How we learn

I know the world is bruised and bleeding and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence.

Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom.

Toni Morrison

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

You are all possibilities

Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, stand a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.

Then, look back down the path to the north,
the way you came, as if seeing
your entire past and then south
over the hazy blue coast as if present
to a broad future.

Recall the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons
whether you reach them or not.

David Whyte, Mameen (extract)

The enigma of life

Ici la vie continue égale et monotone en surface, pleine d’éclairs, de sommets et de désepérance, dans les profondeurs. Nous sommes arrivés maintenant á un stade de vie si riche en apprehensions nouvelles intransmissibles aux autres âges de la vie – on se sent rempli á la fois de tant de douceur et de tant de désespoir – l’énigme de cette vie grandit, grandit, vous submerge et vous écrase, puis tout á coup en une lueur suprême on prend conscience due “sacré.”

Here life goes on, even and monotonous on the surface, full of lightning, of summits and of despair, in its depths. We have now arrived at a stage in life so rich in new perceptions that cannot be transmitted to those at another stage – one feels at the same time full of so much gentleness and so much despair – the enigma of this life grows, grows, drowns one and crushes one, then all of a sudden in a supreme moment of light one becomes aware of the sacred.

Letter written from Eugénie to May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude