What makes life beautiful?

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Some reflections from Brother Roger of Taize who I once met when I spent a silent retreat there. He was a good and kindly man, and outlines here an approach which can shape our whole attitude to this day and to life:

Are there realities which make life beautiful

and of which it can be said that they bring a kind of fulfillment, an inner joy?

Yes, there are. And one of these realities bears the name of trust.

Do we realize that what is best in each of us is built up through a simple trusting?

This is something even a child can do.

Br Roger of Taize

photo nicor

A guide for all of life: Don’t try to control the sunset

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One of the most growth-promoting experiences for another person  comes from my appreciating this individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a little on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.” I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds.

Carl Rogers

photo Mmcbeth

See your own strength

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Oh soul, you worry too much.

You have seen your own strength. You have seen your own beauty. You have seen your golden wings.
Of anything less, why do you worry?

You are in truth the soul, of the soul, of the soul.

Rumi
photo Virginia state parks staff

We are more than we think we are

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Having a spiritual life doesn’t mean striving to stop the rain from falling or keeping our hearts from breaking. It means letting go of our resistance and wilful separation. It means taking our place in the greater whole of life. This surrender tends to happen in moments of loss but also sometimes in moments of great love or moments when we have been spared. In those moments it’s natural to say or inwardly feel “Thy will be done,” I surrender, opening to the rain and the sun and all that will come, knowing that we and life is more than we think we are.

Tracy Cochran, The Golden Ticket

photo : gorkaazk

Things could be otherwise

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A day when I am aware of the gift of life.

This poem was written by Jane Kenyon shortly before she died of leukemia at age 47, aware that things would soon change for her.

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Jane Kenyon, Otherwise

photo harald hoyer