If your purpose is only about you, it has no branches. If it is only about the rest of the world, it has no roots. That is why learning through the wounds in our history, the moments when our essential needs were not met in some very basic ways, are moments that stand still in our memory and moments that hold possibility for you to unfurl your gifts. Wouldn’t it be a good joke if the worst that has happened to you holds the possibility of bringing the best in you to the community? We become accustomed to identifying ourselves as nouns – as small, enclosed, exclusive, and local units – artist, friend, mother, victim. We spend so much time close to the canvas, carefully painting tiny dots in a Pointillist painting, that we have forgotten how to step back to get a sense of the whole. Yet is is only from this distance that we can see the overall patterns we have been creating, the verbs we have been living – creating, mothering, befriending – that are the horizons we need to move toward. May all of your wounds and broken dreams be salved.
— Dawna Markova from Wide Open: On Living with Purpose and Passion
The ability to stand back and calmly observe our inner dramas, without rushing to judgment, is foundational for spiritual seeing. It is the primary form of “dying to the self” that Jesus lived personally and the Buddha taught experientially. The growing consensus is that, whatever you call it, such calm, egoless seeing is invariably characteristic of people at the highest levels of doing and loving in all cultures and religions. They are the ones we call sages or wise women or holy men.
— Richard Rohr from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
— Richard Rohr from Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer