Archive for October, 2012

That Which Holds All


Because she wanted everyone to feel included

in her prayer,

she said right at the beginning

several names for the Holy:

Spirit, she said, Holy One, Mystery, God

but then thinking these weren’t enough ways of addressing

that which cannot be fully addressed, she added

particularities, saying, Spirit of Life, Spirit of Love

Ancient Holy One, Mystery We Will Not Ever Fully Know,

Gracious God and also Spirit of This Earth,

God of Sarah, Gaia, Thou

and then, tongue loosened, she fell to naming

superlatives as well: Most Creative One,

Greatest Source, Closest Hope—-

even though superlatives for the Sacred seemed to her

probably redundant, but then she couldn’t stop:

One Who Made the Stars, she said, although she knew

technically a number of those present didn’t believe

the stars had been made by anyone or thing

but just luckily happened.

One Who Is an Entire Ocean of Compassion,

she said, and no one laughed.

That Which Has Been Present Since Before the Beginning,

she said, and the room was silent.

Then, although she hadn’t imagined it this way,

others began to offer names:

Peace, said one.

One My Mother Knew, said another.

Ancestor, said a third.



Breath, said one near the back.


That Which Holds All.

A child said, Water.

Someone said, Kuan Yin.

Then: Womb.


Great Kindness.

Great Eagle.

Eternal Stillness.

And then, there wasn’t any need to say the things

she’d thought would be important to say,

and everyone sat hushed, until someone said


Nancy Shaffer
Instructions in Joy: Meditations

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My dear friend, Amy-rainflower, made this video of the Jeff Foster quote that I include below.  The video is only a couple of minutes long.  I have cried deep tears of knowing from both the video and reading the quote.  It is one of the most profoundly poetic pieces I have ever come across.

Your deepest longing has already been fulfilled, and you were the last to know.

Everything you have ever longed for is already present, here and now –

which is the last place you’d ever look. The miracle to end all miracles is happening,

and it is this moment exactly as it is. Yes – this, this is the grace.

Every breath. Each sensation. Every sound. That which has already been allowed in.

That which cannot be blocked out. Even pain, even boredom, even despair,

all those unwanted and unloved waves of human experience,

are finally allowed to flood into the space where ‘you’ are not, and have never been.

And the paradox is this: none of it can touch you anymore, not even the greatest pain.

And yet, and yet, you experience all of it, you feel it all more intensely than ever before,

unable to block it out anymore, unable to turn away. Who would turn away, and from what?

This is life in its fullness, no holds barred. So what is left but simple gratitude?

Gratitude for the fact that anything has ever happened at all. And if nothing ever happens again,

know this, dear friend – you have been here to witness the miracle of life.

You have known it. Tasted it. Felt it. Seen it.

The reflection of a waning moon in a car window.

The taste of still water.

The fragrance of cotton.

The silent depths of meditation.

The fierce intensity of fear.

Your grandmother’s bones.

It has been enough.

Oh, it has been more than enough. It has been too much, in fact.

Too much grace. And so the separate self turned away from it,

and looked for more, seeking a future that never came, and cannot come.

You’ve only been seeking yourself.

Awe and wonder, my friend.

Awe and wonder.

~Jeff Foster~

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Ultimately, every single one of us must deal with the fundamental uncertainty of life. The degree to which we suffer with it, is equal to the amount of resistance we have to this uncertainty and inevitable change. We may hit a familiar, comfortable groove from time to time, but something eventually comes along and knocks us off our proverbial footing. In a crazy, weird paradoxical manner, it was meant to be that way. As someone once said … comfort breeds complacency. Complacency is to stagnate and deteriorate as uncertainty and change is to grow and strengthen.

Wouldn’t it be nice to finally embrace life’s fundamental uncertainty? Ka-thunk, ka-thunk … that’s the sound of me nodding my head enthusiastically! I found the following quote that not only makes me want to embrace uncertainty, it makes my heart sing at the very idea of it:

“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.”
~Agnes de Mille

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The Little Inner No


Thanks to a long quote I was sent earlier today, I was pondering the little inner no’s.  They sound something like this:

I’m tired.
I wish it would rain.
I wish it would stop raining.
This can’t be happening.
It shouldn’t be happening.
I have to fix this, shift it, transmute it, etc.
I should have known better.
I should have done better.
I could have done better.

I have observed myself this morning in a litany of little inner no’s, so subtle if I wasn’t observing, it would have slipped past unnoticed.  Now to notice the little inner no, without judging it, because this, too, is a little inner no.

I don’t seem to notice anywhere in nature where a “not this” or a little inner no is expressed.  I’ll take that as a “yes”; I’m on the path I was meant to be on, wherever it may lead.

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