Desert Day 15: Stop Worrying …

So I tell you to stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single hour to your life by worrying? 
— Matthew 6:25-27

Jesus does not respond to our worry-filled way of living by saying that we should not be so busy with worldly affairs. He does not try to pull us away from the many events, activities, and people that make up our lives. He does not tell us that what we do is unimportant, valueless, or useless. Nor does he suggest that we should withdraw from our involvements and live quiet, restful lives removed from the struggles of the world. Continue reading “Desert Day 15: Stop Worrying …”

Desert Day 04: The Conscious Effort Real Love Requires …

Whether you think about the mind from the perspective of Western psychology or Eastern spirituality or common sense, it’s clear that the mind is wired to find order. Habits make us feel safe. Judgments of those who are different than us make us feel protected. The stories we tell ourselves, really, are part of the armor we build to keep this order intact. A traumatic thing, be it big or small, happens to us, and then might come with us for the rest of our lives. We see our story as something that keeps us safe. But it also limits us. And we have many, many stories. These stories impact the ways we understand and experience love. Continue reading “Desert Day 04: The Conscious Effort Real Love Requires …”

The Gift of Holy Surprise …

What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God. What in God might appear to us as “play” is perhaps what He Himself takes most seriously. At any rate the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance.
— Thomas Merton from New Seeds of Contemplation

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What If I Am Not Sadness?

What if I am not sadness?
What if I am not grief?
What if I am not my victim’s story
Nor am I my pain?

Continue reading “What If I Am Not Sadness?”

The Edge of Center …

All tempest has,
Like a navel,
A hole in it’s middle,
Through which
A gull can fly,
In silence.
– Fourteen-Century Japanese, Anonymous

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Questions That Have No Right to Go Away (New Year’s Meditation) …

What is giving me life?
What is saving my life?
What does it mean to be human?

— Barbara Brown Taylor (adapted from Super Soul Sunday Conversation with Oprah Winfrey, Season 5, Episode 522 | Aired on 11/09/14)

This Is Your Life

I was in Europe leading a retreat in a lush vineyard on an Italian hillside. Each morning the men and women attending the retreat gathered outside on the grass in a circle and repeated the simple words that a young man was teaching: Continue reading “Questions That Have No Right to Go Away (New Year’s Meditation) …”

A Good Day (Gratitude & Joy) …

There is a wave of gratefulness because people are becoming aware how important this is and how this can change our world. It can change our world in immensely important ways, because if you’re grateful, you’re not fearful, and if you’re not fearful, you’re not violent. If you’re grateful, you act out of a sense of enough and not of a sense of scarcity, and you are willing to share. If you are grateful, you are enjoying the differences between people, and you are respectful to everybody,and that changes this power pyramid under which we live. And it doesn’t make for equality, but it makes for equal respect, and that is the important thing. Continue reading “A Good Day (Gratitude & Joy) …”

Perhaps Everything That Frightens Us Is, In Its Deepest Essence, Something Helpless That Wants Our Love …

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.
― Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

Continue reading “Perhaps Everything That Frightens Us Is, In Its Deepest Essence, Something Helpless That Wants Our Love …”