Psalm 132

Enter into the Silence,
into the Heart of Truth;
For herein lies the Great Mystery
where life is ever unfolding...
Listen for the Music of the
Spheres in the resounding
Silence of
the universe.
May balance and harmony be your aim as you are
drawn into the
Heart of Love.
~ Nan Merrill from her interpretation of "Psalm 132" in PSALMS FOR PRAYING

Seven Directions Prayer

Let us turn to the West:
the place of oncoming darkness,
the place of the departed spirits and of letting go; the
home of Bear and night-time dreams
and the season of Autumn.
We thank you for your gifts of Mystery and Transformation.
~ from the Seven Directions Prayer* (This prayer has many versions, source unknown)

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.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen in MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS

Navigating the Mysteries

What if we reframed "living with uncertainty" to "navigating mystery"? There's more energy in that phrase. The hum of imaginative voltage. And is our life not a mystery school, a seat of earthy instruction?
~ Martin Shaw from the essay "Navigating the Mysteries" on EMERGENCE MAGAZINE

One broken beautiful thing at a time

You can relish a rainbow and a cup of tea, sunrise and a flock of birds, a cemetery walk and a friend's newborn, the first blush of wildflowers in a patch of dirt and the looping rapture of an old favorite song. ... You can't mend a world, but you can mend the hole in the polka- dot pocket of your favorite coat. They are not the same thing, but they are part of the same thing, which is all there is — life living itself through us, moment by moment, one broken beautiful thing at a time.
~ Maria Popova in THE MARGINALIAN e-newsletter, May 15, 2022

La Prisonniere

The only true voyage, the only bath in the Fountain of Youth, would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred universes that each of them sees, that each of them is.
~ Marcel Proust from "La Prisonniere" in REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST

The Ponds

...Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading. And I do.
~ Mary Oliver from "The Ponds" in HOUSE OF LIGHT

To be reminded

The most important work can be birthed from the place where uncomfortable silence seeps between us. In those moments we're faced with the decision of whether to respond immediately with the assuredness of our truth or to let the silence work in us. To feel the sadness and anger and grief. To be reminded that there's more at work in the story of the other ...
~ Ashlee Eiland in HUMAN(KIND)

In the immense field of divine compassion

In the immense field of divine compassion, countless small life fields are interwoven with each other. When human hearts deepen through some form of contemplation, there emerges in them an intuition of human oneness prior to all separation ... a "communion of saints". In each religion's communal story, there is a way of handing on from generation to generation this transforming perception of universal solidarity in the Mystery. We do not learn such wisdom on our own. We receive this wisdom from someone else.
~ Carolyn Gratton in THE ART OF SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE

Come to Dust

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring's green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.
All earth's dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.

~ Ursula K. Le Guin, "Come to Dust" in SO FAR SO GOOD

September 2022 (Vol. XXXV, No. 8)

Dear Friends ~ When things fall apart, may we learn to embrace the complexity of our lives, befriending our uncertainty and our own lack of control. This is the unwanted doorway to the birth of new life within us. ~ Bob Sabath

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Life is a good teacher and a good friend

Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don't get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It's a very tender, non-aggressive, open-ended state of affairs.

To stay with that shakiness — to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness — that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path. Getting the knack of catching ourselves, of gently and compassionately catching ourselves, is the path of the warrior.
~ Pema Chödrön in WHEN THINGS FALL APART

I sat still for three days

I felt in need of a great pilgrimage. So I sat still for three days.
~ Kabir in LOVE POEMS FROM GOD

Degree of presence

Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence.
~ Alan Watts in THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY

Entering the Kingdom

The dream of my life
Is to lie down by a slow river
And stare at the light in the trees —
To learn something by being nothing
A little while but the rich
Lens of attention.
~ Mary Oliver from "Entering the Kingdom" in DEVOTIONS

If the heart wanders or is distracted

If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently... And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed.
~ St. Francis de Sales in INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE

The relation of contemplation to action

What is the relation of contemplation to action? Simply this. He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity, and capacity to love, will not have anything to give others.
~ Thomas Merton in THOMAS MERTON SPIRITUAL MASTER: ESSENTIAL WRITINGS

The whole world falls in

May God break my heart so deeply the whole world falls in.

~ Mother Teresa in MOTHER TERESA: QUOTABLE WISDOM

Deep awareness

When you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh in TOUCHING PEACE

Proverbs and Tiny Songs

I love Jesus, who said to us:
heaven and earth will pass away.
When heaven and earth have passed away,
my word will still remain.
What was your word, Jesus?
Love? Forgiveness? Affection?
All your words were
one word: Wakeup.
~ Antonio Machado from "Proverbs and Tiny Songs " in THE SOUL IS HERE FOR ITS OWN JOY

The hardest spiritual work

The hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbor as the self - to encounter another human being not as someone you can use, change, fix, help, save, enroll, convince or control, but simply as someone who can spring you from the prison of yourself, if you will allow it.
~ Barbara Brown Taylor in AN ALTAR IN THE WORLD

Opening us up

When we hear the sounds of the Earth crying within us, we're unblocking the channels of felt connectedness that join us to the world. These channels act like a system, opening us up to a source of strength and resilience.
~ Joanna Macy in A WILD LOVE FOR THE WORLD

Conscious love

I will also tell you a secret. We have to will one another: this is the beginning of conscious love.
~ Maurice Nicoll in PSYCHOLOGICAL COMMENTARIES ON THE WORKS OF GURDJIEFF AND OUSPENSKI

The feminine side of love

Sadly, because our culture has devalued the feminine, we have repressed so much of her nature, so many of her qualities. Instead we live primarily masculine values; we are goal-oriented, competitive, driven. Masculine values even dominate our spiritual quest; we seek to be better, to improve ourselves, to get somewhere. We have forgotten the feminine qualities of waiting, listening, being empty. We have dismissed the deep need of the soul, our longing, the feminine side of love.
~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in LOVE IS A FIRE

That is the mystery

Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering becomes love. That is the mystery.
~ Katherine Mansfield in THE JOURNAL OF KATHERINE MANSFIELD
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