fall

A door has closed behind me

A door has closed behind me
Another opens wide.
Before me lies a welcome mat,
With faith, I step inside.

~ Emma Kolman Staley
Verses
By Emma Staley

We give them back to you, dear God

We give them back to you, dear God,
Who gavest them to us.
Yet as Thou didst not lose them in giving,
So we have not lost them by their return.
For what is thine is ours always, if we are thine.
And life is eternal and love is immortal,
And death is only a horizon,
And a horizon is nothing more
Than the limit of our sight.

~ Quaker prayer

October 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 9)

Greetings friends, As crisp night air creeps in, leaves begin to blush and pale, and flowers in the garden dry into a brittle brown, it's becoming clear that autumn is seeping into the landscape. I know all living beings die. I know everything that is lost in winter will contribute in some transformed way to the new life that will emerge in spring. And yet...and yet as Edna St. Vincent Millay says, "I am not resigned." Doesn't stepping forth into the eternal light, melting back into the universal whole mean losing one's individual physical, sensual experience of self and others and the world? Watching someone else die means the achingly endless severing of connection to their presence in the only embodiment we know. But embracing our humanity means also grappling with mortality. How do we face into death with something more than resignation or terror? Is there a way that coaxes us instead to begin to understand the meaning of one's soul?

Those who will make us live, and die, most intensely

Someone who loves us can often see our soul potential more clearly than we can ourselves. When this happens, it has a catalytic effect; it invites and encourages dormant, undeveloped parts of us to come forth and find expression. Indeed, we are often most strongly attracted to those who we sense "will make us live—and die—most intensely... the experience of soul always contains this double yearning: to feel the meaning and beauty of our individual life, and to connect with the larger, universal currents of life flowing through us.

~ from "Fighting for Enlightenment" by John Welwood in NEW AGE, August 1996

To be human is to be born into a dance

To be human is to be born into a dance in which every animate or inanimate, visible or invisible being is also dancing. Every step of this dance is printed in light; its energy is adoration, its rhythm is praise. Pain, desolution, and destruction in this full and unified sacred vision are not separate from the dance, but are instead essential energies of its transformative unfolding. Death itself cannot shatter the dance, because death is the lifespring of its fertility, the mother of all its changing splendor. If we could bring ourselves to open to this vision, we would undergo a revolution of the heart.

~ from THE RETURN OF THE MOTHER by Andrew Harvey
The Return of the Mother
By Andrew Harvey

If I knew for certain that I should die next week

If I knew for certain that I should die next week, I would still be able to sit at my desk all week and study with perfect equanimity, for I know now that life and death make a meaningful whole.

~ Etty Hillesum

Forgiveness is the essence of peacemaking

Forgiveness is the essence of peacemaking and begins with ourselves. First, we find the wisdom to be gained from whatever mistakes we have made or failures we have experienced and give thanks for it. Then we forgive ourselves by releasing blame, guilt, and pain. We also need to forgive others who have hurt us. We do not have to condone what they have done, but we do need to release our anger and resentment toward them... Since our inner world is reflected in our outer world, peace, joy, and love (the fruits of forgiveness) will flow into the world's environment and help people who are having difficulty forgiving themselves or others.

~from "Creating Good in the World" by Theresa Magness, in Sacred Journey, Dec. 2000

I would still be in prison

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I know if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I would still be in prison.

~ Nelson Mandela

You travel lightly

Authentically empowered people forgive naturally. They forgive because they do not want to carry the burden of not forgiving like heavy suitcases through a crowded airport…Forgiveness and harmony go together. When you forgive someone, nothing stands between you and that person. Even if the person you forgive does not like you, you have laid your suitcase down. You travel lightly.

~ from SOUL STORIES by Gary Lukav
Soul Stories (Paperback)
By Gary Zukav (Author)
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