Our surface-level living is the symbolic acting out of a deep inward pilgrimage

Much of life…is about awakening to the interior experience.In our day-to-day living, we come to see how all of our physical journeying is not simply a temporal exercise, a transitory, earthly trek, but increasingly points to a shared and liberating inner passage . . .As Christianity and all the great religious traditions of the world testify, our surface-level living is the symbolic acting out of a deep inward pilgrimage leading to -- and beyond -- the gates of the heart.

Compassion is what the cosmos best responds to

Everything is here because of love. That's why we were created -- to love, and creation is set up to make love possible. Love keeps things going, not just for now but forever. Love gives life and makes sure what's around today will be around tomorrow. Love sets us on the journey and ensures our safe return. It's about compassion, it’s what the cosmos best responds to.

As if the quiet were a third party speaking to us

Perhaps nothing would be said at first, but eventually a sound, a poem, an artwork or an impression would spark an exchange, and there would be a clear flow of meditative, constructive thought. Periodic silences would follow, to which we both listened almost as if the quiet were a third party speaking to us. And in response to that stillness we would breathe deeply, come to a sort of relaxed attention, and in a humble, reverent manner lower our eyes, as though acknowledging the mystical presence of something greater.

The old couple's secrets

I asked the old couple what secrets they could tell me about living long and well. At first they looked at each other and laughed, then he declared,

"Things are as they are. I know my wife and she knows me. We don't hide from each other. We don't ask each other lots of questions, we aren't anxious, running around all the time. Everything is open between us. We say our prayers and do our work. Most of the day I am outside, and she is inside, and when we unite, we enjoy our company, thanks be to God."

Every moment in life is a prayer

Every moment in life is a prayer, or could be. I think you can pray yourself into the mystery of the moment, or allow for the blessings of the moment to sustain you. Every moment is an invitation, and whatever you do in that moment, if it's dedicated to God, then it is a prayer.

Looking and listening lead into everything else

Every moment is like a gift. And since it is, relax, get into the moment and do all you can to listen to it. I mean, really, really listen. Be present to the moment with everything you. It takes practice. After you've listened for a while, you start responding. You give back because you begin to see how everything is on loan — a gift from God... Try listening, looking. Looking and listening lead into everything else. Real listening means you don't project yourself into the situation. You simply are receptive, seeing things as they are, not as you might wish them to be. Listen!