Contemplatives and ascetics of every age and every religion have always sought God in the silence and solitude of deserts, forests and mountains. Jesus himself lived for forty days in complete solitude, spending long hours in intimate converse with the Father in the silence of the night.
Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It’s becoming critical. We don’t need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what’s already here. It’s becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times. The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others. Continue reading
Only love can know love, only mercy can know mercy, only the endless mystery I am to myself is ready for God’s Infinite Mystery. When I can stand in mystery (not knowing and not needing to know and being dazzled by such freedom), when I don’t need to split, to hate, to dismiss, to compartmentalize what I cannot explain or understand, when I can radically accept that “I am what I am what I am,” then I am beginning to stand in divine freedom (Galatians 5:1). We do not know Continue reading
You arrived as a ripple of change emanating
from an original, unstoppable,
memory, a then made now,
entirely yourself, found now in the world,
now as creator of that world. Continue reading
During my days of cancer, I felt such fear from all directions, including the well-intended but negative scenarios of all the doctors preparing for what to do when this would fall off or that would stop working. The only place I could retreat to was the moment at hand. No matter how painful, that moment, paradoxically, had the calm certainty of already existing. No one could puncture it or take it away. It simply glowed. And so, without any wisdom but out of desperation, I took refuge in each glowing moment, one leading to the next. To my humble surprise, each moment was a threshold to the sanctity that waits inside any circumstance. Continue reading
As we walk into words that have waited for us to enter them, so
the meadow, muddy with dreams, is gathering itself together
and trying, with difficulty, to remember how to make wildflowers.
Imperceptibly heaving with the old impatience, it knows
for certain that two horses walk upon it, weary of hay. Continue reading
The little hawk leaned sideways and, tilted, rode the wind. Its eye at this distance looked like green glass; its feet were the color of butter. Speed obvious-ly, was joy. But then, so was the sudden, slow circle it carved into the slightly silvery air, and the squaring of its shoulders, and the pulling into itself the long, sharp-edge wings, and the fall into the grass where it tussled a moment, like a bundle of brown leaves, and then, again, lifted itself into the air, that butter-color clenched in order to hold a small a small, still body, and it flew off as my mind sang out oh all that loose, blue rink of sky, where does it go to, and why?
— Mary Oliver (“The Real Prayers Are Not the Words, But the Attention that Comes First”) from New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2 Continue reading
Air travel is like
ancient pilgrims walking on their
knees, flight delays and narrow seats
offer their own kind of penance. Continue reading