Listening has to do with awareness. Hearing is easy; listening is difficult. Few of us recognize that listening is an ability and not an instinct. As such, it is an act that has to be learned. To listen is to be sensitive to reality. Good listeners live in the moment and pay attention to what is going on in the here-and-now ... a listening that is beyond words.
from THE ZEN TEACHINGS OF JESUS by Kenneth S. Leong
The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable. Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else. Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence. . . . A blessing is not a sentiment or a question; it is a gracious invocation where the human heart pleads with the divine heart. . . . When a blessing is invoked, it changes the atmosphere. Some of the plenitude flows into our hearts from the invisible neighborhood of loving kindness. In the light and reverence of blessing, a person or situation becomes illuminated in a completely new way. In a dead wall a new window opens, in dense darkness a path starts to glimmer, and into a broken heart healing falls like morning dew. It is ironic that so often we continue to live like paupers though our inheritance of spirit is so vast.
from TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEEN US by John O'Donohue
There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. . . . It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life. Without this subtle quickening our days would be empty and wearisome, and no horizon would ever awaken our longing. Our passion for life is quietly sustained from somewhere in us that is wedded to the energy and excitement of life. This shy inner light is what enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. We enter the world as strangers who all at once become heirs to a harvest of memory, spirit, and dream that has long preceded us and will now enfold, nourish, and sustain us. The gift of the world is our first blessing.
~ from TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEEN US by John O'Donohue
Silence is one of the major thresholds in the world. . . . Meister Eckhart said that there is nothing in the world that resembles God so much as silence. Silence is a great friend of the soul; it unveils the riches of solitude. It is very difficult to reach that quality of inner silence. You must make a space for it so that it may begin to work for you. In a certain sense, you do not need the whole armory and vocabulary of therapies, psychologies, or spiritual programs. If you have a trust in and an expectation of your own solitude, everything that you need to know will be revealed to you. These are some wonderful lines from the French poet Rene Char: "Intensity is silent, its image is not. I love everything that dazzles me and then accentuates the darkness within me." Here is an image of silence as the force that discloses hidden depth. Silence is the sister of the divine.
Spring is a youthful season coming forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of spring, there is a great inner longing when desire and memory stir toward each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventures, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life; there the rhythm, the energy, and the hidden light of your own clay work with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential.
One of the greatest mysteries in life is the mystery of time. Everything that happens to us, happens to us in and through time. Time is the force that brings every new experience to the door of your heart. All that happens to you is controlled and determined by time. Time opens up and opens out the mystery of the soul.
To return back into ourselves, there are three things needed, for which you don't require a computer, television or radio: the first is a bit of stillness. Nothing can happen without a certain stillness. We also need silence. There is nothing so vocal and articulate as silence; all good language, all great words, are born of it. And the third thing we need is solitude. We need to acknowledge that solitude is an invitation to the soul to come alive. Solitude is utterly luminous if we lose our fears and begin to enter it more deeply.
from "Earth's Inner Light," an interview with John O'Donohue in "Earthlight" # 27