Balance in nature and in life

dawn light2

There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity


Time moves on

dawn Jan 1

There was never a dawn, regardless how beautiful or promising, that did not grow into a noontime. There was never a noon that did not fall into afternoon. There was never an afternoon that did not fade toward evening. There never was a day yet that did not get buried in the graveyard of the night.

John O’Donohue

Identity and small protective stories

depth oceanThe task is to shift the identity more toward the movable conversation that stands behind us, a deep undercurrent we can tap into that carries on unconcerned with the surface tribulations. In this depth we try to create a real silence in which to keep our long-standing, well-established, self-protective stories away, to let ourselves alone so we can experience the physical vulnerability of the question and be transformed by it. We give these smaller protective stories away so that we can see how they come back to us once we have established a larger way of being in the world.

David Whyte, The Three Marriages

Just notice the thought


Notice the thought. That’s fine. Notice the anxiety. Notice the fear. Use the meditation to focus your mind…The only thing that is keeping the emotion alive is your own thoughts. You keep churning it over and over again. Your thoughts do not care about you. They only want to perpetuate themselves.

Gary Schneider, Zen for High Schoolers

Hidden growth

File:Bee Holme in autumn mist - - 761379.jpg

A lovely misty morning here in Kildare, and the leaves are clearly starting to fall.  Autumn is the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as Keats said in his beautiful description.   The seeds fall underground and move into a period of silent growth. We can learn from them how to trust and wait,  in times which are dark or when nothing seems to be happening.

I gratefully acknowledge how darkness has become less of an enemy for me and more of a place of silent nurturance, where the slow, steady gestation needed for my soul’s growth can occur. Not only is light a welcomed part of my life, but I am also developing a greater understanding of how much I need to befriend my inner darkness.

Joyce Rupp, Little Pieces of Light

photo phil champion

Still here

I was once told that certain spiritual masters in Tibet used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that all life was impermanent. And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, ‘I’m still here!’ This simple gesture was a wonderful reminder to celebrate every moment of the day.

Susan Jeffers, Embracing Uncertainty