The real life within

You know that the seed is inside the chestnut tree and inside the seed there are blossoms of the tree and the chestnuts and the shade. So inside the human body there is the seed, and inside the seed there is the human body again

Thinkers, listen…. tell me what you know of that which is not inside the soul: Take a jug of water and set it down on the water – now it has water inside and water outside. We shouldn’t give it a name, in case silly people start talking again about the body and the soul.

If you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth: Listen to the secret sound, the real sound which is inside you.   The One nobody talks of  speaks the secret sound to himself, and he is the One who has made it all.


Darker Days

Every year we have been witness to it: how the world descends into a rich mash, in order that it may resume. And therefore who would cry out

to the petals on the ground to stay, knowing, as we must, how the vivacity of what was,  is married

to the vitality of what will be? I don’t say it’s easy, but what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world be true? So let us go on

though the sun be swinging east, and the ponds be cold and black, and the sweets of the year be doomed.

Mary Oliver, Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Always being born, always dying

To regress in a certain way is to return to origins, to step back from the battle line of existence, to remember the gods and spirits and elements of nature, including your own pristine nature, the person you were at the beginning. You return to the womb of imagination so that your pregnancy can recycle. You are always being born, always dying to the day to find the restorative waters of night. Darkness is natural, one of the life processes. There may be some promise, the mere suggestion that life is going forward, even though you have no sense of where you are headed. It’s a time of waiting and trusting. My attitude as a therapist in these situations is not to be anxious for a conclusion or even understanding.

You have to sit with these things and in due time let them be revealed for what they are.

Thomas Moore, The Dark Night of the Soul

What are you harvesting?

In the old Celtic calendar today is the last day of the year, and the New Year begins tomorrow: Letting be and letting go are two processes that challenge us every day to accept things as they are, especially during times of change. Once we are clear about what is important in what we long for, we can recognize the issues and obstacles that are in the way. It is in this recognition that we become committed to sacrificing or releasing the obstructions that impede the actualization of our longing. These conscious sacrifices simultaneously purify our longings and provide a means for them to manifest. These lessons of living and being human – of harvest, of letting be and letting go – surface in the Fall as we prepare for winter and the close of the year. What did not come to fruition or what did not hold our interest may reveal where we have tricked ourselves and it shows us that it did not truly matter.We learn that what has heart and meaning for us comes into being,  and that,  in contrast, any ambivalence or doubt we may feel often produces inconsistent results. – or none at all . Consider now what you are harvesting in this light. At this time of the year, what are you letting go of; what are you allowing to let be; what are you harvesting? How has October revealed the treats or fruits of your labors this year? What have been the tricks or surprises of this year?

Angeles Arrien, Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life

Drop away

There is a famous phrase in Japanese Buddhism that tries to explain this. “Learn the backward step that turns your light inward to illuminate your self,” it suggests. Then “body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will be manifest.” This backward step is another way of describing Right Action.

You settle into yourself rather than trying to make the troubling thing go away. If anything drops away, it does so by itself. You cannot make it happen directly.

Mark Epstein, Advice not Given: A Guide to Getting Over Yourself