Unobtrusively, softly, gently,
air enters the body.
For a moment we are expanded,
somehow made more.
Then the air leaves us.
The sound of its leaving
is like the swish of a skirt,
or the distant breaking of a wave.
There is no one who can feel this for us.
Only we can feel the rich gift of it.
No one can live this moment,
or any moment, for us.
It is ours alone.
Yet we are not alone.
Every moment Life is there,
with the radiant risk and splendor of being.
It is breathtaking.
When people speak of nourishing the soul, they mean opening the heart to the subtle whisper in the mind. The soul, the life spark, is your essential nature. When the soul leaves, the body experiences death. We’ve got it backward. We believe we need the body to live. The truth is, the body needs us. The soul is the spark from the great fire. There is nothing in Jesus or Buddha that isn’t in us. When we experience an insight, we feel a sense of calm and of being at home. Something is triggered in the body that is responsible for the physical experience that complements the insight. You could say these happenings give natural reinforcement to the voice of the soul. There is nothing to do but be. To nourish the soul is to rest in being. Our greatest unhappiness comes from our longing. Our greatest peace comes from our being. But we stay rooted in the easy and convenient. We eliminate as much pain as we can from our lives and end up painted into a corner we call safety. Safety keeps you numb and dead. People are caught by surprise when it is time to die. They have allowed themselves to live so little……Stephen Levine
connecting with that spiritual richness is one breath, in the understanding of ordinary perfection…..allowing spaciousness forgives the pettiness of hurt we dole out to ourselves…spiritual tasks are about ‘seeing’ beauty and ‘finding’ joy…..bliss carried through life is really about owning our smallness, holding it tenderly….
My teacher Ajahn Chah would often respond to people’s questions, plans, and ideas with a smile and say, ‘Mai neh.’ The phrase means, ‘It is uncertain, isn’t it?’ He understood the wisdom of uncertainty, the truth of change, and was comfortable in their midst. As with the Cloud of Unknowing or the ‘unlearning’ of the Tao, wisdom grows by opening to the truth of not knowing. The Third Zen Patriarch puts it this way, ‘If you wish to know the truth, only cease to cherish opinions.’ For a long time I didn’t understand this. I wanted people to understand their patterns of grasping, to rid themselves of greed, anger, hatred and confusion, and I thought such insight would bring about transformation. As I matured, I began to see that it is much simpler than this. At the root of suffering is a small heart, frightened to be here, afraid to trust the river of change, to let go in this changing world. With wisdom we allow this not knowing to become a form of trust. St. John of the Cross described it this way, ‘If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.’…..Jack Kornfield