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The heart of stillness sits perfectly balanced in the middle of chaos

When I started the practice of "no preference," a special quality of mind began to grow— a unique understanding and affirmation of the way things are— and I discovered something extraordinary: the heart of stillness sits perfectly balanced in the middle of chaos. This is the true dwelling place of the soul.
~ from ENDURING THE SACRED MOUNTAIN by David A. Cooper

Forgiveness is a complex experience

Forgiveness is a complex experience that changes an offended person's spiritual feelings, emotions, thoughts, actions, and self-confidence level. I believe learning to forgive the hurts and grudges of our life may be an important step for us to feel more hopeful and spiritually connected and less depressed.
~ from FORGIVE FOR GOOD by Fred Luskin
Forgive for Good
By Frederic Luskin

If the heart has forgiven

If the heart has forgiven and excused,
Offenses will not be remembered.
They are remembered only in the attic, the memory,
Without the heart's participation.

~ from CHRIST THE ETERNAL TAO by Damascene
Christ the Eternal Tao
By Hieromonk Damascene

A heaven of each moment

Each day that passes,
the sage discards another useless weight.
Finally all the accumulated burden
of a life spent seeking something
is gone.
In its place is a lightness of being
and a clarity of seeing
that makes a heaven
of each moment.
~ from "What Will Be Left is Life Itself" in THE SAGE'S TAO TE CHING

O sacred season of Autumn

O sacred season of Autumn, be my teacher,
for I wish to learn the virtue of contentment....
I live in a society that is ever-restless,
always eager for more mountains to climb,
seeking happiness through more and more possessions...
Teach me to take stock of what I have given and received,
may I know that it's enough,
that my striving can cease
in the abundance of God's grace...
As you, O Autumn, take pleasure in your great bounty,
let me also take delight
in the abundance of the simple things in life
which are the true source of joy.
With the golden glow of peaceful contentment
may I truly appreciate this autumn day.
~ Edward Hays in EARTH PRAYERS ed. by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon

Longing for our idealized images of life

Longing for our idealized images of life separates us from our true selves and from our true callings.
~ Stephen Cope

One leaf left on a branch

One leaf left on a branch
and not a sound of sadness
or despair. One leaf left
on a branch and no unhappiness.
One leaf left all by itself
in the air and it does not speak
of loneliness or death.
One leaf and it spends itself
in swaying mildly in the breeze.

~ David Ignatow

We are never as kind as we want to be

...in our culture, it has been aptly observed, "we are never as kind as we want to be, but nothing outrages us more than people being unkind to us." In his stirring Syracuse commencement address, George Saunders confessed with unsentimental ruefulness: "What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness." I doubt any decent person, upon candid reflection, would rank any other species of regret higher. To be human is to leap toward our highest moral potentialities, only to trip over the foibled actualities of our reflexive patterns. To be a good human is to keep leaping anyway.

~ Maria Popova in the brainpickings.org newsletter, "Leo Tolstoy on Kindness and the Measure of Love"

The thing to do is supply light

One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is supply light, not heat.
~ Woodrow Wilson

The North Star of their native moral compass

"Under conditions of terror," Hannah Arendt wrote in her classic treatise on the normalization of evil, "most people will comply but some people will not...No more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation." Under such conditions, counting ourselves among the few who refuse to comply has less to do with whether we believe ourselves to be good than it does with the deliberate protections we must place between unrelenting evil and our own sanity and goodness, for among the most insaning aspects of tyrannical regimes is the Stockholm syndrome of the psyche they inflict upon us — upon ordinary people, not-evil people, people who consider themselves decent and good, but who slowly, through a cascade of countless small concessions, lose sight of the North Star of their native moral compass.

~ Maria Popova in the brainpickings.org newsletter, "Against the Slippery Slope of Evil"
Figuring
By Maria Popova
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