The strength to survive

In the light of all that is happening this year and this week, we all need to keep our hopes alive

There is an Ethiopian legend about a shepherd  boy Alemayu that speaks to me of the power of hope. Alemayu had to spend the night on a bitterly cold mountain. He had only a very thin cloth to wear. To the amazement of all the villagers, he returned alive and well. When they asked him how he survived, he replied: ” ‘The night was bitter. When all the sky was dark, I thought I would die. Then far, far off I saw a shepherd’s fire on another mountain. I kept my eyes on the red glow in the distance, and I dreamed of being warm. And that is how I had the strength to survive.

Each one of us has a  “shepherd’s fire on another mountain” that has kept our hope alive.  This fire has given us the courage to recover our lost self and believe in the dreams that stir in our soul.

Joyce Rupp, Dear Heart, Come Home

Hold things lightly


February has begun rainy and very wild and windy here in Ireland. I am reminded of how Ryokan worked with the mental energies, thoughts, feelings and moods which passed through his body-mind. We can learn a lot from these monks on how to work in a practical way with our daily experience:

Not being so attached to our facts,  or even our “alternative facts”, and how to let go of certain types of thoughts which are just not important.

If someone asks about 
the mind of this monk, 
say it is no more than a passage of wind 
in the vast sky. 

Ryokan, 1758 – 1831, Buddhist monk, hermit and poet.