Mark Nepo

As a nation…

January 14, 2021

…perhaps truth is no longer a direct possibility. In the United States, two distinct and separate platforms of truth hold form. Beyond ‘truth’,

L

O

V

E

C O M P A S S I O N

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

-Martin Luther King Jr.

King was a visionary, just as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were visionaries.  What each of them had in common was common sense, an understanding of history and a conviction of love and hope.  This same spirit today is reflected in the leadership of Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel and Greta Thunberg. King left us a legacy that we must not ignore.  There are many thousands who are carrying his mantle of resistance to oppression and path to justice. Most of us understand that love and compassion are the best antidotes to violence and hatred. May we all refocus and double down on being lights that drive out darkness, showing love that drowns out hatred, and spreading compassion that all make our world a better place for everyone. Let’s allow those common-sense chapters of On Tyranny be our points of reflection and action.

Why Martin Luther King Day is Celebrated in Hiroshima, Japan

We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war.  –Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Hiroshima, Japan is one of the only cities that celebrates Martin Luther King Day outside of the United States. This connection may seem surprising but a closer examination reveals Hiroshima, known as the “City of Peace” is the living embodiment of many of Dr. King’s core beliefs including non-violence, peace, resilience, forgiveness and optimism. It would be expected that the people of Hiroshima were consumed by sorrow, hate and thoughts of revenge following the atomic bombing of their city. Instead, the survivors of the irradiated city consciously and deliberately rebuilt their city to ensure that every facet of their society – governmental policies, educational system, city landmarks, and holidays, including Martin Luther King Day – contributed to the promotion of world peace. As a result, a city that was described as a “burned scar” in 1945 is now known as the “City of Peace” that aggressively exports reconciliation, harmony and inspires millions around the world every year. Please join the conversation with Steve Leeper of Peace Culture Village and Ray Matsumiya of the Oleander Initiative as they discuss the devastating humanitarian impact of the atomic bombing AND the process of healing and rebuilding that resulted in Hiroshima’s extraordinary culture of peace.

[Please visit this link for the full article: https://charterforcompassion.org/component/acymailing/mailid-418?tmpl=component

Thank you to Dr. Andrea Montgomery Di Marco, CEO of the Flourishing Foundation/Global Women Seeking Change, for sharing this information, https://flourishingfoundation.org 

Our first response, foundation, must be compassion for other, ahimsa, non-violence, and peace for all beings, regardless of your, or my,  ‘truth.’


‘The reward for uncovering the truth is the experience of honest knowing. The reward for understanding is the peace of knowing. The reward for loving is being the carrier of love. It all becomes elusively simple. The river’s sole purpose is to carry water, and as the force of the water depends and widens the riverbed, the river fulfills its purpose more. Likewise, the river bed of the heart is worn open over time to carry what is living.

Even the deepest pain will pass.’

-Mark Nepo


 

 

Ahimsa.

January 4, 2021

Non-Violence.

In thought, language, and behavior.

“We must disrupt harm whenever we encounter it.”

-Yogi & Activist Seane Corn

⁀︶

Ernest Holmes:

‘New arts, new sciences, new philosophies, better government, and a high civilization wait on our thoughts. The infinite energy of Life, and the possibility of our future evolution, work through our imagination and will. The time is ready the place is where we are now, and it is done unto all as they really believe and act.’

⁀︶

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

‘Fuse the powers of the sacred heart with the energies of the body, and you can transform everything.’

⁀︶

2 Corinthians 4:16/The Message:

‘So, we’re not giving up. How could we! Even thought on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where GAIA is making new life, not a day goes by without Her unfolding grace.’

⁀︶

Rolph Gates & Katrina Kenison:

‘At a Native American gathering in Arizona for the 1999 summer solstice, a Hopi elder said: “There is a river flowing now, very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination.

The elders say we must push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do that, our spiritual growth comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over.

Gather yourselves; banish the work ‘struggle’ from your attitude and vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred way and in celebration. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’

⁀︶

The Enlightened Heart, p. 86:

‘With the happiness held in one inch-square heart you can find the whole space between heaven and earth.’

⁀︶

Hildegard of Bingen:

‘Divinity is in its omniscience and omnipotence like a wheel, a circle, a whole, that can neither be understood, nor divided, nor begun, nor ended.’

