On the scale of our human history, rituals like putting up Christmas trees, lighting menorahs, reading Hafiz, and baking rice dumplings are new. We, humans, have celebrated the earthly repercussions of our orbit longer than we’ve celebrated virtually anything. Before Christmas and Hanukkah, before monotheism or any other kind of theism, our ancestors were staring up at the stars, trying to gather clues about the changing of the seasons, the passing of time, and what the darkness might bring. The idea of marking the longest, coldest night with the knowledge that the warmth and light is not too far off, that is ancient. And no matter where we’re from, what religion we are, or to what ethnic group we belong, we can be sure that our ancestors, all of our ancestors, contemplated Earth’s place in the universe with awe. For them, it was sacred. And it still can be for us. Even more so because science has brought us a deeper understanding of the mystery and beauty of nature than our ancestors could have ever dreamed. Continue reading “Advent Day 21: Sanctuaries That Emerge From The Magnificent Stream (Winter Solstice) …”
Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
— Augustine of Hippo from Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy
May you know the presence
of those who have passed
through the desert before you.
May they point the way
and sustain you
with their stories.
In the wilderness,
may there be wellsprings.
May there be wings.
— Jan L. Richardson from In the Sanctuary of Women
Chutzpah and Humility
In Healing the Heart of Democracy I talk about five habits of the heart. But when I give talks about it, I say, “If five is too many for you to hold onto, you really only need two. You need chutzpah and humility.”
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 “Rush and Pressure of Modern Life …”
Indeed our hearts are golden treasures, but a true tragedy would be to conceal your inner gold because you are afraid of someone stealing it or it falling and breaking. There is no love in fear. The great wisdom of the ages always tells us the more we Love the more of it you receive. Love is not a giving or a taking, it is a state of being – a one way street of allowing, accepting and holding a space for all things to be exactly as they are. Fear not that your heart will be broken or stolen. Love becomes love. Continue reading “Love Is A State Of Being …”