What’s important

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We hurry through the so-called boring things

in order to attend to that which we deem more important, interesting.

Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that everything in every moment is “essential

and that nothing at all is “important.”

Helen Luke, Jungian Therapist

photo kyknoord

A different way of seeing

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Ours seems to be a world that values “strength.” We want  “strong” minds, “tough” wills, “hard as nail” determination, “rugged” personalities, “sturdy” character, and so on.  I wonder if we have confused hardness with the strength it takes to truly give and receive love. Let us praise softness. I’m speaking here of hearts, of soft hearts, of gentle spirits. I’m speaking of the gentleness to give and receive love.

Every heart has a wall around it, a wall that protects, yet also keeps out. Every heart is a walled garden, the original meaning of Paradise –  the inner garden that’s protected by the wall. Yet I wonder how often the wall becomes a fortress, keeping out the very ones who are meant to reach us, nurture us, love us? Let us praise softness. Let us seek a heart that is not hard, but soft. Let us seek a heart that is not hardened like dry land, but a soft soil tilled over again and again.

In many languages, the words for “love” have a connection to words for “seed.” In Arabic and Persian, a word for love (hubb) comes from the seed that is planted in the ground. Sometimes a seed of love is planted in the heart’s ground through a glance, a touch, a word. Will the seed take root? Will it be nurtured? Will it be fed?

Are we strong enough not to keep out, but to welcome in?

Omid Safi, In Praise of Softness

photo greenlamplady

Sunday Quote: A place for mystery

dawn Jan 1

On the day of the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year…

If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are,

and where we come from,

we will have failed

Carl Sagan, 1934 – 1996 U.S. Astronomer and Cosmologist

A day for letting go of ideas

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Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened.

Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


photo kevin higgins

Creating our reality

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Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, “The flag moves.” The other said, “The wind moves.” They argued back and forth but could not agree. Hui-neng, said: “Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your mind that moves.” The two monks were struck with awe.

Chinese master Hui-neng (638-713), the Sixth Ch’an Patriarch is considered by some to be the true father of Zen.

photo matt brown