Embodied practice

Re-examine all you have been told 
at school or church or in any book;
Dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
And your very flesh shall be a great poem, 

and have the richest fluency, not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,
And between the lashes of your eyes,
and in every motion and joint of your body.

Walt Whitman, Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855 edition

We never really arrive

We seem to presume that others have their lives together and that this would be good for us also, that we will finally, one day, arrive…

The first day of autumn
returning from alms round
I set down my bowl by the temple
to go play with the children.
Last year, a foolish monk.
This year, no change.

Ryokan, 1758–1831, Zen Buddhist monk

We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen. 

Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for difficult Times

A new day, a new week


“Let there be Buechner”. And why not? Out of the primeval chaos of sleep he calls me to be life again.   He calls me to be this rather than that; he calls me to be here rather than there; he calls me to be now rather than then.  Waking into the new day, we are all of us Adam on the morning of creation, and the world is ours to name. 

Out of many fragments we are called to put back together a self again.

Frederick Buechner, The Alphabet of Grace