Advent Meditation: What Gives You Life …

There is a force within that gives you life. Seek that.
— Rumi from A Garden Beyond Paradise

If you took a blue spruce tree and planted it in the desert, it would obviously perish. How do we forget that we too are living systems, and each of us have unique environments, needs, and conditions within which we flourish or wither?
— Dawna Markova from I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

The Shimmering Hours

… this journey is not
about miles.
It is not about how far
you can walk
or how fast. Continue reading “Advent Meditation: What Gives You Life …”

Advent Meditation: The Preciousness of Every Moment …

There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life. Continue reading “Advent Meditation: The Preciousness of Every Moment …”

Advent Meditation: Magnificent Refuge …

Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
― Edward Hays from A Pilgrim’s Almanac

God Is Everywhere

There is a time for stillness, for waiting for Christ as he makes his dancing way toward us. And there is a time to be in motion, to set out on a path, knowing that although God is everywhere, and always with us, we sometimes need a journey in order to meet God—and ourselves—anew. Continue reading “Advent Meditation: Magnificent Refuge …”

Life’s Beautiful Uncertainty …

Maybe happiness is not about us, as individuals.
Maybe it is not something that arrives into us.
Maybe happiness is felt heading out, not in.
Maybe happiness is not about what we deserve because we’re worth it.
Maybe happiness is not about what we can get.
Maybe happiness is about what we already have.
Maybe happiness is about what we can give.
Maybe happiness is not a butterfly we can catch with a net.
Maybe there is no certain way to be happy.
Maybe there are only maybes.
If (as Emily Dickinson said) ‘Forever — is composed of Nows — ‘, maybe the nows are made of maybes.
Maybe the point of life is to give up certainty and to embrace life’s beautiful uncertainty.
— Matt Haig from Notes On A Nervous Planet

Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow.
— Steve Pavlina from The Courage to Live Consciously

Continue reading “Life’s Beautiful Uncertainty …”

Desert Day 35: Humility And Contemplation …

Abba Xanthias said, “A dog is better than I am because a dog also has love but, unlike I myself, the dog does not pass judgment.”

Abba Sarmatas said: “I prefer a person who has sinned if he knows that he sinned and has repented, over a person who has not sinned and considers himself to be righteous.”

Humility and contemplation are the invisible twins of the spiritual life. One without the other is impossible. In the first place, there is no such thing as a contemplative life without the humility that takes us beyond the myth of our own grandeur to the cosmic grandeur of God.  In the second, once we really know the grandeur of God we get the rest of life – ourselves included – in perspective.  Reaching the moon told us how really insignificant we were in the universe.  We begin to rethink all our dearly held notions of human consequence.  Humility leads directly to contemplation. Continue reading “Desert Day 35: Humility And Contemplation …”

Desert Day 29: One Love And One Truth …

Finally, Jesus says we have to love and recognize the divine image even in our enemies. He teaches what many thought a leader could never demand of his followers: love of the enemy. Logically that makes no sense. But soulfully it makes absolute sense, because in terms of the soul, it really is all or nothing. Either we see the divine image in all created things, or we don’t see it at all. We see it once, and the circle keeps moving outward, widening its embrace. Continue reading “Desert Day 29: One Love And One Truth …”

Desert Day 27: A Deeper Awareness …

In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again —

That feeling
That you, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
Keeping watch,

That feeling
That as soon as I began to stir

You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy lamp
Inside my heart.
— Hafiz from I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

Continue reading “Desert Day 27: A Deeper Awareness …”