Noticing the current….

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The  light of mindful awareness reveals the extent to which we are tossed along in the stream of past conditioning and habit. The moment we decide to stop and look at what is going on (like a swimmer suddenly changing course to swim upstream instead of downstream), we find ourselves battered by powerful currents we had never even suspected – precisely because until that moment we were largely living at their command.

Stephen Batchelor

photo danielle

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A mind that is astonished

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Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.

 How grass can be nourishing in the mouths of the lambs.

How rivers and stones are forever in allegiance with gravity

while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds will

never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the

scars of damage,

to the comfort of a poem.

 Let me keep my distance, always, from those

who think they have the answers.

 Let me keep company always with those who say

“Look!” and laugh in astonishment, and bow their heads.

 Mary Oliver, Mysteries, Yes

Relaxing

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The things we really need come to us only as gifts, and in order to receive them as gifts, we have to be open. In order to be open we have to renounce ourselves, in a sense we have to die to our image of ourselves, our autonomy, our fixation upon our self-willed destiny. We have to be able to relax the psychic and spiritual cramp which knots us in the painful, vulnerable, helpless “I” that is all we know of ourselves.

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander