Llisten to a Llama
Llisten to your heart
Llaugh out lloud
Llearn something new each day
Llet go of the llittle things
Llook for the good win everyone
And always remember…
It’s all around us. Sometimes, found in the most unusual places.
“God came to my house and asked for charity. And I fell on my knees and cried, ‘Beloved, what may I give?’ Just love’. He said. ‘Just love.'”
-Saint Francis of Assisi
Live in community, move from stillness to action, all the while loving our neighbor,encourage each other to BE and to DO good deeds motivated by love.
-Cindy Senarighi and Heidi Green
Look no further than the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, where the entire above-the-fold space was dedicated to articles on Saudi Arabia. It’s not as if there hasn’t been good reporting on issues like the war in Yemen and the Saudi leadership’s underhanded tactics in the past, but the Khashoggi incident has thrust those stories onto front pages and into national news broadcasts.
From the front lines in Yemen, where the Saudi-led war “has ground on for more than three years, killing thousands of civilians and creating what the United Nation calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. “It took the crisis over the apparent murder of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate two weeks ago for the world to take notice.”
“Hollywood, Silicon Valley, presidential libraries and foundations, politically connected private equity groups, P.R. firms, think tanks, universities and Trump family enterprises are awash in Arab money. The Saudis satisfy American greed, deftly playing their role as dollar signs in robes”
— Maureen Dowd/NYTimes
Washington Post continues with an in-depth look at the “sophisticated Saudi influence machine that has shaped policy and perceptions in Washington for decades, batting back critiques of the oil-rich kingdom by doling out millions to lobbyists, blue-chip law firms, prominent think tanks and large defense contractors.”
The U.N. aid chief warned Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, that humanitarians are losing the fight against famine in Yemen and that 14 million people could soon be at risk of starvation.
“There is now a clear and present danger of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen,” Mark Lowcock told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. “Much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen in their working lives.”
“With so many lives at stake,” he said, the warring parties need “to seize the moment” and engage with the U.N. envoy for Yemen “to end the conflict.”
Senator Bernie Sanders: “I very much hope we will finally end our support for the carnage in Yemen, and send the message that human lives are worth more than profits for arms manufacturers.”
‘A year had passed and everything was just as it was a year before
As if was a year before
Until the gift that someone left, a basket by my door
And in there lay the fairest little baby crying to be fed
I got down on my knees and kissed the moon and star
on his head
As years went by the boy grew high and the village looked on in awe
They’d never seen anything like the boy with the moon and star before
And people would ride from far and wide just to seek the word he spread
I’ll tell you everything I’ve learned
And love is all, he said.’
Science of Mind
’It all starts in love, and it all fades into love. Love is all there is. Some people may have an issue with using the word God. That’s perfectly all right. Substitute the word love for God, or Gaia, or Spirit. In doing so, scripture takes on a different feeling. For example, in the beginning, Love created the heavens and the earth.
Love is stronger than any force in the Universe. Love—the deep, unconditional love—has the power to change everything.
When we love the whole race with the whole heart, then we shall enter the presence of [love] who is love. -Christian D. Larson
“True expression rises through us. In this expression, all the conversations and honest sharing that passed through our small tribe(s) over those years permeated (our) consciousness, the way the ocean saturates a sponge. A sponge doesn’t create the water it holds. […] We soak up the deepest meaning from each other and the water of wisdom passes through us.”
“Everything exists as a vibration in time and space. Only the frequencies separates sand from water, soul from dust and me from you. In the boundless order beyond the Universe we are ONE. Only briefly ‘separate’ from each other under the stars, moon and the sun.”
-Super Soul Sunday
Righteousness is not just the private practice of doing good; it sums up the global responsibility of the human community to make sure every human being has what they need, that everyone pursues a fair sense of justice for every other human being, and that everyone lives in right relationship with one another, creation, and God.
- …this discovery is life’s real and highest goal. Our supreme purpose in life is not to make a fortune, nor to pursue pleasure, nor to write our name on history, but to discover this spark of the divine that is in our hearts.
- Last, when we realize this goal, we discover simultaneously that the divinity within ourselves is one and the same in all—all individuals, all creatures, all of life.
God’s passion is justice. . . . As the social form of compassion, justice is about politics [the word “politics” comes from the Greek polis for “city”]. . . . Politics is about the shape and shaping, the structure and structuring, of the city and, by extension, of human communities more generally, ranging from the family to society as a whole. . . . Justice is the political form of compassion, the social form of love, a compassionate justice grounded in God as compassionate.
The Slow Arm of All That Matters
I have fallen through and worked into
a deeper way – one step at a time, one pain
at a time, one grief at a time, one amends at a
time-until the long, slow arm of all that matters
has bowed my estimation of heaven. Now, like a
heron wairting for the waters to clear, I look for
heaven on earth and wait of for the turbulence to settle.
And I confess, for all the ways we stir things
up, I can see that though we can stop, life never
stops: the lonely bird crashes into the window
just as the sun disperses my favorite doubt, a
sudden wind closes your willing heart as the
moment of truth passes between us, and the
damn phone rings as my father is dying. All
these intrusions, majestically unfair, and not of our
timing. So we spin and drop and catch and land.
And sometimes, we fall onto these little islands of stillness,
like now, from which we are renewed by our kinship
with all and that irrepressible feeling resurrects our want to be here,
to push off again into the untamable stream.
Under all the conflicts and dilemmas we face, we can discover over and over that everything, and everyone, in life is connected.
‘Older now, you find holiness in anything that continues.’
-Naomi Shihab Nye
‘The longer I wake on this Earth, the louder the quiet things speak to me. The more I experience and survive, the more I find truth in the commonalities we all share. The more pain softens me, the deeper my joy and the greater the lessons of those things that live in great stillness.’
‘As outraged as we might be at the sight of injustice, we must remain equally excited by the possibilities for a better world that lie on the other side of it. The enlightened activist is committed because we know that the other world exists and all of us are here to bring it forth.’
‘May the eyes of your heart transfigure the world with love.’
‘In our age, tragedies are collective & shared across the world, & even in the darkest moments of destruction, unity & love always emerge.’
Let’s bring back:
Here we are, controlled by fear, in a universe that evolves through love.
‘Enlightenment is the moment we realize that we are made of love. At that moment, all fear of living disappears. For grace comes to the heart when it realizes what it is made of and what it has risen from. In that moment, grace comforts us, that no matter the joy or pain along the way, we are already a part of where we are going. Enlightenment for a heart on Earth is the moment we accept that it is the loving that makes waves of us all, again and again and again.’
-Mark Nept/Book of Awakening
Love is like a soft, warm light, warming the heart and glowing in every atom of being, radiating out into the farthest corners of our experience.
Heaven is within woman. This is why Jesus prayed to this indwelling “I am” and said: “Our Father/Mother which art in Heaven,” and again he said: “The Kingdom of heaven is within you.”
-Science of Mind, p. 365
‘This is the story of our human incarnation on the planet. We continue to die daily and to be reborn again. Surprisingly, yes, there is more to forgive, more to embrace about our own humanity and the humanity of our brothers and sisters who have chosen to walk with us. Our human incarnation is a holy walk when we choose to see it as such. It is a deliverance from the fears and doubts that may plague us in the beginning but which cannot withstand the onslaught of all-encompassing love of Gaia.
How grateful I am that throughout all of it, I have been so loved, so guided and so cared for. This is the promise for those who are courageous enough to stay the course. The expanded love you embrace with each resurrection never dies, and you are in love for the rest of your life.’
-Rev. Karen S. Wylie
‘To practice the Presence of God is to awaken within us the Christ Consciousness. Christ is God in the soul of woman. The resurrection is the death of the belief that we are separated from God. For death is to the illusion alone and not to Reality God did not die. What happened was that woman awoke to life.’
-Science of Mind, p. 413
‘Today I imbibe new ideas from the creativity of Gaia. My whole consciousness is alive and awake and aware. It is impregnated with Divine ideas and shall bear fruit after the image of the impression conceived within it and the Divine imprint made upon it. Today, then, I expect new ways of doing things; I expect to meet new people, form new friendships; I expect everything in my experience to enlarge and deepen and broaden. I expect more good that I have every experienced before, and today I expect to give out more, to increase my love for others. Today I expect from myself a more gently approach to life, a more kindly feeling, a more beneficent impulse. New thoughts, new ideas, new people, new situations, new ways of doing things, and a new influx of the Divine will make this day perfect, glad, and expressive limitless bounty from the storehouse of the Infinite Good.’
-Science of Mind
Mark Nepo/’The One Life We’re Given’
A difficult paradox in the life of feeling is that when we are most sensitive, the heart is at its strongest. In such moments, our experience of deep love and suffering can feel intolerable. But this means the heart is working. Feeling such intense sensitivity is evidence of what a finely tuned instrument the heart is. Being so sensitive, life can feel unbearable even while the heart that guides us is going strong. Our challenge is to learn from both the sensitivity and the strength.
