John O'Donohue

The mystery of time

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.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Nothing can happen without a certain stillness

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

You have found your soul friend

According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the boy like a luminous cloud. When you are very open – appreciative and trusting – with another person, your two souls flow together. This deeply felt bond with another person means you have found an ANAM CARA or "soul friend." Your ANAM CARA always beholds your light and beauty, and accepts you for who you truly are.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

In love, you grow and come home to yourself

The heart ís the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to yourself.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Only in your solitude will you come upon your own beauty

Only in solitude can you discover a sense of your own beauty. The Divine Artist sent no one here without the depth and light of divine beauty. This beauty is frequently concealed behind the dull facade of routine. Only in your solitude will you come upon your own beauty.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Listening and hearing

There is a very important distinction to be made between listening and hearing. Sometimes we listen to things, but we never hear them. True listening brings us in touch even with that which is unsaid and unsayable. Sometimes the most important thresholds of mystery are places of silence. To be genuinely spiritual is to have great respect for the possibilities and presence of silence. ...When you listen with your soul, you come into rhythm and unity with the music of the universe.

~ From ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

There are three things needed

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 if there isn't 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. Meister Eckhart said, "there is nothing in the universe that so much resembles God as silence". So we need to return back beneath our language to the silence within us. And the third thing we need is solitude ... an invitation for the soul to come alive.

~ from "Earth's Inner Light" by John O'Donohue

Let the neglected presence of your soul come to meet you again

Many people who are secretly weary of work have never given themselves time, or taken time out or away from work, to allow their spirits to catch up. Giving yourself plenty of time is a simple but vital reflective exercise:

Leave all agendas behind you. Let the neglected presence of your soul come to meet and engage you again. It can be a lovely reacquaintance with your forgotten mystery.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

The secret heart of time

The secret heart of time is change and growth.
~ John O'Donohue

Mountains are huge contemplatives

The silence of landscape conceals vast presence. Place is not simply location. A place is a profound individuality. Its surface texture of grass and stone is blessed by rain, wind, and light. With complete attention, landscape celebrates the liturgy of the seasons, giving itself unreservedly. The shape of a landscape is an ancient and silent form of consciousness. Mountains are huge contemplatives. Rivers and streams offer voice; they are the tears of the earth's joy and despair. The earth is full of soul.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue
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