Anam Cara

Silence is one of the major thresholds in the world

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.

~ from ANAM CARA by John O'Donohue

Springtime in your soul

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.

~ from ANAM CARA by 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

Wisdom is the art of living in rhythm with your soul

Wisdom is the art of balancing the known with the unknown, the suffering with the joy; it is a way of linking the whole of life together in a new and deeper unity ... Wisdom is the art of living in rhythm with your soul, your life, and the divine.

~ ANAM CARA by John Donohue

Eternal time is unbroken presence

The destination of human time is death. Eternal time is unbroken presence.

~ from ANAM CARA by John Donohue

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

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

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

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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