Reflections on the Equinox

Reflections on the Equinox

Twice a year, the sun is positioned directly above the equator, and the world celebrates the equinox, heralding the beginning of Vernal Spring or Autumnal Fall, depending on where one lives. The word equinox is derived from the latin words, aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, meaning “night,” signifying one of two occasions in which the duration of night and day is approximately equal, the balance of darkness and light.

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Keeping Quiet

Keeping Quiet

KEEPING QUIET 

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness...

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Enlarge Your Sense of Things

Enlarge Your Sense of Things

A sweet teaching story appeared in a recent online thread. I don't know the author, so if you do, please share. Meanwhile, enjoy:

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked...

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I Wish You Enough

I Wish You Enough

Some time ago, I wrote about Conspicuous Contentment, suggesting that contentment lies not in having, doing, and being more, but rather in simultaneously wanting less while appreciating the abundance that is already ours.  A few days ago, I stumbled across this beautiful reminder on a social media site, a short essay attributed to an unknown author, entitled I Wish You Enough. After a little research, I found the original essay by Bob Perks.

I WISH YOU ENOUGH

Recently, I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the father said:

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Why Retreats Inspire Advances

Why Retreats Inspire Advances

In a world that typically encourages us to advance—subscribing to outdated conventional notions of progress involving some perpetual motion forward, onward, and upward to some where—the idea of a “retreat” can seem somehow regressive and unappealing, even conjuring images of defeat, escape, and failure. These associations, though limiting, are not unfounded. Indeed, the phrase “beat a retreat” arose during times of early warfare in which a drummed communication, a particular beat, customarily signaled troops on the battlefield to disengage from combat.

However, the essence of retreats—temporarily withdrawing from the fray—extends well beyond military conventions and connotations....

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Chronic Ecstasy: Are You Addicted to Meditation?

Chronic Ecstasy: Are You Addicted to Meditation?

Recently, a friend published this quote on FB: "Chronic ecstasy is a learnable skill."

Chronic.  Ecstasy.  A strange juxtaposition. Chronic, often associated with a less healthy form of constancy—as in chronic pain. And ecstasy, often associated with a less healthy form of drug-induced high—as in rave culture drug of choice. 

My initial response was one of both affirmation and caution. Yes, chronic ecstasy is indeed a learnable, even valuable, skill, and yet, chronic ecstasy without discerning engagement is simply self-indulgent escapism...

 

  

 

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Growing Seeds of Compassion

Growing Seeds of Compassion

Recently, I was fortunate to be one of the many thousands of people gathered together in Seattle for Seeds of Compassion with His Holiness the Dalai LamaArchbishop Desmond Tutu, and other noted speakers. For five remarkable days, faces beamed, hearts bloomed, and commitments sprouted in response to a simple, yet profound theme of growing compassion in and for the world...

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If You Find Yourself in a Big, Stinking Mess

If You Find Yourself in a Big, Stinking Mess

At a recent gathering Robert Kegan shared a Russian folktale worth repeating:

On a bitter cold winter day, on his way to chop wood, a woodsman came across a little bird almost frozen in the snow.  Despite his hurry to accomplish the task at hand, he just couldn't bring himself to leave the little bird to freeze to death, so he picked up the little bird and held it close to his chest to warm it.  As he stood there warming the little bird, he realized that his impulse to rescue the little bird now posed quite a dilemma: how was he going to get his wood chopped while holding a small bird in his hands? 

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The Art of Self-Expression: 5 Good Reasons to Doodle Away Your Day

The Art of Self-Expression: 5 Good Reasons to Doodle Away Your Day

Throughout history, we humans have used art to express ourselves.  We create art not only to represent and beautify our world, but also as a means of understanding and sharing who we are in our world. Through creative self-expression, we grow in self-awareness, generate insights, resolve problems, and enhance our overall well-being.

However, if you're like many adults, somewhere along the way you may have decided, perhaps without even realizing it, that art-making is not for grown-ups, or at least not for grown-ups like you. As much as you may like art on the walls and (especially if you share your home with children) the refrigerator, it seems the art-making is best left to artists and children. After all, when it comes to art, isn't patronage the appropriate role for productive members of society? 

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Presence: It's about Time

Presence: It's about Time

Many of us regularly travel by air through different time zones, mindfully orienting ourselves to the time of our departures and arrivals at our various destinations, sometimes feeling like it takes awhile to truly arrive, body, mind, and spirit. When we fly, we are particularly attentive to the condition and experience of traveling through time. We navigate clock time—Pacific time, Mountain time, Central time, Eastern time, Atlantic time. We set our watches and schedules, adapting our sleep, meals, and meetings, so we can be on time wherever we are in time. Some of us even have watches that display multiple time zones, so we can more easily attend to the different time zones that constitute our worlds.

Yet, how many of us recognize that we are always traveling through time, experiencing different time zones from moment to moment? At any given moment, we are experiencing the multi-faceted nature of time—simultaneously traveling through past, present, and future, then, now, later, before, after, navigating digital time, analog time, calendar time, biorhythmic time, seasonal time, daytime, nighttime, dream time...

 

 

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The Bright Door

The Bright Door

Another marvelous post entitled "The Source of Rainbows" by Bob Brady at PureLand Mountain...

"It comes to me in the knife-edge cold of the winter night, out here on the deck for one last look at the stars before sleep, that what we all need, what we all seek in the streets and rooms, meadows and museums of our ways, is a place to wonder. Not to be taught, but to wonder...

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Yoga: The Original Integral Practice

Yoga: The Original Integral Practice

In all of the excitement about integral practice (not just the one in a kit, but the whole kit and caboodle), it seems to me that yoga—fully practiced beyond the reductionist emphasis on Hatha-yogic postures—serves this rather well. As a yoga practitioner for the last twenty years, I have found that yoga fulfills what most people seem to be seeking in this quest for integral practice—a comprehensive method for engaging Spirit in our lives.

Maybe I’m an integral Luddite, but I love being part of such a rich, global tradition exemplifying...

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Reflections on Opening Space

Reflections on Opening Space

I recently had the privilege of attending an Open Space retreat on Bowen Island hosted by friends, Michael Herman and Chris Corrigan, where I had some time to reflect on opening space. 

My approach to open space—and life in general (sometimes this distinction seems irrelevant)—is about receiving as much as inviting—receiving what is offered; what wants to be received. Whenever I open space, I invite people to consider that each person in the space is a gift just waiting to be received. All we have to do is open our hearts and minds to receiving each other. If we do nothing else, that will have been profound—indeed, sometimes, that’s the most profound thing that we can do, a prerequisite for everything else...

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Heart of Becoming

We have been ending since the beginning,
Beginning for fear of ending,
And now, we return once more to finish what we started...

I am a child of goodbye
Always just arriving at the point of my departure,
Destined to leave before reaching my destination.
There is a comfort in rooting and uprooting that is unsettling.
I know how to lift off and touch down--to move through air,
To be in contact without connecting and to connect in a heartbeat
Without anchoring my future in futile desire.

Yet, deep beneath the surface, there is a terror of losing the possibility of this moment--
And the moment that transcends time is lost in my vain attempt to hold on--
To contain that which cannot possibly be contained in the smallness of my being.

I have said a hundred goodbyes without knowing,
Bound by fear to relinquish true presence.
We come, we go, and we are left bereft,
Yearning for hellos that rarely heed our desires,
But deep beneath the waves of coming and going,
Rests a vast stillness
Where surrender grants freedom to those who dare to die.

At the heart of becoming is a fear of absence that dissolves upon arrival.
We cannot hold the love that holds us.
In love, we are eternal.

Karen Sella

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