The Festival of Samhain, marking the end of the year and the beginning of the new one in the Celtic calendar. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to remind us that the encroaching darkness will not prevail
Thinking gives off smoke to prove the existence of fire
There are wonderful shapes in rising smoke that imagination loves to watch
But it’s a mistake to leave the fire for that filmy sight
Stay here at the flame’s core
Daylight saving time in Ireland and around Europe.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
David Whyte, Sweet Darkness
There’s that long bend in the river on the way home. Fluffy bursts of milkweed are floating through shafts of sunlight or disappearing where trees reach out from their deep dark roots.
Maybe people have to go in and out of shadows till they learn that floating,
that immensity waiting to receive whatever arrives with trust.
Maybe somebody has to explore what happens when one of us wanders over near the edge and falls for awhile.
Maybe it was your turn.
William Stafford, Afterwards
It’s ruinous for the soul to be anxious about the future and miserable in advance of misery, engulfed by anxiety that the things it desires might remain its own until the very end.
For such a soul will never be at rest – by longing for things to come it will lose the ability to enjoy present things.
Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher and writer, 4 BC – 65 AD
The key lesson every meditator should take away … is that when the mind is calm, use that calm to investigate the body as impermanent, suffering, and not-self. This is because the roots of all difficulties are attached to this body.
Sooner or later, if we are on any classic “spiritual schedule,” some event, person, death, idea, or relationship will enter our lives that we simply cannot deal with using our present skill set, our acquired knowledge, or our strong willpower.
Spiritually speaking, we will be led to the edge of our own private resources. At that point we will stumble over a necessary stumbling stone…We will and must “lose” at something. This is the only way that Life–Fate–God–Grace–Mystery can get us to change, let go of our egocentric preoccupations, and go on the further and larger journey.
There is no practical or compelling reason to leave one’s present comfort zone in life. If it’s working for us, why would we? Nor can we force ourselves into the second stage of disorder….We must actually be out of the driver’s seat for a while, or we will never learn how to give up control to the Real Guide.
Richard Rohr, Stumble and Fall