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

The only little journey we have to make

The only little journey we have to make -- the only little moment of transition -- is the moment where we actually become aware of the dignity and beauty and light of the presence in which we already are. I think that being here in this graced planet of landscape, nature, presence, and person is the miracle -- is the journey.

~ John O'Donohue
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