When strong enough to endure life’s irritations, the soul we carry can issue a pearl. If able to endure the pressures that life puts on us, the heart can be compressed into a small diamond. The word ‘diamond’, from the ancient Greek ‘adamas’, means ‘unbreakable.’ When most sensitive, we’re being compressed into what is unbreakable.
What’s unbreakable waits behind what’s unbearable, the way the quenching waters of life wait behind all the dams we build. And all my attempts to love have taught me that resilience waits in the very center for all that’s broken to be swept away in order to reveal what can’t be broken. Though the process of shedding feels unbearable, we have to endure this in order to uncover what is lasting and true.
Inevitably, crossing into life for love is what saves us. At unexpected times, our care leads us to dive into the world to save something we love by holding it close to our heart.
We resist this process of being irritated into a pearl, of being pressurized into a diamond. Yet each of us has to feel our way into the authenticity of a self from which to meet others and the world, only to be opened beyond the defines of a single self, so we can be renewed and vitalized by what we have in common. For what is unbearable is acutely personal, which when endured leads us to the seed of what is universal, which is unbreakable. When we can earn the presence of being completely ourselves we join a lineage of those who were completely themselves. Feeling our way into this kinship lets us feel the presence of souls across time.
What feels unbearable is how life carves us into a work of art that is never finished. When in difficult experiences, we fear they will never end. When in wonderful experiences, we fear they will end. But there’s no arrival, only inhabiting the journey, alone and together. The cycle of life and our engagement in it never stays the same. It rises and falls. It compresses and expands. And staying committed to this roller coaster that spins us upside down is how we experience all of life and all of time through the depth of our own feeling.
When I can inhabit the fullness of my own humanity, I reach the bottom of my personality, and through the thoroughness of living the one life I have, I touch into the well of all humanity. It’s there that resilience lives. And feeling what is mine to feel to the best of my ability enables me to feel the swell of everyone who ever lived. It’s there that I know in my bones that I am not alone. It’s there that I am buoyed and uplifted by the One Eternal Heart we are all a part of.
It’s as if the heart is a wick and the soul is its flame, and the burn of the soul feeding off the air of the world feels unbearable as it shapes us. But as long as it burns, we’re alive and unbreakable.
It is Gandhi who eases my heart and reminds me (again) how we give love to the one who gives face to the greatest pain.
‘There is a story of Gandhi that reveals how profound and daring his sense of compassion was. It occurred during one of his famous hunger strikes. A man whose daughter was killed came in anguish, saying to Gandhi that he would stop fighting if the great soul would eat. But Gandhi knew the healing was deeper than just stopping the violence, and so he told the man he would eat only when the tormented father embraced the man who killed his daughter.
It is said that the man collapsed in tears, but did as Gandhi asked, and the larger conflict ended. This is an enormous thing to ask of someone in grief, of someone who has been violated. But beyond the vast courage needed to incorporate this kind of love into our daily lives, Gandhi’s request reveals the irrefutable wisdom that only when the broken are healed, no mater what they have done, will we as people heal.’
[Mark Nepo, The book of Awakening, p. 179]
Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, was my son’s friend at Reed College in Portland. Taliesin was a year older than my son, William; my son graduated just a few weeks ago. Taliesin’s girlfriend, Ellie, is a friend of our family’s. When my son first learned one of the victim’s in the Portland massacre was his friend he cried, “No. Not Taliesin.” He is crushed. And Ellie, broken.
When the the hate-filled and mis-guided man was arraigned in a Portland court and his outbursts recorded, I felt my heart harden. ‘Hate’ is a word that was not allowed to be spoken in our little family. My son and daughter were encouraged to find a different word, or express their thoughts in another way. The hate I was feeling surprised and confused me. When I first looked upon the face that could cause so much pain and alter so many lives for false ideology, I tried at that moment to understand what could have happened in his life to cause him to violently take the lives of two beautiful beings, gravely injure a third, and force two young girls to process this horrific event over the course of their lives. My son could not look upon his face.
Then, the hatred I felt for him, and for all in our country who have been given a fast lane to expose their bigoted and racist vitriol, began to manifest. This event, for me, is the final culmination of a depleting and damaging presidential campaign, and the subsequent reality of living in a country so divided and angry that I do not see a path forward under any peripheral leadership.
Guided by Universal grace I was reminded of Gandhi’s story, and my heart began to release the awful hate.
