excerpt du jour ~nepo – how do we respond…

How do we respond to the tide of experience that sweeps into our ordinary lives? Do we respond to the unknown by being absent or being present? Do we hoard or give? Do we circumvent the truth or move through the truth? Do we withdraw and hide or stand in the open and seek connection? Do we view difficulty and suffering as isolating obstacles that exploit our weakness and stall our progress in life? Or do we view these incidents as transforming waves of experience that are part of an ongoing emergence of who we are? Do we believe that life is a pulling-apart we must survive or a constant rearrangement and putting together that we must surrender to? Do we run toward or from the bareness of being?

~Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred

quote du jour ~vonnegut – be soft…

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

~Kurt Vonnegut

quote du jour ~lindbergh

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.

~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

quote du jour ~pema chodron

Learning how to be kind to ourselves is important. When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe. When we discover the buddha that we are, we realize that everything and everyone is Buddha. We discover that everything is awake, and everyone is awake. Everything and everyone is precious and whole and good. When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe.

~Pema Chodron

kikakou and basho ~mark nepo

We shouldn’t abuse God’s creatures.
You must reverse the haiku, not:
a dragonfly;
remove its wings—
pepper tree.
but:
a pepper tree;
add wings to it—
dragonfly.

~The Japanese master
Basho in response to
Kikakou’s poem

The destruction or healing of the world hinges on which way this thought unfolds. Whether we pull things apart or put things together makes all the difference. Indeed, Basho’s small instruction reveals to us how human history has unfolded, with one pilgrim taking things apart and another putting them back together, and on and on. Continue reading

quote du jour ~pema chodron

Every day gives us the opportunity to open up or shut down…The most precious opportunity presents itself when you think you can’t handle whatever is happening.

~Pema Chodron

love like water ~mark nepo

Only love, with no thought of return,
can soften the point of suffering.

Water in its clear softness fills whatever hole it finds. It is not skeptical or distrusting. It does not say this gully is too deep or that field is too open. Like water, the miracle of love is that it covers whatever it touches, making the touched thing grow while leaving no trace of its touch. True, the faces of shores and the arms of cliffs are worn to bone. But this is beyond the water’s doing. This is the progress of life, of which water is but an element.

Most things break instead of transform because they resist. The quiet miracle of love is that without our interference, it, like water, accepts whatever is tossed or dropped or placed into it, embracing it completely.

Of course, we are human and are easily hurt Continue reading

quote du jour ~jack kornfield

True spirituality is not a removal or escape from life. It is an opening, a seeing of the world with a deeper vision that is less self-centered, a vision that sees through dualistic views to the underlying interconnectedness of all life.

~Jack Kornfield, “The Path of Service” –  from Ordinary Magic: Everyday Life as Spiritual Path

bozos on the bus (excerpt from broken open) ~elizabeth lesser

We’re all bozos on the bus,
so we might as well sit back
and enjoy the ride.

~Wavy Gravy

One of my heroes is the clown-activist, Wavy Gravy. He is best known for a role that he played in 1969, when he was the master of ceremonies at the Woodstock festival. Since then, he’s been a social activist, a major “fun-d” raiser for good causes, a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor, an unofficial hospital chaplain, and the founder of a children’s camp for inner city kids. Every four years he campaigns as a candidate for president of the United States, under the pseudonym of Nobody, making speeches all over the country, with slogans like “Nobody for President,” “Nobody’s Perfect,” and “Nobody Should Have That Much Power.” He’s a seriously funny person, and a person who is serious about helping others. “Like the best of clowns,” wrote a reporter in The Village Voice, “Wavy Gravy makes as a big fool of himself as is necessary to make a wiser man of you. He is one of the better people on earth.”

Wavy (I’m on a first-name basis with him from clown workshops he’s offered at Omega) is a master of one-liners, like the famous one he delivered on the Woodstock stage: Continue reading