This is it

Try: Reminding yourself from time to time: ‘This is it.’ See if there is anything at all that it cannot be applied to. Remind yourself that acceptance of the present moment has nothing to do with resignation in the face of what is happening. It simply means a clear acknowledgement that ‘what is happening is happening.’ Acceptance doesn’t tell you what to do. What happens next, what you choose to do, that has to come out of your understanding of this moment. You might try acting out of a deep knowing of ‘This is it.’ Does it influence how you choose to proceed or respond? Is it possible for you to contemplate that in a very real way, this may actually be the best season, the best moment of your life? If that was so, what would it mean for you?

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever you Go, There You are

What if

What if you stepped into the shower
each morning only to be baptized anew
and sent forth to serve the grocery bagger,
the bank teller, and the bus driver
through simple kindness?
And what if the things that make
your heart dizzy with delight were
no longer stuffed into the basement
of your being and allowed out to play
in the lush and green fields?

There are two ways to live in this world:
As if everything were enchanted
or nothing at all.
There is no in between, although you
keep trying to live this divided life knowing
deep down something is awry.
You have lived long enough
with this tearing apart.
Come out into the wide world
and discover there companions and guides
at every turn, and even those who summon
curses from your heart have
a divine spark within them bright enough
to invite wonder.

Christine Valters Paintner, To Invite Wonder

Our monastery

Our hermitage is the act of living with attention in the midst of things; amid the rhythms of work and love, the bath with the child, the endlessly growing paperwork, the ever-present likelihood of war, the necessity for taking action to help the world. For us, a good spiritual life is permeable and robust. It faces things squarely, knowing the smallest moments are all we have, and that even the smallest moment is full of happiness.

John Tarrant, The Light inside the Dark

Quieten the chatter


Sometimes it seems almost everything in our culture conspires to distance us from heart and soul. So many messages are ads, trying to sell us something of questionable usefulness while ruthlessly pandering to our vanity, insecurity, or unhappiness – new toys, fashion, entertainment, or insurance against the inevitabilities of life. Few people ask the bigger questions.

Constant superficial conversation keeps us from noticing what’s going on with us emotionally or spiritually or in our bodies. Small talk alienates us from ourselves- perhaps a purpose as well as a result. In order to approach the deeper truths of our soul, we must quiet the inner chatter.

Bill Plotkin, Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche