Limoux’s waning moon.
By asking “Whom does my soul serve?” we learn to turn our attention to the deeper purposes of what we do. We enlarge our vision of what’s possible and gradually learn to root our actions in soul.
Could it be that this earthly realm, not in spite of but because of its very density and jagged edges, offers precisely the conditions for the expression of certain aspects of divine love that could become real in no other way? This world does indeed show forth what love is like in a particularly intense and costly way. But when we look at this process more deeply, we can see that those sharp edges we experience as constriction at the same time call forth some of the most exquisite dimensions of love . . . qualities such as steadfastness, tenderness, commitment, forbearance, fidelity, and forgiveness. These mature and subtle flavors of love have no real context in a realm where there are no edges and boundaries, where all just flows. But when you run up against the hard edge and have to stand true to love anyway, what emerges is a most precious taste of pure divine love.
Cynthia Bourgeault, author, ‘The Meaning of Mary Magdalene’
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From author and scholar Jean Houston:
Once you answer the call to a larger life, there is no turning back. Indeed, each of us might usefully consider where we find ourselves right now on the cycle of our own particular journeys. Have you heard a call to the larger life? Have you refused it, and if so, why? Have you accepted the call but then met with monsters of recalcitrance who refused to let you pass across the threshold to your own deeper capacities and possible life? Did you finally outwit these monsters and get across? Are you caught in the belly of the whale through despair, depression, or just plain sloth? Have unusual allies or helpers shown up? A telephone call at the right time? A book falling open at an important passage? Do you find yourself in the midst of the road of trials, and if so, do you experience it as full of adventures or as just one damn crisis after another? Is there awaiting you a sacred marriage or a transformational friendship? Do you feel the yearning for the inner beloved of the soul? Are you seeking atonement or attunement with your father or mother . . .? Are you finding a boon, an insight, a project that may bring some healthy solution to your own and the world’s problems? . . . Or perhaps you find yourself, like the rest of us, in several different stages of the journey at the same time.
From the Center for Action & Contemplation, ‘experience a version of this practice through video and sound.’ Turn it up so you can hear the birds. :)
Being in a different country, immersed in a second language and culture, the grail journey is seemingly more acute…magnified. Yet, these journeys are available to us anywhere…time or place. The calling is profound. Listening, imperative. And then, time seemingly elongates…expands…where the stories we once carried seem so much quieter, smaller. Maybe it isn’t that life is short, but that we live it fast…choices and consequences and ‘next.’ As Cynthia shares, it’s the ‘density and hard edges’ of this iteration in time that gives us the grace and possibility…mercy?…to examine the most exquisite dimensions of love within the constructs we create with fear, rage, and violence, the dimensions of
As Cynthia reminds us, “That’s our business down here. That’s what we’re here for.”
Saint-Martin’s in Limoux, for Ukraine.
“In the mist of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger, something better, pushing right back.”
[Thanks be to Robert Ellsberg for posting on a day when my soul needed it most.]
Begin what? I begin. I have already thus begun a thousand lives.
Whatever today brings, try to make the most of it, making it the best day you can. I hope you will fill the day with many magical moments and grace notes and remember that everywhere, all of us are struggling and striving to do the same. In Emerson’s words we are seeking the divinities that are sitting disguised. Grace notes are multifaceted, rich. They are as scattered as shooting stars, as diverse as the sea and the sky. Some are wise and wonderful; some are intentionally vague and mysterious. Whether they are instructional, specific, questioning, inspiring or just plain fun, pay attention to them and how you react to them each day.
‘In dangerous times like these we have to produce generations of dedicated, courageous, and creative contemplative activists who will join [the conscious collective] to bring radical healing and change to this damaged world, before it’s too late.’
-Fr. Richard Rohr
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“Whatsoever things are true,
Whatsoever things are honest,
Whatsoever things are just,
Whatsoever things are pure,
Whatsoevery things are lovely,
Whatsoever things are of good report:
If there be any virtue,
and if there be any praise,
Think on these things.”
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Thomas Merton…”literally meditated on paper.”
‘But I do have a past to break with, an accumulation of inertia, waste, wrong, foolishness, rot, junk, a great need of clarification of mindfulness, or rather of no mind…a return to genuine practice, right effort, need to push on to the great doubt. Need for the Spirit. Hang on to the clear light!’
New arts, new sciences, new philosophies, better government, and a high civilization wait on our thoughts.
In 2020, let us commit to evaporating patriarchy, power, and greed.
‘The influence of the Feminine is responsible for the growth of the Environmental Movement; for the determination of women in every culture to free themselves from their long oppression and encourage their increased participation to healing both psyche and body. It is reflected in the mountain revulsion for our addiction to war; in the engagement of hundreds of thousands of people in the work of helping both the planet and the victims of oppression. These different channel of influence are creating new perspectives on life, new ways of connection that bring together body, soul, mind and spirit. All this is being accelerations by organizations like Avaaz which now has many millions of subscribers.
The recovery of the Feminine invites a reorientation of consciousness: a receptivity not only to the events occurring in the external world but to the long-ignored voice of the Soul. The activation of the Feminine is helping us to relate to the deep cosmic source of our psychic life and draw up the living waters from those depths. This enormous shift challenges every aspect of our beliefs. It immeasurably deepens and broadens our perspective on our presence on this planet. It gives deeper meaning to our lives. It is changing everything.’
-Anne Baring, The dream of the Cosmos a Quest for the Soul
‘The journey in search of soul is difficult and even dangerous because it requires that we relinquish the certainty of what we think we know and what we have been taught for generations to believe. It means surrendering the desire to be in control and opening ourselves to a quest, a path of discovery. Many myths and fairy tales emphasize the need for surrender and trust in the strange non-rational guidance offered by animals or shamans on the quest. As the hero follows their guidance, so the hedge opens, the way unfolds. Following the guidance and wisdom of the instinct is the royal road into the realm of soul.’
The Dream of the Cosmos is the story of a multi-layered quest to understand the causes of human suffering and to reconnect with a deeper reality than the one we inhabit in this physical dimension of experience. It seeks to answer the questions: “Who are we?” and “Why are we here, on this planet?” [google books]
‘My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.’
Seek truth & share from your soul. Real truth is felt before told.
“We need quantitative change in our circumstances, and qualitative change in our souls.”
The Love we show saves the Love we hide,
the way a sprig in sun feeds its unseen root.
‘Just as green stems in spring stay connected to their darker roots, just as the roots grow when the stems do, my compassion soothes my fear where I can’t see. Unknown to me, my love fees the underside of my confusion. The light I take in keeps the roots of my soul alive.’