swooping back into the fire

1-Pics for Blog Edits54

Personally, I believe that my soul is a stick-in-the-mud, a wallflower that never ventures afield. Still, awakening seems to me to be an astonishing acrobatic feat. One moment I’m rocketing over the face of the moon, accepting an Academy Award from Sophia Loren, or slaying dragons in the fields of Middle Earth, and the next moment I find myself at home in western Massachusetts, sandwiched between my wife and the wall on a dark December morning. Or, conversely, I’ll be enjoying eight hours of dreamless oblivion, only to awaken to the hunger cries of the baby or the sound of a plow rumbling down the street, warning me it’s time to pull on my long johns, grab a cup of coffee, and scoot outside to shovel the walk. Whatever the sequence, waking up is a dramatic voyage from one world to another; it is truly a second birth. Lately, I’ve been puzzling over why we find this birth so difficult. The best advice I’ve gotten yet on how to wake up comes from a pair of gerbils that live in our basement. Gerbils, it seems, know how to bridge the gap between sleep and wakefulness. Their method is simplicity itself: they meditate before they move; they scrutinize before they scamper. This, I believe, is what human beings need to do as well. We need to come into our estate slowly each morning. We need to twitch our whiskers, poke our head out of our nest, pad around a little, and gradually grow reacquainted with ourselves and the world. We can wake up physically yet remain spiritually asleep. To awake in body and soul, to steer a course through the day’s reefs and shoals, we need the time to remember who we are, where we are, and what we seek. We need, in short, a chance for orientation…..Philip Zaleski

being glad for lifelong conversation….

Watching an old Trappist drink tea-

There is no drinker.

That shallow cup was emptied

years ago.

Nothing to hold on to now

but the rough hand-thrown mug

cradled precariously as prayer

between the crumbling clay of his palms,

the vessel that begins empty and ends empty

no matter how fast or slow he sips.

Bitterness, weakness,

sweetness when it happens

is just the vow he’s steeped in,

his parting lips kissed

by the passing steam

of whatever life pours out,

the fragile handle he knows

we have on things

as chipped and cracked

as it ever was.

….Daniel Skack-Mills

when we find a birds nest in an unexpected nook, oh how sacred and sublime….isn’t this like finding a little piece of ourselves we left behind and rediscovered unexpectedly?….the human heart knows the perfect, happy, life doesn’t exist, but it knows about allowing life to unfold, about the art of listening…..

As we work with our attention in our practice, it often seems as though we are excavating a mountain with a spoon. But we gradually sense that we are encountering something deeper. The prayer word flows directly into an ocean depth of awareness, deeper than the reach of the senses. Saint Hesychios says of watchful awareness: ‘Its branches reach to the seas and to deep abysses of contemplation, its shoots the rivers of the beauteous and divine mysteries.’ When we plumb the depths of our practice we are embraced by a Living Presence that has known us from all eternity…….Martin Laird

4 thoughts on “swooping back into the fire

  1. There is that moment of breakthrough where digging we suddenly find the soil opens up as the passage comes into view, in our excitement we rush forward, and soon find we are encumbered by mystery again … And so go the cycles, on and on, even lifetime after lifetime … One day, one time, we blend with the teacup, we are emptied of longing and become the journey not the destination, our truth fills us, and the steam we emote becomes the breath we give to others … Thank you for this insight today, hoping you share tea with friends this weekend …

    • from leaf to brew to sharing moments…..the perfection of the moment lived in its immediacy, in its tangible and wanton grace…..these are not even sentimental cycles….these are the rich mandalas of a deep seated pragmatism to live….prayers for you to experience the rich earth g.f.s…..

  2. It is that time of year for cleaning out and letting go. I’ve spent three weekends digging through brush to clear out a place for a garden. So far, I’ve found five nests……at various stages, but each with a story. I wonder to the mother who never returned, or the baby (the smallest) who couldn’t quite jump. Our story is weaved into theirs and theirs to ours, such that always we are learning to fly, and remembering a nest not quite done. But in that these fragile sweet perceptions of familiarity, our heart tears but a bit, and all that was spills into this moment of wonder and divine understanding. Breathe, and it is taken within……..becoming our joys, our season of wonder, a place we remain throughout……. Love to you. May blossoms rain to your hair this beautiful sweet day! ~ Bobbie

    • I, too, have been experiencing springtime as a heady dip and flight into wonder and sorrow….I have a special affinity for nests and I wonder if some instinctual knowing seeks redemption here in beginning and building….it’s always ok ya know? what an amazing thing to live in my fragile bones…..you weave our stories into a rich and delicate sweetness Bobbie….like spring mist…..

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