Through difficulties..

I know from my personal experience that out of pathos (great suffering) we come to know pothos (our sense of emerging self).

Through the portal of the intolerable, we deepen into soul.

Stephen Aizenstat, Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams

The first step

Without meditation, where do we even begin to find a place to stand and speak the whole truth? The four noble truths teach that there is suffering, that it’s caused by human ignorance and selfishness, that it stops when these attitudes stop, and that we have to live in accordance with that. Maybe the truths of suffering and its origin don’t lead to the ceasing of suffering on the sociocultural level right now. But through meditation, through directly accessing the heart, one can at least see and speak the truth of how suffering feels in this moment, where you experience it in your heart and body. A way of action can evolve from that, but the first step is to speak truth, feel truth, live truth.

Ajahn Sucitto, Heart light in Dark Times

Nature

Many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions recognize four natural sanctuaries where we can remember and come home to who we are: the desert, the mountains, the waters, and the woods. Nature comes from the Latin ‘natus,’ ‘to be born.’ Native peoples look to these places for remembrance, soul retrieval work, and to be reborn or renewed. Because we are made from the natural elements- fire (our energy), air (our breath), water (our blood), and earth (our bones),- we are always drawn to come into harmony with the beauty of nature around us. It nourishes the soul and opens us to be born into the mysterious presence and promptings of our own vast inner world.

Angeles Arrien

Navigating safely

Most of us unknowingly go through life with a tight grip in our inner core. this inner psychological grip corresponds to an outer physiological one. The mind is designed to grasp ideas, and the hands and arms are made to grasp objects. Each form of grasping is an attempt to be in control. Grasping ideas of ourselves and the world – virtual models of reality – allows us to plan, which provides a sense of control, however illusory this control may be. In times of stress we may believe that we need to get a stronger grip on ourselves. In truth, we need to relax it. Our main stress comes from being too tightly wound. When I explain this principle to clients I will sometimes use the metaphor of driving a car: if our grip on the steering wheel is too tense we become a less safe driver. We need to be both alert and relaxed to gracefully navigate the road, as well as life

John J. Prendergast, In Touch: How to Tune In to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself