Like a mighty river

And that’s how we measure out our real respect for people – by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate – and enjoy. End of sermon. As Buddha says: live like a mighty river. And as the old Greeks said: live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.

Ted Hughes, 1930 – 1998, English Poet

No complaints

The weather is unusually disturbed and cold for this time of year, hailstones and frost….

As soon as the snow melts the grass begins to grow.

Even though the daytime high is barely above freezing, even
though May is very like November, marsh marigolds bloom
in the swamp and the popple trees produce a faint green
that hangs under the low clouds like a haze over the valley.

This is the way the saints live, no complaints, no suspicion,
no surprise.

If it rains, carry an umbrella, if it’s cold, wear
a jacket.

Louis Jenkins, American poet, 1942 -2019, Saints

Measuring time

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.

Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.

Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Treasure underneath

A difficult practice these days…

Patience is a hard discipline. It is not just waiting until something happens over which we have no control: the arrival of the bus, the end of the rain, the return of a friend, the resolution of a conflict. Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something.

Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Be patient and trust that the treasure you are looking for is hidden in the ground on which you stand.

Henri Nouwen, Hidden Treasure

An experience of emptiness

Each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita concerns a particular yoga. This first chapter is called “the yoga of Arjuna’s despair” and it is significant that the experience of despair is a yoga; despair is often the first step on the path of spiritual life. It is very important to go through the experience of emptiness, of disillusion and despair. Many people do not awaken to the reality of God, and to the experience of transformation in their lives, until they reach the point of despair.

Bede Griffith, River of Compassion