Rachel Naomi Remen

There is a grace in life that can be trusted

There is a grace in life that can be trusted. In our struggle toward freedom we are neither abandoned nor alone.

~ from MY GRANDFATHER’S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen

The blessing of forgiveness

The healing of our present woundedness may lie in recognizing and reclaiming the capacity we all have to heal each other, the enormous power in the simplest of human relationships: the strength of touch, the blessing of forgiveness, the grace of someone else taking you as you are and finding in you an unexpected goodness.

~ Rachel Naomi Remen

All life paths may be a movement toward the soul

The theory of karma suggests that life itself is in its essential nature both educational and healing, that the innate wholeness underlying the personality of each of us is being evoked, clarified, and strengthened through the challenges and experiences of our lifetime. All life paths may be a movement toward the soul.

~ Rachel Naomi Remen in KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM; STORIES THAT HEAL

A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment

A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgment to a place of expectancy. It opens in us an attitude of listening and respect. If everyone has in them the dimension of the unknown, possibility is present at all times. . . . Knowing this enables us to listen to life from the place in us that is Mystery also. Mystery requires that we relinquish an endless search for answers and become willing to not understand. . . . Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years, I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

~ from MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen

A loving silence has power to heal

A loving silence has far more power to heal than the most well-intentioned words.

~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Responding to suffering in ways as unique as their fingerprints

At first I was surprised that people with the same disease had such very different stories.  Later I became deeply moved by these stories, by the people and the meaning they found in their problems, by the unsuspected strengths, the depths of love and devotion, the rich and human tapestry initiated by the pathology I was studying and treating. . .  These stories engaged me at another, more hidden point.  I too suffer from an illness . . .   I listened to human beings who were suffering, and responding to their suffering in ways as unique as their fingerprints.  Their stories were inspiring moving, important.  In time, the truth in them began to heal me.

~ from KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

We have not been raised to cultivate a sense of Mystery

We have not been raised to cultivate a sense of Mystery. We may even see the unknown as an insult to our competence, a personal failing. Seen this way, the unknown becomes a challenge to action. But Mystery does not require action; Mystery requires our attention. Mystery requires that we listen and become open. When we meet with the unknown in this way, we can be touched by a wisdom that can transform our lives.


~ from MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen

Listening creates a holy silence

Listening creates a holy silence. When you listen generously to people, they can hear truth in themselves, often for the first time. And in the silence of listening, you can know yourself in everyone. Eventually you may be able to hear, in everyone and beyond everyone, the Unseen singing softly to itself and you.

~ from KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM by Rachel Naomi Remen

How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it

Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. O Holy One, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your Presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns, unconsumed. And we, clay touched by Thee, will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder, "How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it. "

~ from MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen
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