the kid in us…& why leaping up comes from falling down…

what are little boys made of? snips & snails & puppy dog tails...

Setting out is always a leap of faith, a risk in the deepest sense of the term, & yet an adventure too. None of us go into our spiritual maturity completely of our own accord, or by a totally free choice. We are led by ‘mystery,’ rightly called grace. The familiar & the habitual are so falsely reassuring, & most of us make our homes there permanently. But the soul has many secrets. They are only revealed to those who want them, the ones who have heard some deep invitation to ‘something more,’  & set out to find it by grace & daring. One of the best kept secrets, yet hidden in plain sight, is that ‘the way up is the way down.’  The central message of how spiritual growth happens is that we grow much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right……Richard Rohr

the beauty & wonderment of children comes from this concept….they innately know & are ok with this….their egos have not ripened into perfectionistic walls yet..they are willing to jump right in…explore with abandon….fall down….& laugh at themselves…..our instincts draw us to children to learn from them….to help us return to our natural state of grace which is pure in its imperfections….

find a kid & play while….

we discover love when we let go….love as a discovery, a surprise, a something much bigger than ourselves, a place of resilience we didn’t know we cradled in a tiny pocket of our heart…the innocence of children….an instinctual poetic power….

To live from a deep place is to go back or down to that origin of your life that is not in the least explained by the autobiographical myth…..Thomas Moore

disappearing into the senses…feel the earth blooming ’round your heart…

the sensual world

A line can be drawn from simple things of small consequence & no power to an experience of transcendence. Gerald Manley Hopkins, Victorian poet & priest, knew how to release the divine potential that lay waiting, unsuspected, in everything around us. For Hopkins, God’s power is expressed in the infinite variety of his creation, in ‘weather cold & raw, chestnut leaves touched with frost & limp. Sun today.’ When I come to my senses through a practice of sustained attention to my experience, I find myself the subject of an almost unbearable delight. It is as if I were called to give some account of what I have seen today (the musky blue color of a lake, the way the little houses look like studs hammered in swirling patterns in the earth way up from a plane) because the world needs to be made new in perception. It is what I owe to the earth & air & sunlight that sustain me, a way of reversing entropy, in a world that is spending itself prodigiously in every instant. ‘It was,’ Hopkins says, ‘for this I came.’……Carl Lehmann-Haupt

when we kiss this sweet life of raw blooming so gently as to mimic a whisper…..we release an innate sensitivity to pure ‘suchness’…..

the sensual response to aliveness, to the evening sun,

to the fullness of stillness…

 After every tide of ecstasy, suffering & balancing, I peer, a strange & wet embryo, into the mirror of current reality. who am I in relation to others, to the universe? Each time I emerge, my vision moves to a slightly more prismatic view, to further comprehension, if only in the futility of human conjecture…..Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

the luminous human experience….humble cycles of light & dark….

on the threshold of light….looking for magic on the other side….

The blind rolls up. Light enters

& shows us where we are.

Windows allow for no fooling.

What would it mean to realize

that every one of us is a window

where life shines through?

Could we stand to know how

every moment reveals this?

Anyone paying attention could see if we were open

or shut, spattered or clear?

A blind could not hide us-

we would only be revealed as covered.

No one would be fooled.

Could we trust that it is safe to be

without subterfuge?

Then we would be clear enough

for light to come through us naturally.

…..Gunilla Norris

are we ever safe enough to practice transparency? can we find our shadow selves? can we notice how the light falls through our window? what becomes more clear?

the architecture of the universe…so big…so small….

At our birth we emerge from the root mystery of the cosmos, a deep & silent mystery into which we will one day be reabsorbed. Our own lives are a spiral pattern of creative unfolding into light. Fashioned out of the creative power of starlight & the fecund body of the Earth, we are the children of Earth & starry heaven caught up in the timeless rhythm of the celestial dance……David Fideler

artistic survival….the adventure of foolishness….

alive in flames of creative fire….

Art is not about thinking something up. It is about getting something down. We’re not doing; we’re getting. Instead of reaching for inventions, we are engaged in listening. We are more the conduit than the creator of what we express. We tune in & drop down the well. Once you accept this natural rhythm of creating, the voice of synchronicity shows up, supporting your experience…..Julia Cameron

showing up in a creative life can be the most painful process of resistance…..having absolutely nothing to do with the desire to create….it’s simply a matter of fear…perfectionism creeps in; judging rather than doing…

remember a little madness is good for the creative soul….

as well as wise grit….deconstructing a creative impulse simply means ‘follow your heart’….

we save ourselves through risk… 

The sources of imagination hover in the commonplace. Heroic expectations are blindfolds, obstructing the spontaneous response to what arrives independently of my intent. Art’s medicine involves the unexpected as a predictable expression of psyche’s movement. You’ve got to learn not-to-be, before you can come into being…..Shaun McNiff

an essential simplicity….pure vision…

searching for the minutiae of the infinite…

when nothing is missing, a pure invocation creeps up…..an unveiling of perception….like the.mist over ocean & sky that meshes & melts away….

Visual perception sees reality as if for the first time, without accepting or rejecting. There is a kind of standing-still quality where seeing things as they are becomes the real thing. Dharma art sees things as they are….Chogyam Trungpa

the contemplative act expresses a clarity….we have all had these moments….everything suddenly seems brighter, more alive, & this memory of exquisite beauty is embedded deeply….yet it’s not an idea of beauty….it’s undefined, stark & very real…..

emulate precise authenticity through direct experience of your world….

When steady mind, clear vision and soft heart come together in one single moment, ‘Good Eye’ manifests. It is vision that is inherently pure, unobstructed, unblocked, free of depression, free of aggression, free of interpretation. Free altogether. When we synchronize eye & mind, we abandon all concepts & predispositions & become completely present in the moment. The world becomes a magical display of vivid perception…..Julie DeBose

New Awards…..Gratitude & Connection…..

Sharing Awards & Inspiration…..

Thanks to Mira Jay & her blog, Divine Rhythm, for her fun nomination….

her Baskets of Love Award…..

she’s multi-talented as you will see…engaging & intriguing….

check out her lengthy awards page….

then spend a little time with her poetry….beauteous….

Passing on Baskets of Love to…..

Etheoric

The Liberated Way

Life Just Is

likethesunshone

Waiting for the Karma Truck

Thank you Leigh for nominating me for The Beautiful Blogger Award….

(with rules of gratitude, links & 6 new nominations)

Her lovely blog, Bluegrass Notes, invites you into her ‘real journey’

an inspirational blog to this aspiring yogi….

And she’s witty too!

Passing on the Beautiful Blogger Award to….

Resting In Awareness

Angela Hickman

Sticky Fingers

The Ordinary Truth

Drawn to Life

Four Winds Haiga

sunshine award

Lisa & her blog, A Charmed Yogi, have thrilled me

with another Sunshine Award…(please see rules & questions there)

Her blog inspires me to be a little more present,

& renews my love & faith in contemplative practices….

Check out her insightful blog…..

 Ben & his blog, The Sacred Art of Language,

has also nominated me for a Sunshine Award….

Love his unabashed excitement about life…..

Need something new? Read Ben’s poetry….

Passing on the The Sunshine Award to….

Known is a Drop, Unknown is the Ocean

The Awakened Dreamer

Sleep is for the Weak

On Second Thought

Granbee

Freestyle Awakening

Ina

Season’s Light

And last, but certainly not least, big gratitude to

Francina at Season’s Poetry

for including me in her lovely blogroll

of assorted nominations….great idea!

Please visit her blog for poetry & photography…..

both high quality & eloquent in equal measure….

the gifts we find in each other & the lonesome depths….

gifts

To me it seems that at those moments, which are characterized by the sudden lifting of the burden of anxiety & fear which presses upon our daily lives so steadily that we are unaware of it, what happens is something negative: that is to say, not ‘inspiration’ as we commonly think of it, but the breaking down of strong habitual barriers—which tend to reform very quickly. Some obstruction is momentarily whisked away. The accompanying feeling is less like what we know as positive pleasure, than like a sudden relief from an intolerable burden.
T.S. Eliot

we don’t live in a society that fosters self-awareness….we have to forge our own way….much of the time with a deep lack of community….we aren’t given the tools to transform our experience from surface reactions to more profound spiritual deepening….we find them together…..another reason to foster great compassion…

ode to the lonesome moments….

‘What wisdom can you find that is greater than Kindness?’ …Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile

keep looking for the angels…..keep tending the angels…keep nurturing your wings….

In the end, it is not enough to think what we know. We must live it. For only by living it can Love show itself as the greatest principle……Wu Feng

your neighbor, your shaman, your echoed heart…

open the sky

“Disturb us, O Lord when we are too well-pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little, because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life when, having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity & in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of Heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas where storms show Thy mastery, where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes & invited the brave to follow. Amen.”
….
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu adapted from an original prayer by Sir Francis Drake

a fall from grace can be an ascension of dusty, rusty wings….spiritual insight moves from the not-so-gentle nudge of reflection….to the ordinary & gifted sharp edge of spirit….

a glimpse of the divine….

may we remember & honor each other’s transcendent pauses…..there is real & unimaginable depth in a placid life….

To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp & whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly & as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious……Albert Einstein

coming up for air after drowning

unfettered descent & reemergence

The founders of all religions have gone on quests. The Buddha went into solitude & then sat beneath the bodhi tree, where he recieved an illumination that has enlightened all of Asia for 2500 years. After baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus went into the desert for 40 days; & it was out of that desert that he came with his message. Moses went to the top of a mountain & came down with the tables of the law. Almost all the old Greek cities were founded by heroes who went off on quests & had surprising adventures, out of which each of them founded a city. You might also say the founder of a life- your life or mine, if we live our own lives, instead of imitating everybody else’s life- comes from a quest as well……Joseph Campbell

unflinching in our confusing & sputtering lives, we can use this ‘holding on’ to be deeply touched by life….this is what I call radical okness….

we can redefine mercy….

we will recall our finer moments as ones that rocked us out of wasting our life…riveted our capacity to feel deeply…..to care about each other….to care about drowning on dry land….

When we disintegrate, going down into life & into our potential for vitality, we may have to give up the fantasy of ourselves as sentimentally whole. We may have to risk experience instead of keeping it at bay; for it is the impact of life & soul that makes us into persons of depth & character. I suspect that the common glorification of wholeness & unity is a defense against the alchemical dismembering of our emotions & thoughts into a mature, tempered soul. We are always becoming whole, & that means that we are never whole but always disintegrating as we go……Thomas Moore

the peephole reveals the other side….just a little distorted….

the kissing fields

The Soul should always stand ajar

That if the heaven inquire

He will not be obliged to wait

Or shy of troubling Her

Depart, before the Host have slid

The Bolt unto the Door-

To search for the accomplished Guest,

Her Visitor, no more-

….Emily Dickinson

these doors we peer in to seek our own cosmos, complete with its sensitive vernacular…..rich & studded with labels, eternities, & infinite imagination….tentatively reveling in the heart….& at times the abandon we seek by slipping through an unguarded door doesn’t reveal the spontaneity we had dreamed to find on the other side….we still wear the same clothes, fit in the same molds, & drink our coffee at dawn….

was it the door of iniquity? or simply the desire to shed skin?

the breathless, childlike ways endure….

So, dear Sir, I can’t give you any advice but this: to go into yourself & see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. For the creator must be a world for himself & must find everything in himself & in Nature, to whom his whole life is devoted…..Rilke