Sunday, February 20th, 2022
“What’s the difference between a prison and a monastery?” Dass would ask. The answer: “Almost nothing. Both are filled with people who are alone in their cells all day, far from the world. The difference is that for the monks it is heaven, for the prisoners it is hell.”
[Feast for the Soul]
I come back and pour two whiskeys neat and we stand in the kitchen and talk about it all, the dreams, the making the dreams happen and then we toast ourselves and our dreams and the pushing as hard as we can against the inevitability of death because that’s just what you should do with your once and only life.
‘From Inside the Monastery’
This is not some simplistic “change your mind, change your life” solution. I can’t opt out of my corporeal reality; I don’t have the spiritual muscles to lift myself out of physical discomfort. So I have to learn to hold both: to be in great pain and, at the same time, to find some small respite. I can’t wait for dreamy, poetic moments of inspiration (as when the above image—of a roseate spoonbill holding me in an inflatable lifeboat—occurred to me), but work very hard to seek them anywhere and everywhere I can. And wonderfully, when I start looking, I find them more often. I feel them more often.
‘Look Down, Get Low, Think Small’
I once walked through the world with such certitude, convinced by what lay before me. Now I know reality comes in layers, complex and delicious. Crawling around the forest floor has slowed me down, brought me closer to the earth, and made me somehow braver. How can our world be so scary when there’s more beauty in a square foot of forest, more wisdom than we’d expect in an acre? Humbled, heart opened, desirous, now when I step outside I look down, get low, think small.
This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart — not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, “I am.”
When you need it, loop it. :)
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