simplicity

The experience of sacred emptiness

Opening the heart, clearing the mind:
the experience of sacred emptiness.

~ Common Boundary

The spirit, by its very nature, is Slow

The spirit, by its very nature, is Slow. No matter how hard you try, you cannot accelerate enlightenment. Every religion teaches the need to slow down in order to connect with the self, with others and with a higher force. In Psalm 46, the Bible says: "Be still then, and know that I am God."

~ Carl Honore in IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS

Let the soul banish all that disturbs

Let the soul banish all that disturbs; and let the body that envelops it be still, and all the fretting of the body, and all that surrounds it; let earth and sea and air be still; and heaven itself. And then feel the Spirit streaming, pouring, rushing into you from all sides, while you are quiet in this Peace.

~ Plotinus, AD 205

The things that ignore us save us in the end

The spiritual function of fierce terrain...is to bring us to the end of ourselves, to the abandonment of language and the relinquishment of ego. A vast expanse of jagged stone, desert sand, and towering thunderheads has a way of challenging all the mental constructs in which we are tempted to take comfort and pride, thinking we have captured the divine. The things that ignore us save us in the end.

~ Belden Lane in THE SOLACE OF FIERCE LANDSCAPES

You who live within my heart

You who live within my heart,
Awaken me to the immensity of your spirit,
To the experience of your living presence!
Deliver me from the bonds of desire,
From the slavery of small aims,
From the prison of fear and ignorance,
From the delusion of egohood!

Enlighten me with the light of your wisdom,
Suffuse me with the incandescence of your love,
Which includes and embraces the darkness,
Like the light that surrounds the dark core of the flame,
Like the love of a mother that surrounds
The growing life in the darkness of her womb,
Like the earth protecting the tender germ of the seed.

Let me be the seed of your living light!
Give me the strength to burst the sheath of selfhood,
And like the seed that dies in order to be reborn,
Let me fearlessly go through the portals of death,
So that I may awaken to the greater life:

~ from THE WAY OF THE WHITE CLOUDS by Govinda with thanks to Edith Newcomb
The Way of the White Clouds
By Lama Anagarika Govinda

Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God

And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown." The reply: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That will be to you better than light, and safer than a known way."

~ from SMOKING FLAX by Louise Haskins
Smoking Flax
By M. Louise Haskins

Gift to be simple

'Tis a gift to be simple,
'Tis a gift to be free ...

~ from a Shaker Hymn

Simplicity is a grace given to us by God

Simplicity is a grace given to us by God ... a gift to be graciously received. Simplicity is also a discipline, which involves a consciously chosen course of action in both group and individual life. What we do does not give us simplicity, but it does put us in the place where we can receive it. It sets our lives before God in such a way that we are open to the grace of simplicity. Simplicity and solitude walk hand in hand along with silence. Solitude is the inward unity that frees us from the need for acclaim and approval. Through it we are enabled to be genuinely alone, for the fear of obscurity is gone; and, we are enabled to be genuinely with others, for they no longer control us. The grace of solitude must be rooted deep within if we are to know simplicity of heart.

~ from FREEDOM OF SIMPLICITY by Richard J. Foster

Holy simplicity

I recommend to you holy simplicity.
~ Francis de Sales
Introduction to the Devout Life
By Francis De Sales

We have discovered simplicity

In authentic contemplation, we discover within ourselves the hidden living and loving Companion Presence. We need to go to the solitude and silence of the wilderness, where God calls us by name, to a deeper place. This is where we are filled with the peace that the world cannot give and which the world cannot take from us. We discover there that we have and always shall be in God. It is the spacious place of the soul. To live there is finally to be at home. God is also at home there, and when we return, we have discovered simplicity.

~ from SIMPLICITY: THE ART OF LIVING by Richard Rohr
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