Sunday Quote: Allow


Allow your life to unfold naturally.

Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe and a time for being in danger.

Lao Tzu

A new skin

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

In our darkest night

No seed ever sees the flower.

Zen saying

 November is the beginning of Winter in the Celtic Calendar and so today signals the beginning of the “darker half” of the year. The balance between light and darkness continues to shift. In the northern hemisphere the earth becomes colder and nature more dormant. Similar processes can occur in our lives. For example, we can choose to go with the rhythm of nature and become more reflective in this period, slowing down and simplifying things. Or our lives can have parts that seem dormant and not going anywhere. Or maybe difficulties are occurring which can seem dark and we see no escape.  However, darkness does not mean that nothing is happening.  I really like this saying from the Zen tradition – things that are now hidden or buried will eventually be seen or bear fruit.  That what is now just germinating will be full of life in time. As humans we like to see immediate results. However, for now, all we can do is wait and trust. Peace comes from knowing the right way to let go. 

Seeds planted

This season calls us to the harvest. Seeds planted long ago create a bounty and fullness in our lives. Autumn invites me to remember the places in my life where I had a dream that once felt tiny and has now grown and ripened into fullness. I savor these places where my life feels abundant. I relish the experience of being nourished by dreams into my own growing wholeness.

The poet Rilke writes of autumn: “Command the last fruits to be full; / give them just two more southern days, / urge them on to completion and chase / the last sweetness into the heavy wine.” We move toward our own ripening and in that journey we let go of what no longer serves us. 

We live in times when it often feels like everything is coming undone. This season reminds us that the journey of relinquishing all we hold dear is also the journey of harvesting. Somehow these two come together year after year. We are invited to rest into its mystery.

What are you releasing that no longer energizes you?

What dreams do you want to harvest this season?

Christing Valter Paintner, Autumn Equinox: Honoring Harvest and Release

Not holding on

Things are continually changing and change in ways that we do not expect. The human tendency is to fix ourselves and each moment into something expected and define it by how it has to be, rather than how it is evolving. The great adventure is to live each moment fully, as a gift which has arrived without us expecting it.

A person who has clarified their real state sees only

each thing,

each thing,

each thing,

and lets go of understanding an underlying nature for each thing.

Dogen, Uji