There’s no inner landscape in the invisible world of our souls and hearts but is full of the most melodious and nourishing and wild freedom. And everyone should go there, to the wild place, where there are no cages, where there are not tight rooms without windows and without doors. Everyone should go to the free clearance places in their own hearts
Went to an outlet mall in Kildare yesterday to get some bread, 30 minutes before the other stores opened. 8.30 am, car parks already full, even buses arriving with shoppers from around the country. The modern Western tendency toward mid-winter speeding up and shopping. An interior felt-sense of running…
Advertising finds fertile ground in the mind’s response to an underlying sense of life as unsatisfactory. Meditation is essentially training the mind to free it from the type of craving which generates stress and anxiety.
How much does a person lack in him or herself
who must have many things?
– 1591, Japanese Zen Tea master
Today is the Feast of Saint Martin, traditionally a big day of celebration in all countries around Europe and the start of a period of fasting and preparation for Christmas. It was the last day of harvest celebrations and the following days saw a period of simplification and slowing down. Less, rather than more, was seen as the way to keep our bodies and minds in harmony with natural rhythms at this time of year.
The notion of a spirituality of subtraction comes from Meister Eckhart (c.1260-1327), the medieval Dominican mystic. He said the spiritual life has much more to do with subtraction than it does with addition.
Yet I think most Christians today are involved in great part in a spirituality of addition. The capitalist worldview is the only one most of us have ever known. We see reality, experiences, events, other people, and things — in fact, everything — as objects for our personal consumption. Even religion…worship services, and meritorious deeds become ways to advance ourselves…The nature of the capitalist mind is that things (and often people!) are there for me. Religion looks good on my résumé, and anything deemed “spiritual” is a check on my private worthiness list.
Richard Rohr, Radical Grace
Our identity, which seems so reliable, so substantial, is in fact very fluid, very dynamic. There are unlimited possibilities to what we might think, what we might feel, and how we might experience reality. We have what it takes to free ourselves from the suffering of a fixed reality and connect with the fundamental ….mystery of our being, which has no fixed identity. Your sense of yourself – who you think you are at a relative level – is a very restricted version of who you truly are.
Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change
When we taste something, what is the ‘realness’ of it? We can say, ‘It tastes nice’ but this is what we think about it, not what the taste is. We can say, ‘It’s a grape’, but that’s a designation, a perception, isn’t it? What is the actual taste? We say, ‘It’s sweet’, but ‘sweet’ is a judgment, isn’t it? We come to understand that the reality of it is indefinable, and that for most of our life we are operating at the level of interpretations and classifications, of secondary experiences, rather than living the actuality of it. We never even know who we really are, because everything is constantly changing; the reference points are changing so although we feel we’re something, nothing quite fits. So as long as we identify with the world of change and appearance, this is all we shall ever feel ourselves to be, just an appearance that changes and wants to find a certain position.
Ajahn Sucitto, Gnosis and non-dualism
We seldom become all of who we are until forced to it….. I have come to believe that we are destined to be opened by the living of our days, and whether we like it or not, whether we choose to participate or not, we will in time, everyone of us, wear the deeper part of who we are as new skin. Either by erosion from without or by shedding from within – and often both – we are forced to live more authentically. And once the crisis that opened us passes, the real choice then becomes: Will we continue such authentic living?
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening