[Note: I’ve been trying to update something on my subscriber service, and apparently my last post got resent one or two extra times to some people. If that happened to you, I apologize for the annoyance. Hopefully, everything is fixed now.] Someone complained to me recently that she had gotten away from her spiritual practice […]
I began this year every morning saying a prayer I wrote asking for liberation, whatever it takes. When people asked me what I meant by liberation, I said I wanted to release anything and everything that blocked my awareness and experience of union with the divine. I recommitted myself to my practice of allowing, trusting,
Yesterday was a day of fortuitous synchronicity. A friend and I had planned to meet at a lovely spot in Portland known as The Grotto to walk the labyrinth there. The Grotto is an outdoor Catholic shrine, with beautiful gardens and stone labyrinth nestled under large pines. I find this place peaceful to my soul
Discernment has been the topic of several recent conversations. How do we recognize the voice of discernment when we are trying to determine a course of action? You’ve probably seen a cartoon character with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each one urging an opposite decision. Discernment can sometimes feel
The journey from teaching about love to allowing myself to be loved proved much longer than I realised. ~Henri Nouwen As a spiritual practice, “allowing” is often described as an acceptance of what is. We sometimes think of this acceptance of reality as not struggling against something that we don’t like. But we overlook the
I was practicing push hands recently with a taiji buddy. (Push hands is a partner practice, sort of like taiji sparring.) He shared something from his teacher who reminds him from time to time to “trust where you are.” That intrigued me and I asked what it meant. He explained that his teacher observed that
Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ~Isaiah 43:18 I love this verse because God seems so excited about doing these new things. It reminds me of a child delighted with herself for
As a person who often advocates “practice,” I’ve been exploring what it means to practice something. We might have lots of practices. I practice martial arts, for example. Some of us practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, loving-kindness, and more. When we have an intention to cultivate or develop a skill or a habit, we devote time
My grandson, who can sometimes be a glass half empty kind of kid, was telling me the other day that he had decided to look on the brighter side of life. “Yep,” he said, “if I’m feeling bad, I can just look out the window and think at least there’s no volcano.” There is that.
Courage to dare leads to death Courage to not dare leads to life Both daring and not daring are linked to courage in this couplet. So the distinction is not about having courage, but rather how that courage is directed. In a western culture that values daring and boldness, this sounds like a play-it-safe admonition.
What is the difference between an enlightened person and an unenlightened person? The unenlightened person sees a difference.I read this joke recently in Miracles Magazine. I wanted to find the source for it, so I Googled the question. And what do you know? I found LOTS of answers seriously offering a variety of litmus tests to
I have three treasuresWhich I hold closely and cherishFirst is compassionSecond is simplicityThird is humilityCompassion generates courageSimplicity allows generosityHumility creates enduring potential This chapter reminds me of Matthew 6:21. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Compassion, simplicity, humility, all bring us into harmony and alignment with our true nature, with
This beautiful chapter is about leadership, comparing a good leader to the sea, resting patiently in the lowest position, allowing all water to return according to its own path. The sea is king of the hundred valleysBecause it lies well below them This passage blends two thematic images in the Tao Te Ching – water
As already noted by many people, 20/20 represents perfect vision, making 2020 the year of perfect vision. I love that. This year is an invitation to look with our inner sight, to see things not as we wish them to be, or imagine them to be, but as they are. To see through the stories,
In a recent post, I described my grandson’s loving acceptance of George the lemur who lost his tail. This morning, George was found with his hand resting on Chao Chao in what appears to be a gesture of kindness. (Everyone denies staging this scenario, so think what you will about how this came about.) Chao
This uncharacteristically long chapter comprises several parts that may at one time have been separate. It reminds me of the book of Proverbs in the Bible, which contains many pearls of wisdom that can be considered as stand alone verses. Because of its length, I’m going to break discussion of this chapter into two posts.
Tao is the honored source of all creationThe awakened person treasures itThe unenlightened are protected by it This chapter is an ode to the natural beauty and humble majesty of Tao. Similar to the Bible’s observation that the sun shines and the rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, here we are told
In my No Way Café contemplation group, we were joking about my “addiction” to acquiring even more translations and interpretations of the Tao Te Ching. This could prove to be a costly and cumbersome habit since the Tao Te Ching has been translated more than any other book in history except the Bible. How many
This chapter address the theme of power in the context of the relationship between large and small countries. Like other chapters addressing nations and government, this chapter can also apply to individuals – how we govern ourselves and how we relate to others. A large country is like a river deltaThe lowest point where all
“Everything in moderation,” goes the adage. The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism is described as the “middle way.” A meditation instruction teaches “not too tight, not too loose.” The concept of moderation is the foundation of this chapter.Governing people in alignment with heavenIs accomplished only through moderationAs with other chapters on governing, I find this most