There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken.
And a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all around
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole.
we hover within this life, vacillating between deeper expression and one-way dreams…..even more compelling is the sacred becoming that forgets to fear…..this is the sweetest rebirth, the unfinished love, the noble and tender heart….
I don’t understand, but God is the unseen thing that connects my heart to the stars. Wholeheartedness is perhaps the most significant resource we have and, as such, one of the hardest to talk about. For with it, we are connected to everything. When holding nothing back, it can bestow eyes within our eyes and ears within our ears. Without it, we often feel insignificant, and that insignificance has its own contagion until we think whatever we might manage here on earth is of no consequence in the face of the enormity of time. From under that cloud, it is a short stumble into the oppressive feeling that life itself is insignificant. Though our connection to the Whole seems elusive and intangible, there is much at stake- namely, whether we live or watch. Here, we come face to face with a deeper sense of courage needed to be truly alive. As the poet Jack Gilbert says, ‘Courage is not abnormal- not the marvelous act, but the evident conclusion of being.’ And our chief means toward that sublime conclusion of being is the courage to use all of our heart. Anything less and we risk a gray existence. The poet Jane Hirshfield puts it this way: To live fully and willingly in the world of the living is more brave even than going open-eyed toward death. All too often we do neither, and, clinging to some safer middle ground, end by feeling neither our terrors nor our joys…..Mark Nepo
The universe is dynamic; its energy is always pushing on us. As soon as we are able to manage one aspect of our lives, another challenge is offered as an opportunity to grow. Rather than hoping to remain stable once and for all, our goal is to stabilize momentarily. To clarify this, O Sensei said, ‘It is not that I don’t get off center. I correct so fast that no one can see me.’ The idea is to become skilled at coming back, not holding on. The benefit comes from developing our ability to return. The more we practice returning to center, the more we can center in everyday situations. When we are unified and able to experience ourselves as powerful, it is sometimes frightening. Feeling powerful may become an identity crisis. There is a tendency to sabotage ourselves and move back to our old pattern because it is familiar. As appealing as the idea of unification seems, being able to tolerate and embody the actual experience is a long-term, whole-life practice……Wendy Palmer