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14 June 2017 0 Comments

Clarify Your Priorities; Responsibilities and Time

Clarify Your Priorities; Responsibilities and Time

The time for contemplation is the spring that feeds our action, and our action will be as deep as the spring. We need time to allow the spirit to clear the obstacles – the clinging debris and mud – that keeps the spring from flowing freely from its clear, deep source. And we need time for the spring to overflow into insightful and compassionate action.

The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, the most common form, of innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys her own inner capacity for peace. It kills the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful.

~Thomas Merton

 

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These words point to the very heart of our spiritual bankruptcy. In his book “Time and Soul,” Jacob Needleman says, “The time famine of our lives and our culture is in fact a symptom of metaphysical starvation.”

 

How many of us are swept away by what I have come to call an “active laziness”?

Naturally there are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western. The Eastern style consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea and gossiping with friends.

Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time left to confront the real issues.

If we look into our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so called “responsibilities” accumulate to fill them up. One master compares them to “housekeeping in a dream”. We tell ourselves we want to spend time on the important things of life, but there never is any time.

Helpless, we watch our days fill up with telephone calls and petty projects, with so many responsibilities – or should we call them “irresponsibilities”?

~Sogyal Rinpoche

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29 May 2017 2 Comments

Being Direct and Feeling Alive

Being Direct and Feeling Alive

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.” (Mark Nepo)

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30 December 2016 0 Comments

Let Everything Happen to You

Let Everything Happen to You

This beautiful poem from Rilke speaks to spiritual surrender and Presence:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,

then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

Book of Hours, I 59  Rilke

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23 December 2016 0 Comments

Christmas Blessings to You and Yours

Christmas Blessings to You and Yours

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; 

there is yet faith But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

~ T.S. Eliot

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