What are you harvesting?

In the old Celtic calendar today is the last day of the year, and the New Year begins tomorrow: Letting be and letting go are two processes that challenge us every day to accept things as they are, especially during times of change. Once we are clear about what is important in what we long for, we can recognize the issues and obstacles that are in the way. It is in this recognition that we become committed to sacrificing or releasing the obstructions that impede the actualization of our longing. These conscious sacrifices simultaneously purify our longings and provide a means for them to manifest. These lessons of living and being human – of harvest, of letting be and letting go – surface in the Fall as we prepare for winter and the close of the year. What did not come to fruition or what did not hold our interest may reveal where we have tricked ourselves and it shows us that it did not truly matter.We learn that what has heart and meaning for us comes into being,  and that,  in contrast, any ambivalence or doubt we may feel often produces inconsistent results. – or none at all . Consider now what you are harvesting in this light. At this time of the year, what are you letting go of; what are you allowing to let be; what are you harvesting? How has October revealed the treats or fruits of your labors this year? What have been the tricks or surprises of this year?

Angeles Arrien, Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life

What are you letting go of?

I was walking again
in the woods, 
a yellow light
was sifting all I saw.

Willfully,
with a cold heart,
I took a stick,
lifted it to the opposite side
of the path.

There, I said to myself,
that’s done now.
Brushing one hand against the other,
to clean them
of the tiny fragments of bark.

Jane Hirshfield, Changing Everything

Drop away

There is a famous phrase in Japanese Buddhism that tries to explain this. “Learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self,” it suggests. Then “body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.” This backward step is another way of describing Right Action.

You settle into yourself rather than trying to make the troubling thing go away. If anything drops away, it does so by itself. You cannot make it happen directly.

Mark Epstein, Advice not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself

Shelter and Blessings

We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. The divine has such passionate creativity and instinct for the fully inhabited life.

John O’Donoghue