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

The real life within

You know that the seed is inside the chestnut tree and inside the seed there are blossoms of the tree and the chestnuts and the shade. So inside the human body there is the seed, and inside the seed there is the human body again

Thinkers, listen…. tell me what you know of that which is not inside the soul: Take a jug of water and set it down on the water – now it has water inside and water outside. We shouldn’t give it a name, in case silly people start talking again about the body and the soul.

If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth: Listen to the secret sound, the real sound which is inside you.   The One nobody talks of  speaks the secret sound to himself, and he is the One who has made it all.

Kabir

Simplify

I want to learn how to walk down the ladder gracefully. 

I have this image – I would like to get smaller and smaller in a relevant way.

Carly Simon, on what she learned from dealing with cancer and other life setbacks, quoted in Sara Davidson, The First Day of the Rest of My Life