“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. :)
‘The Soul works through a kind of “psychic DNA,” which manifests on many planes…our bodies, our personalities, our dreams…using all of it to work out the karma of the Soul.’
‘God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please…you can never have both.’
‘The great majority of men are not original, for they are not primary, have not assumed their own vows, but are secondaries…grow up and grow old in seeming and following; and when they die they occupy themselves to the last with what others will think, and whether Mr. A and Mr. B will go their funeral.’
‘There is no more wretched prison than the fear of hurting someone who loves you.’
Paula Modersohn-Becker(1876–1907), an early expressionist painter, became acquainted with Rilke in Worpswede and Paris, and painted his portrait in 1906.
If liberation is collective, we need way more work…and awareness.
Image: The Camino de Santiago de Compostela…along the Way.
Those of us who live in privilege due to wealth or ethnicity may not understand interdependence with the collective, with all species, and other. Listen.
Compassion refers to the arising in the heart of the desire to relieve the suffering of all beings. […] It arises from a desire created by the collective suffering of all beings.
Where we have withheld love, we have had to learn to extend love. But if this doesn’t not carry over into the rest of our relationships, nothing of any lasting value will have been gained.
Should you be mistaken, then slowly and with time the natural growth of your inner life will bring you to fuller awareness.
This call to love our neighbor is the foundation for reestablishing and reclaiming the common good, which has fallen into cultural and political—and even religious—neglect.
The zeitgeist of this moment is not so much about the brilliance of any one individual, though certainly our times do not lack for geniuses. It’s more about the strength and power of the group and the genius that emerges from our collective wisdom. This isn’t an age of the soloist but an age of the choir. Soloists have their part to play, yes, but the song belongs to the choir itself.
And we will endure, rise up and triumph too. Somehow we will find a way to make the world a better place. We will repair the earth and learn how to tend to it lovingly. We will put down our arms and find a way to make peace. We will heal ourselves, and heal the earth, and heal each other. We will learn how to live in another kind of way.
May the Beloved use me today.
Love will save the world, but only if we express it. May everything I do today be an expression of God‘s love.
May I be a channel for love today, co-creating with God a more perfect world. With every thought of love, I create a miracle. And every time I withhold love, I deflect one. Today may I only love.
Use my hands and feet,
My words and actions today.
Use who I am and what I do
To help You heal the world.
May our Beloved use me today.
“Lo Boier” is a mysterious Chant left for us by the Gnostic Cathars, when they were killed and annhiliated by religious powers in the 13th/14th century. It is highly symbolical and contains a hidden message for spiritual seekers. Singer: Patrick Lenk.
a, e, i, o, u
Along with Se Canta, it is possibly the most known old Occitan song. It was studied by Gérard de Sède and performed by artists like Corou de Berra, Jean-Bernard Plantevin, André Ricros and Gacha Empega. It was also utilized by Radio Toulouse during World War I as a resistance song.
‘If you are not listening breathe slowly and begin the vow to listen.’ -Mark Nepo
‘Most people who reach out for let are really asking for us to listen.’ -Heidi Green
‘He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’
‘We are all just walking each other home.’