a gentler, more sophisticated awakening


Although not knowing may itself seem like a bad thing, I am convinced it is one of the great gifts of the dark night of the soul. To be immersed in mystery can be very distressing at first, but over time I have found immense relief in it. It takes the pressure off. I no longer have to worry myself to death about what I did right or wrong to cause a good or bad experience- because there is no way of knowing. One of the biggest lessons is the realization that I’m not as much in control of life as I’d like to be. This is not an easy learning, especially for take-charge people like me, people who think they can- and, more important, should- be in control of things. The dark night gives its gifts, leaving us freer than we were before, more available, more responsive, and more grateful. Like not knowing and lack of control, freedom and gratitude are abiding characteristics of the dark night. But they don’t arrive until the darkness passes. They come with the dawn. More than anything, I think the dark night of the soul gives meaning to life. The meaning revealed in the dark night is beyond understanding. Mysterious as it may be, there is something wonderful at the heart of our existence, and it is about nothing other than love: love for God, love for one another, love for creation, love for life itself…..Gerald May

there is no passivity in the heartache of wholeness…..the intellect is forever derailing the mystic intent of the impossible….where is prayer? where is the nonsense of yearning?….dare we call the spiritual life to blame?……the gentle whispers are enough…

So much of our discontent has to do with distrust of our body knowledge, mistaking what is transient as permanent. We all have attacking or unwanted figures in our memories, both physically and emotionally. And as the shaft of awareness drops down lower and lower, as the breath draws deeper into the core of the body, these competing and unwanted emotions arise. Practice teaches us how to open to these experiences. Equanimity is not a silent witnessing of our psychic lives but an opening toward what is. And these difficult emotions are not distractions or impingements on the meditative path. They are the very path itself. Opening to the way these past impressions appear in the body-mind and emerge into awareness as specific symptoms is the heart of practice, the path of intimacy. This is how we embrace the heart of the world. Taking care of ourselves, we take care of one another. One hand will always wash the other. Meditation practices are essential for realizing this level of intimacy because through stillness we learn that underneath the surface distractions of consciousness in body and mind, there is a visceral sense of connectedness with all of life. At first this feels like connection to a mood or a thought, but over time we begin to see that what we think of as our character or even our truest self is, in fact, the entire world. With such a realization, how can we not respond with kindness and action?…..Michael Stone

the delicate prayer of quiet dreams

St. John of the Cross, alone in his room in profound prayer, experienced a rapturous vision of Mary. At the same moment he heard a beggar rattling at his door for alms. He wrenched himself away and saw to the beggar’s needs. When he returned, the vision returned again, saying that at the very moment he had heard the door rattle on its hinges, his soul had hung in perilous balance. Had he not gone to the beggar’s aid, she could never have appeared to him again….David Whyte

4 thoughts on “a gentler, more sophisticated awakening

  1. Intuitively one knows the answer to St John’s moment … It is the greatest question one can pose to the self … This is what the mother would have us learn, by serving the beggar we also serve ourselves … May there be sunshine through the rain today …

    • this must be where the truest value of not knowing breathes into us……we don’t have to know why….this simple blindness of darkness leads us…we can trust it…like our mothers……puddles are calling g.f.s…..

    • and the soulful life mysteriously surrounds the simple moment…..wonderful to relieve ourselves of our burdens…..why do we forget that the sun and the earth never collide? lovely moon shadows under rainy skies for you Bobbie….

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