⁀︶

Mark Nepo:

‘Each person is born with an unencumbered spot…free of expectation and regret…free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry…an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God, Spirt, Sophia, Gaia.

It is this spot of grace that issues pace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love.

To know this spot of Indwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work to what we wear how how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it.

This is our lifeline task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we’ve been, while nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential.

Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to the incorruptible spot of grace at our core.

When the film is worn through, we have moments of enlightenment, moments of whiteness, moment of satori, as the Zen sages term int, moments of clear loving when inner meets outer, moments of full integrity of being, moments of complete Oneness.

And whether the film is a veil of culture, of memory, of mental or religious training, of trauma or sophistication, the removal of that film and the restoration of that timeless spot of grace is the goal of all therapy and education.

Fr Richard Rohr:

‘The real question is “What does this have to say to me?” Those who are totally converted come to every experience and ask not whether or not they liked it, but what does it have to teach them. “What’s the message or gift in this for me? How is God in this event? Where is God in this suffering?” This is a prayer of unveiling, asking that the cruciform shape of reality be revealed to us within the very shape and circumstances of our own lives.’

 

A new journey around the sun.

December 31, 2020

As we leave a reckless and tragic year, I wish you for you all three, Love, Strength, & Courage.

May all beings be happy.

May all beings be free.

May all beings be healthy and well, realizing potential and possibility.

jai

On this final night of 2020, may our hours be deep, meaningful, quiet, and tender (Seane Corn).

P

E

A

C

E

🕊

What does it look like?

What does it feel like?

“I know that deep within each person the Divine Paternities of perfect peace is already implanted. I now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form to the end that all nations and all people will live together in peace, harmony, and prosperity forever.”

-Ernest Holmes

“As far back as we can remember, people of the oldest tribes, unencumbered by civilization, have been rejoicing in being on earth together. Not only can we do this for each other, it is essential. For as stars need open space to be seen, as waves need shore to crest, as dew needs grass to soak into, our vitality depends on how we exclaim and rejoice, “I see you!” I am here!”

-Mark Nepo

🤍

“Midnight on New Year’s Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a momet, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we’re aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we’re sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.”

-Hillary DePiano

The year brought lessons, challenges and opportunities to grow in unanticipated ways. Good or bad, devastating or productive, we navigated our way through the challenges, surprises and revelations that came out way. We dealt with circumstances the best way we knew how. We are here today, poised and centered, ready to leave the year behind and move into newness, fresh ways of living and greater connection to ourselves, each other and the Divine.

-Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen

And from Marianne Williamson on this New Year’s Eve 2020:

Life was very difficult for people this year, in our country and around the world. It was hard to avoid the painful emotions that accompany rampant illness, economic challenges and the stress of quarantine. Yet even there, in the depths of our collective pain, lay the seeds of awakening that will help us navigate the year ahead.

One of my favorite quotes is from the Greek tragedian Aeschylus: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forgetfalls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”

That quote has taken me through many dark hours in my own life. They remind me that wisdom is what will rescue me, as well as reward me, for my efforts to grow into a better person from things I’ve been through. It’s my desire – surely it’s all of our desire – that we grow wiser from what we all went through in 2020.

Do I have a positive feeling about 2021? Yes I do, but not because I think it’s going to be a year without its challenges. I have a positive feeling about it despite what I expect to be its challenges. I have a positive feeling because I think so many of us have matured, grown more reflective, and grown wiser in 2020.

That’s my hope for you and for all of us as this year draws to a close. May we find it within our hearts to forgive the past, be open to infinite possibilities in the present, and embrace the future with love. Let’s not take with us into the New Year any bitterness or lack of kindness towards ourselves or others; that way miracles will flow naturally from our open hearts.

The world will need us to be everything that we can be next year, and I share with you my conviction that we will be. In the hours remaining before midnight, may we find a way to lay down our grievances. And as the clock strikes midnight, may peace be upon you and may love in all ways prevail.

With deepest wishes for your happiness,

image

The final Sun Valley sunset in 2020.

Only ℒℴve❥❥☆҉

As we are loved.