Taliesen, Rick Best, and Micah Fletcher stood up to hate and violence. They were brave and altruistic in motive and heart. They are true patriots, and what I believe America to be, or has the potential to be. We, too, as a nation, are broken. To heal, we must help and embrace, show kindness and compassion, interpersonally, and in our communities, every day. Every. Single. Day.
Taliesin and Ellie spent their last hours together working in their garden and sharing dinner in Taliesin’s new home. He created a community space for Ellie and their friends. He wanted to marry and have children. Together they hoped to plant a ‘Bleeding Heart’ bush, the one with the tiny heart-shaped flowers.
The fall-out from this tragedy has altered my own personal trajectory. I will not permit these deaths to be senseless, only a constant reminder of, as favorite professor Dr. David Peat reminded me, Infinite Potential. The potential of one love, one mind, one body, one spirit.
Thank you, Taliesin. For being a tender friend to my son, for reminding me in your transition the tremendous infinite possibility of kindness, compassion, and love.
My son and I toasted you the evening before he left for his own life’s potential.Here’s to you, sweet Taliesin. We will always feel your light, your grace, your gift, and your love.
“I see more clearly than ever before that my Divine birthright is freedom, peace, joy, and eternal goodness. I perceive that this same birthright is bequeathed to all people. This power I use for my own and every other person’s good.”
[Science of Mind]
Only love, with no thought of return,
can soften the point of suffering.
‘Water in its clear softness fills the whatever hole it finds. It is not skeptical or distrusting. It does not say this gully is too deep or that field is too open.
Like water, the miracle of love is that it covers whatever it touches, making the touched thing grow while leaving no trace of its touch.
Most things break instead of transform because they resist. The quiet miracle of love is that without our interference, it, like water, accepts whatever is tossed or dropped or place into it, embracing it completely.
Of course, we are human and are easily hurt if not loved back or if loved poorly. But we waste so much of life’s energy be deliberating who and what shall be worthy of our love when in the deepest elemental sense, these choices are not in our province, anymore that rain can choose what it shall fall upon.
And over a lifetime, the pain of withholding this great and quiet force is more damaging than the pain of being rejected or loved poorly.
For love, like water, can be dammed, but toward what end?’
-Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
‘Unlike birds, we confuse our time on Earth, again and again, with obsessions of where we are going – – often to the point that we frustrate and stall our human ability to fly. We frequently tame and hush our need to love, to learn to know the truth of spirit, until we can be assured that our efforts will take us somewhere. All these conditions and hesitations and yes-buts and what ifs turn the human journey upside down, never letting the heart, wing that it is, truly unfold.
Yet, without consideration or reservation, it is simply the presence of light that stirs birds tossing and lift. They do not understand concepts such as holding back or only investing if the return seems certain. In this, we are the only creatures that seek our guarantees, and in so doing, we snuff the spark that is discovery.
Just how often do we cripple ourselves by not letting love with all its risks teach us how to fly? How many times do our hearts stall because we won’t let the wingspan of our passion open us fully into our gifts? How frequently do we search for a song of guidance that can only come from inside us?
I know that over the years, through fear and expectation, my mind has gathered an horded places I needed to go, things I needed to have, selves I needed to be. But here I am, without most of them – – the goals and wants all used up in learning how to love.
So try as I do to imaging and construct where I am headed, try as I will to plan and know what this life of feeling means, it is the pulse of what I feel itself that lifts me into spirit. In truth, wings don’t grow any differently to fit south or east or west, and our lives, no matter how we train ourselves, are more fundamental than any direction of worldly ambition. We, like the birds are meant to fly and sing – – that’s all – – and all our plans and schemes are twigs of nest that, once outgrown, we leave.
Truth is of the people
By the people
For the people.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
I believe that we are waking up from the spell
That those that profit from the fear
Cast so well
And good people of the earth now can tell
There is no us and them
If not now, when
If not today then
What happens tomorrow
All is love
All is choice
Everyone and every voice
All of life that you see
All are possibilities
As above so below
To wed the sense into the soul
This is truth
When a plate breaks, we call it an accident. When a heart breaks, we call it sad. If it is ours, we say tragic. When a dream breaks, we sometimes call it unfair.
It’s not that we moan, but that we stop living to hear ourselves moan.
Still, stars collide and histories begin. In our world, something is always letting go and something is always hitting the Earth.
Often that which lets go survives by releasing, by not holding on until what needs to go is ripped from it.
As humans, we take turns letting go and being hit. Love softens this process, and peace slows it down, until in moments that are blessed, we seem to play catch with what wee need.