All make mistakes

I often think of the way the Dakotah Indians responded to a small wrong. When, for example, a young person walked between an elder and the fire – an act of profound impoliteness in their culture – the young person said, simply, “Mistake”. It was an honest acknowledgement of an error of judgment, devoid of any self-recrimination or self-diminution. All present nodded in assent, and life went on.

How healthy such an attitude seems. We all commit mistakes in judgment and we all need forgiveness. If we had the option of making a simple acknowledgement of our mistake and then going on with affairs, how much clearer and gentler life would be. And how healthier would our own hearts be if we looked on the injuries caused us by others as  simply the mistake of human beings who, like us, are struggling to get by in a complex and mysterious world.

Kent Nerburn, Make me an Instrument of Your Peace

Confronting change

Our lives ask us to die and be reborn every time we confront change – change within ourselves and change in our world. When we descend all the way down to the bottom of a loss, and dwell patiently, with an open heart, in the darkness and pain, we can bring back up with us the sweetness of life and the exhilaration of inner growth. When there is nothing left to lose, we find the true self — the self that is whole, the self that is enough, the self that no longer looks to others for definition, or completion, or anything but companionship on the journey. This is the way to live a meaningful and hopeful life — a life of real happiness and inner peace.

Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open

No plans

There must be a time of day when the man who
  makes plans forgets his plans,
  and acts as if he had no plans at all.

 There must be a time of day when the man who has
 to speak falls very silent.
 And his mind forms no more propositions,
 and he asks himself:
 Did they have a meaning?

 There must be a time
 When the man of prayer goes to pray
 as if it were the first time in his life
 he had ever prayed,
 when the man of resolutions puts his
 resolutions aside
 as if they had all been broken,
 and he learns a different wisdom:

 distinguishing the sun from the moon,
 the stars from the darkness,
 the sea from the dry land,
 and the night sky from the shoulder of a hill.

Thomas Merton