December 25, 2020

“A new commandment I give to you, the you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

-Jesus of Nazareth, John 13:34

~

‘I know why I celebrate the Christian message. It is because I am grateful for what I have learned from Jesus: to be courageous and dare to question the established ways of thinking;

to speak up about unjust laws;

to be fearlessly compassionate;

to reach out to those who are sick and suffering; to attend to my short-comings before judging others for theirs; to be empathetic and reach across tribal boundaries to embrace people of all kinds, even those who are traditionally thought of as enemies; to have personal dignity under stress and

not buckle under the weight of popular opinion;

to be true to myself when the masses disapprove; to be charitable and stand for forgiveness and help those who are disproportionately disadvantaged; to be down to Earth about my spirituality and to practice it; and above all, to have a direct and personal relationship with the Divine.’

-Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen

~

I, the father of this universe, the Mother, {GAIA, Sofia, Bafflement}, the Supporter, the Grandsire, the Holy One to be know, the Wood of Power.’ -The Bhagavad Gita

The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things. -Tao Te Ching

In a moment of realness, the clouds in our mind clear and our passion is restored, and our walls crumble when no one is looking. It all continues and refreshes, if we let it. It all renews so subtly. -Mark Nepo


“Behold, I make all things new.”

☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸

 

Murmurations

December 5, 2020

‘I believe the spirit is in the wind and wave, and manifests Its presence throughout all Nature. But most completely, through our own minds and in our hearts, It proclaims our livingness and Its lovingness.

-Dr. Ernest Holmes

Murmuration refers to the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky.

“If 2020 taught me anything…if I look into some of the gifts that have come from this wild year…it is a deepening of the idea that we are bound and woven together as one.

I wore a mask, not just to protect myself but others as well. We experienced the smoke and ash from fires hundreds of miles away. We learned more deeply about the impacts of systemic racism and inequity. I got to, and continue to, learn more about how I’ve unknowingly and unconsciously perpetuated these systems. All of this points to deep truth: We are interconnected.

This constant reminder of our oneness compels me to engage in the world and do what I can to make the our planet a little bit better, to approach it with a little more kindness and compassion, to realize that my own spiritual path and freedom are totally merged with the spiritual path of all.

It is challenge get out of ourselves. It is confounding to face that my suffering and my own liberation from suffering are bound up in the liberation of all. it is much easier to think only of myself, my own consciousness and being.

Yet, when we face this truth of interconnection, we recover something we may not have known was lost. Something comes to life within us…we get our wholeness back. We get our oneness back. We have the chance to widen our identity from separation to unity, from competition to cooperation.

There is so much that awakens us to the truth of our unity these days. Even in moments that feel divisive, there is opportunity to see the deeper call for community, dignity and safety. 

We are bound together in a perfect whole.”

-Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Mile Hi church in Lakewood, Colorado

Science of Mind

 

[My 2020 ‘word-of-the-year’: murmuration.]


“A new light is coming into the world. We are on the borderline of a new experience. The veil between Spirit and matter is very thin.” Dr. Holmes

“The truth is that what we want or dream of doesn’t always last. It tends to serve its purpose in our development and then fades away, losing its relevance. And we can do enormous damage to ourselves by insisting on carrying that which has died.” -Mark Nepo

 

Our country’s soul runs deep.

September 30, 2020

He will watch as his towers crumble to the ground and we melt down the gold-tinted glass and steel to create a gorgeous bridge across our southern border. His golf courses will be transformed into highly diversified ecosystems where sophisticated natural reciprocity, not small men, reign. Everything he built his personal brand around–unlimited wealth and toxic masculinity and an anemic sort of freedom defined by individualism–will become compost for the new world we grow. His worldview will become so archaic as to be understood as the twisted mythology that it is.

-Courtney Martin, author and activist 

[“Weird drawing I did while listening to the “debate” last night.” -Courtney]

https://www.courtneyemartin.com

 

“Some Pain is simply the normal grief of human existence. That is pain I try to make room for. I honor my grief.”

-Marianne Williamson

 

“What happens next depends on each one of us…and all of us together.”

-Upswell/Fetzer Institute

 

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?”

-Mary Oliver

 

“Stop grumbling among yourselves.”

-Gospel of John 6:43

 

“No miracles, please.

Just let your laws

become clearer

from generation to generation.”

-Rilke

 

“We can only consider things so long. After a while, all the information…all the options and opinions…will begin to weight us down. After our deeper eyes have seen the situation, all the well-meaning voices telling us what we should or should not do will start to feel like strings we can’t cut through.

The only way to know what awaits us is to live it.”

-Mark Nepo

 

This morning, finding peace in the chaos, calm in the inevitable. We will get through the pain and suffering the next few months politically and socially, and many more for COVID. Our country’s spirit runs deep. We know it will be painful and frightening. Yet, as Courtney Martin writes, all of this will become ‘compost for the new world we grow.’ We choose now, in this moment, how, and what, we want to grow.

-dayle

If not now, when?

May 31, 2020

‘Apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning “revelation”, an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.’

‘Our nerves, our home, our country crave peace’…and leaders. As the helpers and heroes  sustain us, I pray for shift. -dayle

Now, I have no choice but to see with your eyes,

so I am not alone,

so you are not alone.

-Yannis Ritsos

Mark Nepo:

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 Ghandi 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 headed, no matter what they have done, will we as a people heal.

-The Book of Awakening, p. 179.

Image credit: Dorothy Day, by Julie Lonneman.

’So what makes a good community? Our very survival as a faith tradition, not to mention a species, might just depend upon this.’

Common Ground & Purpose

People want something more from church than membership. They long for a spiritual home that connects with their whole life, not just somewhere to go on Sunday morning. Church is meant to be a place that nurtures and supports individuals along their full journey toward the ultimate goal: a lived experience of the communion of saints, a shared life together as one family, the Reign of God “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Too often, the formal church has been unable to create any authentic practical community, especially over the last half-century. In response, we see the emergence of new faith communities seeking to return to this foundational definition of church. These may not look like our versions of traditional “church,” but they often exemplify the kinds of actual community that Jesus, Paul, and early Christians envisioned. People are gathering digitally and in person today through neighborhood associations, study groups, community gardens, social services, and volunteer groups. They’re seeking creative ways of coming together, nurturing connection, of healing and whole-making. The “invisible” church might be doing this just as much, if not more, than the visible one. The Holy Spirit is humble and seems to work best anonymously. I suspect that is why the Holy Spirit is often pictured as a simple bird or blowing wind that is here one minute and seemingly gone and then nowhere (John 3:8).

It’s all too easy to project unrealistic expectations on any community. No group can meet all our needs as individuals for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. The human psyche needs space and healthy boundaries and not co-dependent groupings. I certainly learned this lesson myself through my participation in the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati in the 1970s and 80s, and even earlier as a Franciscan brother. Almost any community can serve as an excellent school for growth, character, and conversion, even though it may not be a permanent “home” for many reasons.

Remember, the isolated individual is fragile and largely helpless to evoke long-term change or renewal. By ourselves, we can accomplish very little. We must find common ground and common purpose to move forward. Fr. Richard Rohr

‘We wake to our cities in pain but also in longing. Full of far more people ready to build & create than to tear apart. On Lake St in Minn yesterday I saw what the drones & news cameras do not convey – an alternative landscape of care rising up around devastation.’ -Krista Tippet, On Being

 

The NASA/SpaceX launch and ISS dock has brought needed respite, inspiration, and hope. Look what we can accomplish as a species when we work together. -dayle

 

Let us surrender to Divine Grace.

-Rev. Dr. David Ault

 

Alone with the unfamiliar…

April 11, 2020

Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual. The aim of all spiritual paths, no matter their origin or the rigors of their practice, is to help us live more fully in the lives we are given. [Parker Palmer] The life of spirit is everywhere: in in dust waiting for light, in music waiting to be heard, in the sensations of the day waiting to be felt.  Beings spiritual is much more useful and immediate than the books about books would have us think.

-Mark Nepo

 

Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Creativity requires serendipity and a playful, receptive spirit. Let yourself go when you are trying to invent something new.

-Alexander Stoddard

 

Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us, because we feel momentarily abandoned by what we’ve believe and grown accustomed to; because we can’t keep standing as the ground shifts under our feet. That is why the sadness passes over like a wave. The new presence inside us, that which has come to us, has entered our heart, has found its way to its innermost chamber, and is no longer even there…it is already in our blood.

And we don’t know what it was. We could easily be persuaded that nothing happened, and yet something has changed inside us, as a house changes when a guest comes into it. We cannot say who has entered, we may never know, but there are many indications that the future enter us in just this way, to transform itself within us long before it happens. 

That is why it is so important to be alone and attentive when you are sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than any loud and accidental point of time which occurs, as it were, from the outside.

-Rilke

 

 

Docta Ignorancia

January 27, 2020

“Deep acceptance of ultimate mystery is ironically the best way to keep the mind and heart spaces always open and always growing.”

Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation

“We do need  enough knowing  to be able to hold our ground. We need a container and structure in which we can safely acknowledge that we do know a bit, in fact just enough to hold us until we are ready for a further knowing. In the meantime, we can happily exist in what some have called  docta ignorantia or “learned ignorance.” Such people tend to be very happy and they also make a lot of other people happy.

A few years ago, a man from Colorado came to visit me. He said, “Richard, when you were still in Cincinnati, I gave you a dilemma that I was struggling with; and you told me something that has been my mantra for 30 years. You said to me, ‘You know, you don’t really need to know. It’s okay not to know.’”

‘Grace has released all the deepest energies of our spirit and assists us to climb to new and unsuspected heights. Nevertheless, our own faculties soon reach their limit. The intelligence can climb no higher into the sky. There is point where the mind bows down its fiery trajectory as if to acknowledge its limitations and proclaim the infinite supremacy of the unattainable…’

Love flings out a hundred burning stars, acts of all kinds, expressing everything that is best in (wo)man’s spirit, and the soul spends itself in drifting fires that glorify the name of God…Gaia…while they fall earthward and die away in the night wind!’

-Thomas Merton

Perhaps ‘love’ is beyond definition here, more the Tao of existence, in that defining it beyond all there is, is reducing it to knowing, rather than acknowledging we do not know…only ‘enough knowing.’ “You know, we really don’t need to know.” .d

Mark Nepo:

“When we bare our inwardness fully, exposing our strengths and frailties alike, we discover a kinship in all living things, and from this kinship a kindness moves through us and between us. The mystery is that being authentic is the only thing that reveals to us our kinship with life.”

I crave authenticity. There is so little.

 

Even if your voice shakes.

December 19, 2019

The truth is that what we want or dream of doesn’t always last. It tends to serve its purpose in our development and then fades away, losing its relevance. And we can do enormous damage to ourselves by insisting on carrying that which has died.

Living up to a dream is rarely as important as entering it for all it has to teach.

What is it teaching you?

-Mark Nepo

 

The Great Turning

November 4, 2019

I have set before you life and death . . . therefore choose life. 

—Deuteronomy 30:19

R. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation:

Eco-philosopher, Earth elder, friend, and spiritual activist Joanna Macy, now ninety years old, has been promoting a global transition from the Industrial Growth Society to a Life-Sustaining Society for most of her life. She calls it the Great Turning, a revolution of great urgency: “While the agricultural revolution took centuries, and the industrial revolution took generations, this ecological revolution has to happen within a matter of years.” [1] She is hopeful as she sees individuals and groups participating in “1) Actions to slow the damage to Earth and its beings; 2) Analysis and transformation of the foundations of our common life; [and] 3) A fundamental shift in worldview and values.” [2]

Macy understands that the third type of action—essentially, a new way of seeing— “require[s] a shift in our perception of reality—and that shift is happening now, both as cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening.” [3] While the shift may not be obvious in my own generation, we need look no further than the ongoing powerful and prophetic presence of young leaders, like indigenous teenagers Tokata Iron Eyes (a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who plays a key role in the “Rezpect Our Water” campaign) and Autumn Peltier (also a water protector and a citizen of the Wiikwemkoong First Nation); they have been joined recently by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who spoke at the United Nations Climate Action Summit and helped inspire Climate Strikes around the world. In the face of criticism, Greta calls her Asperger’s syndrome a “superpower” that gives her a clear perspective on the climate crisis. May we be motivated by these committed young advocates and lend our voices and strength to heal our wounded world.

Macy explains:

The insights and experiences that enable us to make this shift may arise from grief for our world that contradicts illusions of the separate and isolated self. Or they may arise from breakthroughs in science, such as quantum physics and systems theory. Or we may find ourselves inspired by the wisdom traditions of native peoples and mystical voices in the major religions; we hearken to their teachings as to some half-forgotten song that our world is a sacred whole in which we have a sacred mission. [4]

St. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), a Germanic nun, mystic, and healer, was doing this 800 years ago. In her book Scivias she wrote, “You understand so little of what is around you because you do not use what is within you.” [5] Somehow, she already understood what science is now affirming: “The macrocosm is mirrored in the microcosm.” Science is finding that the world is an integrated whole rather than separated parts. Nothing in the cosmos operates independently. We are all holons, which are simultaneously whole in themselves, and at the same time part of a larger whole. This understanding is moving us from a narrow, mechanistic, Newtonian view of the universe to a holistic/ecological view. [6] Nothing is static, and if you try to construct an unchangeable or independent universe for yourself, you will be moving against the now obvious divine plan and direction.

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

 

[1] Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work that Reconnects (New Society Publishers: 2014), 4.

[2] Ibid., 6. Emphasis mine.

[3] Ibid., 14.

[4] Ibid., 14.

[5] Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, 1.2.29. Translation from Avis Clendenen, “Hildegard: ‘Trumpet of God’ and ‘Living Light’” in Chicago Theological Seminary Register, vol. 89, no. 2 (Spring 1999), 25.

[6] Ilia Delio explores the concepts of holons and moving toward a holistic view in CONSPIRE 2014: A Benevolent Universe (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2014), MP4 video download.

Mark Nepo:

‘…to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing. -Rilke

Ilia Delio:

‘Creation is not a demonstration of God’s boundless power but of God’s boundless love, a love so great that creation is drenched in it.’

‘Out of a long history of cosmic cataclysms and mass extinctions, we human emerge. We are born out of stardust, cousins of daffodils and bonobos; we are the conscious voice of a fragile earth.’

The world will always be broken.

June 13, 2019

 

“Hard, awful things happen in this broken world. Nothing we can do will change that fact. Bad things happen, and they will happen to good people we love, or to us.” [Forward Day by Day]

“Those who love us will miss us.” -Keanu Reeves

“Identification with suffering might just be non-dual thinking in its most active and proactive form and why nonviolence demands such a high level of transformation. Our resistance to suffering is an entire industry now, perhaps symbolized by the total power of the gun lobby and the permanent war economy in America, the fear of any profit sharing with the poor, or the need to be constantly entertained. Maybe that is why some have said that the foundational virtue underlying al others is courage (“cor-agere” = an action of the heart). It takes immense courage to walk in solidarity with the suffering of there’s, and even our own.” -Fr. Richard Rohr

As an inlet cannot close itself to the sea that shapes it, the heart can only wear itself open.

“One of the hardest blessings to accept about the heart is that in the image of life itself, it will not stop emerging through experience. No matter how we try to preserve or relieve what has already happened, the heart will not stop being shaped. It knows that the only way to truly remember or stay whole is to take the best and worst into its tissue.

Despite all our intentions not be hurt again, the heart keeps us going by moving us ever forward into health. Though we walk around thinking we can direct it, our heart is endlessly shaped like the land, often against our will.” -Mark Nepo

 

Thoughts and meditations.

May 19, 2019

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.

-Mark Nepo

It is the tending of our own souls that invites the natural process of love to begin. I remember my very first tumble into love. I found such comfort there that, like Narcissus, I became lost in how everything other than my pain was reflected in his beauty. All the while, I was addicting my own worth, empowering him as the key to my sense of joy.

If I have learned anything through the years, it is that, though we discover and experience joy with others, our capacity for joy is carried like a pod of nectar into our very own being. I now believe that our deepest vocation is to  root ourselves enough in this life that we can open our hearts to attract others. In other words, in being so thoroughly who we are, an inner essence is released that calls others to experience our personal light.

It seems the very job of being is to ready us for such love.

In this way, the Universe continues through the unexpected coming together of blossomed souls.

So if you can, give up the want of another and be who you are, and more than not, love will come at the precise moment you are simply in love with you. [Nepo]

Identify one trait makes you feel good about who are are: your laugh, your simile, your ability to listen, or the sound of your voice.

Notice how this effects others.

These small moments are the beginnings of love. They do not yet have definition.

Take a moment. Give thanks for your small goodness and for the potential love of others.


A hunger drives us.

We want to contain it all in our naked hands,

our bribing sense, our speechless hearts.

We want to become it, or offer it-but to whom?

We could hold it forever-but, after all,

what can we keep?

Not the beholding, so slow to learn.

Not anything that has happened here.

Nothing.

There are hurts. And, always, the hardships.

And there’s the long knowing of love-all of it

unsayable.

Later,

amidst the stars,

we will see: these are better unsaid.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Ninth Duino Elegy


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. 

-Plato

Science of Mind/Ernest Holmes:

This was the Christ speaking, the son begotten of the only Father-the Son of God. Humble in his humanity, compassionate in his tenderness, understand the frailties of the human mind, he let the Great Spirit speak through him, in words of love and sympathy. He proclaimed his divinity through his humanity and taught that all men are brothers.

Rev. Dr. David Goldberg:

The Sanskrit word karuna is translated as compassion, which means active sympathy or the willingness to bear the pain of others. Closely related to karuna is metta, loving kindness.

It’s important to remember also that genuine compassion is rooted in prajna or wisdom. Prajna is the realization that the separate self is an illusion. This takes us back to not attaching our egos to what we do, expecting to be thanked or rewarded.

In Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes, “According to Buddhism, compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive-it’s not empty alone-but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. Genuine compassion must have both wisdom and loving kindness. That is to say, one must understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free others (this is wisdom), and one must experience deep intimacy and empathy with other sentient beings (this is loving kindness). [Right Action and Compassion, Barbara O’Brien, April 2018]

 

 

Facing risk, again.

May 15, 2019

Mark Nepo:

When resisting the flow of inner events suddenly feels more hurtful than leaping toward the unknown.

Yet no one can tell us when to leap.

There is no authority to bless our need to enter life but the God within.

As spirits in bodily form, we have the chance to tighten and bloom more than once. But even spirits, if turned in on themselves enough, may grow accustomed to being closed.

Unlike roses, however, the human chamber can be shut down for years, and still, it takes but one break from the true center and we will flower.

It has always amazed and humbled me how the risk to bloom can seem so insurmountable before hand and so inevitably freeing once the threshold of suffering is crossed.

We can flower in an instant, as soon as the pain of not flowering and not loving become greater than our fear.

Gaia.

April 22, 2019

Nature will always wear the colors of the p i r i t.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as  long as life lasts.

-Rachel Carson

 

One touch of nature makes thew hole world kin.

-William Shakespeare

 

Life leafless trees waiting for morning, something as great and as constant as the Earth holds us up.

-Mark Nepo

 

Have you ever walked in nature and felt the presence of something greater than yourself? Did you find yourself being healed by the energy of beauty around you? Me, Too. Life finds lots of ways to remind us that our presence heals the world, just as being in nature heals us. You know who my heroes are? The plants that push through tiny cracks in concrete, pressing upward to be seen, and those trees that seem to be growing out of rock, standing tall, never giving up. Mother Earth teaches me to keep going, that there’s a way out of the darkness into the light. Just like the plants and the trees, I have what it takes to heal, thrive and be seen.Together, we are one heartbeat, breathing in unison. Thank you, Mother Earth, for the gift of life.

-Rev. Jane Beach

The value of truthfulness.

March 20, 2019

A liar no longer needs to feel that his lies may involve him in starvation. If living were a little more precarious, and if a person who could not be trusted found it more difficult to get along with other men, we would not deceive ourselves and one another so carelessly.

But the whole world has learned to deride veracity or to ignore it. Half the civilized world makes a living by telling lies. Advertising, propaganda, (politics) and all the forms of publicity that have taken the place of truth have taught men to take it for granted that they can tell other people whatever they like, provide that it sounds plausible and evokes some kind of shallow emotional response.

-Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island [1955]

Humbly, we are asked to keep the flow real between what is taken in and what is let out. We have only to breathe to remember our place as al living inlet. Experience in, feelings out. Surprise and challenge in, heartache and joy out. In a constant tide, life rushes in, and in constant release, we must let it all run back off. For this is how the earth was made magnificent by the sea and how humankind is carved upright, again and again, by the ocean of spirt that sets us free.

-Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening [2011]

There is something in me that knows what to do. It not only knows what to do, It impels me to act upon what It knows. This very acceptance flows forth into action through me. Always there is an inner, quiet, persistent confidence, a nonresistant but complete acceptance, an inward flowing with the stream of Life, knowing that It carries me safely and surely to my destination and to the accomplishment of every good purpose.

-Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind [2001]

We are guided continually. We choose to follow what is good, and right, and just.

 

 

Back to the sun.

March 4, 2019

“Feel the warmth from both stone and flower. See how both are covered differently with the same light. Now trace the light of each back to the sun.

We are all just small stones and little flowers searching for our sun. What you have seen under words, behind many eyes, and beneath all cries is the one direction.”

Mark Nepo

 

Songs to be sung.

March 3, 2019

‘Daring to enter, we are humbled to discover, again and again, that the act of living itself unravels both the answer and the question. When we watch, we remain riddles to be solved. When we enter, we become songs to be sung. When life feels far off, remember that a flute is just something hard with holes until it’s played. So, too, the heart. In this way, the life of every soul waits like sheet music to be played. What good are we if never played?’ -Mark Nepo

︶⁀°••°⁀︶

Blessed are you God of the universe.

You have created us, and given us life.

Blessed are you, God of the planet earth.

You have set our world like a radiant jewel in the heavens,

and filled it with action, beauty, suffering, struggle and hope.

Blessed are you, God of Aotearoa New Zealand

in all the people who live here,

in all the lessons we have learned,

in all that remains for us to do.

Blessed are you because you need us;

because you make us worthwhile,

because you give us people to love and work to do

for your universe, for your world and for ourselves.

  • A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karaikia Mihinare Aotearoa. (1989).  p.142

 

Two hearts.

February 2, 2019

If you place two living heart cells from different people in a Petrie dish, they will in time find and maintain a third and common beat.

-Molly Vass

Yet we often tire ourselves by fighting how our hearts want to join seldom realizing that both strength and peace come from our hears beating in unison with all that is alive. It feels incredibly uplifting that without even knowing each other, there exists a common beat between all hearts, just waiting to be felt.

It brings to mind the time that the great poet Pablo Neruda, near the end of his life, stopped while traveling at the Lota coal mine in rural Chile. He stood there stunned as a miner, rough and blackened by his work inside the earth, strode straight for Neruda, embraced him, and said, “I have known you a long time, my brother.”

-Mark Nepo

A New Year Prayer

January 1, 2019

I know there is but One Mind, which is the mind of God, in which all people live and move and have their being.

I know there is a divine pattern for humanity and within this pattern there is infinite harmony and peace, cooperation, unity and mutual helpfulness.

I know that the mind of humankind, being one with the mind of God, shall discover the method, the way, and the means best fitted to permit the flow of Divine Love between individuals and nations.

Thus harmony, peace, cooperation, unity, and mutual helpfulness are experienced by all.

I know there will be a free interchange of ideas, of cultures, of spiritual concepts, of ethics, of educational systems and scientific discoveries–for all good belongs to all alike.

I know that, because Divine Mind has created us all, we are bound together in one infinite and perfect unity.

I know that all people and all nations will remain individual but united for the common purpose of promoting peace, happiness, harmony, and prosperity.

I know that deep within each person the Divine Pattern of perfect peace is already implanted.

Now declare that in each person and in leaders of thought everywhere this Divine Pattern moves into action and form, to the end that all nations and all people will live together in peace, harmony, and prosperity forever.

-Ernest Holmes

´*.¸.• .¸. ❥❥¸¸.☆¨¯ .¸.¸¸.☆¨¯`❥❥

This precious human birth is unrepeatable. So what will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the Earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? What will you ask and of whom?

Today you are a precious and rare and awake. It ushers us into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless. Grateful and awake, ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.

-Mark Nepo

Clean Web Design