September 21, 2008
In one sheet of paper, we see everything else, the cloud, the forest, the logger. I am, therefore you are. You are, therefore I am. That is the meaning of the word ‘interbeing.’ We interare. ~Thich Nhat Hanh, from Being Peace
I have just read the book Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach. Before I read this wonderful book, I had a post by this title. I’m sure it was Brach’s book that was referenced by the authors I quoted in that earlier post. All that to say that this idea of radical acceptance is one that echoes for me as something I need to embrace.
Letting go of the idea of control allows us to better see and be receptive to the gifts that come to us. Brach says, “When we put down ideas of what life should be like, we are free to wholeheartedly say yes to our life as it is.” When I cease to struggle with the life I have, I see the beauty of the hills across the valley, feel the cool air of fall streaming in the window, hear the quiet on this Sunday morning, and know the peace of feeling safe and loved. Only when I can understand the great grace that has fallen on me can I feel true compassion for others. And that understanding is not with the head, but with the heart.
May I understand from the heart that we are all interconnected, worthy of grace, and responsible for each other. May I live my life as though I am no more or less than any other in the universe, and as though every breath I take ripples through all.
Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is the only moment.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
June 15, 2008
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. ~Vita Sackville-West
Life has been slipping by these past few days, with work-related travel, oppressive heat, visiting relatives who are not well, and general malaise. But I’m told there is at least one person who misses these blog entries when I don’t do them (besides me). So Janice, this one’s for us!
I’m behind in reading my Shambala Sun issues, so I took a half-finished copy with me on my recent trip to south Georgia. I was struck once again by how much I enjoy that magazine! I’m not sure I even consider myself a Buddhist, (although it’s probably the organized system for which I feel the most affinity), but there are always authors and articles within the Sun that inspire and teach me. So it is one thing I am grateful for today.
Another is the steadfast love of my husband waiting to greet me from my travels. There is language that enriches my life immeasurably. True friends who teach me something about the impact of my presence on earth and who want only the best for me. Yoga that helps me focus my attention on my body. Music, always music, that has the magical ability to lift my spirits and my spirit. Of course there are too many things to list here; these are just a few that grace my life.
What comes to mind when you consider life’s blessings? How does it change from day to day, month to month, year to year?
February 16, 2008
The winds of grace are blowing all the time; you have only to raise your sail. ~Sri Ramakrishna
I have always loved this quote, pointing as it does to the sea we swim in, but of which we are usually oblivious. After listening to The Power of Now, I am interpreting “raising one’s sail” as being present–without resistance–in order to experience unity with all that is, enlightenment, or “the winds of grace.” Tolle says that surrender, acceptance of what is, doesn’t mean we have to give up doing, but gives us clarity about what needs to be done, and I have found this to be true.
It is so refreshing to hear that direct perception, (consciousness, feeling) is as critical as thinking in our mind-dominated Western world. I’m the first to disagree with (uh-oh, mind identification!) those who would dismiss reason in the affairs of the world, but I do know that my mind will not get me to a state of grace, enlightenment, unity. Judging, thinking that we are separate from all that is (ego-identification) is destructive for us and for our planet. Tolle cautions that once we take a position, we have identified with an impermanent form, have created a resistance to what is that blocks our natural flow of energy.
So raising one’s sail to the winds of grace occurs through experiencing the now with full consciousness, Eckhart might say. Have you had such moments of spiritual connectedness?