fall

Each age has its own tasks

Each age has its own tasks. For most of us now, our monasteries have no walls except the silence our meditation gathers to the center of our lives, and this is enough—it is more than enough. Our hermitage is the act of living with attention in the midst of things; amid the rhythms of work and love, the bath with the child, the endlessly growing paperwork, the ever-present likelihood of war, the necessity for taking action to help the world. For us, a good spiritual life is permeable and robust. It faces things squarely knowing the smallest moments are all we have, and that even the smallest moment is full of happiness.

~ from the LIGHT INSIDE THE DARK by John Tarrant, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles

The perfection of the morning

I thought about the perfection of the morning, tried to name what it is about the morning that is different from the rest of the day. Is it the stillness? And, I thought, often on Sundays there is an all-day silence, or on rainy days or during off seasons; whatever this perfection might be, it's more than the absence of noises made by humans and their machines... In the purity of the morning, I understand how much more there is to the world than meets the eye...

~ from THE PERFECTION OF THE MORNING: AN APPRENTICESHIP IN NATURE by Sharon Butala

The experience of sacred emptiness

Opening the heart, clearing the mind:
the experience of sacred emptiness.

~ Common Boundary

The spirit, by its very nature, is Slow

The spirit, by its very nature, is Slow. No matter how hard you try, you cannot accelerate enlightenment. Every religion teaches the need to slow down in order to connect with the self, with others and with a higher force. In Psalm 46, the Bible says: "Be still then, and know that I am God."

~ Carl Honore in IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS

Let the soul banish all that disturbs

Let the soul banish all that disturbs; and let the body that envelops it be still, and all the fretting of the body, and all that surrounds it; let earth and sea and air be still; and heaven itself. And then feel the Spirit streaming, pouring, rushing into you from all sides, while you are quiet in this Peace.

~ Plotinus, AD 205

The things that ignore us save us in the end

The spiritual function of fierce terrain...is to bring us to the end of ourselves, to the abandonment of language and the relinquishment of ego. A vast expanse of jagged stone, desert sand, and towering thunderheads has a way of challenging all the mental constructs in which we are tempted to take comfort and pride, thinking we have captured the divine. The things that ignore us save us in the end.

~ Belden Lane in THE SOLACE OF FIERCE LANDSCAPES

If we have been pleased with life

If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master.

~ Jalal Al-Din Rumi

I am not resigned

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

~ excerpts from "Dirge Without Music" by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Collected Poems
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

How to arrive at what you are aiming to achieve

You will only arrive at what you are aiming to achieve through the cultivation of two fundamental attitudes of soul. You must nurture a true love for what you represent, and also an insightful love of humanity. Be quite clear that if these two conditions are not met, you may be able to present material ever so logically, you may be able to demonstrate exceptional cleverness, and you will still not achieve anything.

~ Rudolph Steiner

She is not here

When my friend (Kerri) died, I looked at her face...thinking, "She is not here." Yet she lived in the words of the eulogy written by her husband. He asked, "Did you (ever) know her? She read stories to the children, and every night after they were asleep she went out and knelt in the backyard under the stars." If we wish to know where soul exists, look to where one puts one's energy. Life lived well is a transformative art, and art is what we do for the love of doing it. All living art is about spirit and life making soul.

~ Normandi Ellis in Parabola, Summer, 1996
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