Fully here

The present moment is never unbearable if you live in it fully.

What is unbearable is to have your body here at 10 A.M. and your mind at 6 P.M.

your body in Bombay and your mind in San Francisco.

Anthony de Mello, sj, The Heart of the Enlightened

From the heart

Many native cultures believe that the heart is the bridge between Father Sky and Mother Earth. For these traditions, the ‘four-chambered heart,’ the source for sustaining emotional and spiritual health, is described as being full, open, clear, and strong. These traditions feel that it is important to check the condition of the four-chambered heart daily, asking: ‘Am I full-hearted, open-hearted, clear-hearted, and strong-hearted?’

Angeles Arrien 1940 – 2014, Cultural anthropologist.

A new year

The last day of the year in the Christian liturgical calendar. Advent and the preparation for Christmas starts tomorrow:

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver, Starlings in Winter

It is in front of you

 

Frequently on Mondays we wish we were somewhere else. We have difficulty realizing that the only moment for us to be alive is this one. We wish our lives away,  and they pass us by without us having seen the opportunity that lay in front of us.

All of our listening brings us home.  This is what the teacher-soul keeps saying to the student-self in each of us: To accept our place in the miracle before us, to listen to our experience, to our bodies, to our pain, to our wonder, to our place in the mystery, until we land and sing – this is what all birdsong calls us to remember. Try as we will to fly away, all flight leads us to land where we began, different but the same.  Try as we will to get out of here, life simply and harshly returns us to the heart of here, which, if listened to, opens us to the heart of everything. What the teacher says to the student who complains is that there is no lesson plan for living but to live. And all our dreams and plans and strategies are necessary detours to the brilliant reality of the life we already inhabit.  

Mark Nepo