as things are, so may they be

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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,

infusing us

with the radiant risk and splendor of being.

It is breathtaking.

….Gunilla Norris

the tender truth of where we are….

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

6 thoughts on “as things are, so may they be

  1. People are caught by surprise when it is time to die. They have allowed themselves to live so little……Stephen Levine -This is such a telling statement, a rare truth among the variety of non-truths we live in. I recently had a very candid talk with an 85 year old about, life, death, and spirituality, and while the faith was there, the idea of death, and life beyond was so clouded it made me sad to think so many are unprepared by their religions for the next world … And so few even care! It is more about the bank account, and health care costs than it is about the wealth of spirit and the care of the soul. My assurance to her that her loved ones would greet her brought a small comfort, but there remained a great mystery in her eyes … Truely, life will ever lead us to that road we will walk with our eyes closed …

    • I so see what you see……I am a Hospice volunteer, and I am stunned as to the scant ‘care of the soul’ at the end of life…..so much fear, and a rampant inability for self-forgiveness…..may we take refuge in the mystery…..slowing down to find our way in the dark…..knowing it is enough….a beautiful day full day of living to you g.f.s…..

  2. “If you wish to know the truth, only cease to cherish opinions.” Wow. That’s the hard one for me, a dying to self, to the only riches I have that I value. But I do know that “bliss is about owning our smallness, holding it tenderly.” Again and again, your posts speak to my condition. Bless you.

    • I am honored to witness your courage as you ‘walk in the dark’…….we all struggle with understanding how to the hold the space of our lives…..how do we have commitment to our deepest values and yet, have enough room to engage with deep questions? Indeed, you already know to ‘hold tenderly’…..blessings to you as well Eileen….

  3. What a beautiful reminder. Let us realize that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Faith requires that we open wide to the unknowing, that we whisper long into the dark night without a thought for what echo will come. Lovely, indeed. ~ Love, Bobbie

    • a beautiful and insightful way to honor faith…..feeling the breath, waiting, allowing the night to hold us…..like a love letter…….warm moon-filled nights to you Bobbie….

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