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Archive for September, 2013

autumn_leaves

Pods of summer crowd around the door;
I take them in the autumn of my hands.

Last night I heard the first cold wind outside;
the wind blew soft, and yet I shiver twice:

Once for thin walls, once for the sound of time.

~William Stafford~
The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

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Earlier this week, I sent myself a portion of my horoscope and labeled the subject line “HOPE”:

“And although you could take yourself rather seriously today, rest assured there are plenty of good times right around the corner.”

Who me, take myself seriously? :-)

When I do take myself a bit seriously I tend to think I will feel this way forever.  Then I remember … so this is life, the in-between.  The heart-felt journey between the pages of the beginning and the happily ever after. 

There would be no pages to fill were it not for the things we both love and curse, our losses, challenges, our dreams, hopes, and passions. It’s the heroic journey in between that makes these pages come alive.  It will include stories of how we rose to meet life’s challenges, how we stumbled, faltered and sometimes broke. 

And, ultimately how we came back to lay in the fertile green fields of our hearts.  As we lay there through the late afternoon sun and soft wind, the clouds rolled in and drenched us in a downpour of love, kindness and hope.*  Every pore soaked its holy sustenance in …

… as we turn the page and a new chapter begins.

Whatever your challenges today or any day, remember this:

“No feeling is final.  Just keep going.  Nearby is the country they call Life.  You will know it by it’s seriousness.  Give me your hand.” Rainer Maria Rilke

 

*to my friends Terri and Ahmee

 

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Love

joy

Below is this week’s inquiry, questions designed not to make you stop and think, rather to be with it experientially.

Where is the love?

“The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day.  It began as mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”

~ Diane Ackerman

***

The blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.

I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken;
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of;
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds;
there are whole rivers of light.

~Kabir~

***

“Abandonment,”
we call it. As in: wild, or perfect.
We abandon ourselves
to love.

~Kate Knapp Johnson~

***

This Union you want with the earth and sky
This Union we all need with love

Stay here quivering like a drop of mercury

(combined words of Rumi & Hafiz)

***

 Look

for a

lovely thing

and you

will

find it…

~ Sara Teasdale ~

***

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name….

~Jane Kenyon~

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Image by CED-Leah  

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Excerpted from The Essential Rumi – translated by Coleman Barks

I post this because it is such a great follow-up to my recent “letting myself have” post.  The practice I talk about in letting myself have is now my spiritual practice of pure acceptance with whatever arises.  So this poem really seems a great complement to that practice.

There’s often so many things I read that sound good on paper (like The Guest House), but I want to know ‘gee, how does one attain that’?  I need tools, that’s me, it’s how I roll.  Tools lift these lofty ideas into something tangible, real, doable and useable.

I woke up for a couple of nights in a row, drenched in sweat, heart pounding over some big fear dream.  The old me would say: it’s over, let’s get a shower and your heart will calm down momentarily.  Let’s just not think about it, it will go away.  This time I laid in bed letting myself have the fear, the pounding heart, the vulnerability, the not feeling in control.  I sat with it and breathed with it and when it was ready it moved on.  It came to re-visit me again in the next night, i did the same practice and again it moved on.

Every don’t want, shouldn’t be, I can’t, I won’t, this should not be happening, you can’t make me … all of them, I can let myself have all of it.  And why should I?  Because suffering is the only other option.

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sunnyhill

My eyes already touch the sunny hill,
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has its inner light, even from a distance—

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;
a gesture waves us on, answering our own wave . . .
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

~Rainer Maria Rilke~
Muzot, March 1924
Translated by Robert Bly

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ocean375586-1920x1200

This week’s inquiry, designed to be experienced rather than answered at the level of the mind:

What is beautiful just as it is?  

“…beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.”
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

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