, bang away at the passion-less job and have some measure of financial security.  That’s the either/or, the Sophie’s choice, the no choice at all.

Yet outside that system of beliefs, lies the third option.  The third choice is not the either/or posture for whenever you are contemplating – to have this, I must risk losing this – you can know instantly you are working within the framework of your own limiting beliefs.  While you may not know what the third option is you can remain open to knowing what it is.   In a world that spins planets, regulates the tides, raises the sun each day and orchestrates countless precise details happening behind the scenes of every living organism, we can begin to see this same Universe can work on our behalf to bring us all the resources that we would ever need and then some.  It requires one thing of us and it’s what we are willing to believe, what we are willing to give ourselves to and what we are willing to open ourselves to.  Okay, that’s three things it requires of us but who’s counting?!

Next time you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a dilemna that you can’t see your way out of, remember – there is a third option, you haven’t seen it yet, you may not know what it is, but you can remain open to knowing and you can begin by questioning any notion that says: to have this I must relinquish this.

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This world is full of miracles.

They stand in shining silence next to every dream of pain and suffering.

They are the dream’s alternative, the choice to be the dreamer, rather than deny the active role in making up the dream.

The body is released because the mind acknowledges ‘this is not done to me, but I am doing this.’

And thus the mind is free to make another choice instead.

~ A Course in Miracles ~

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