the elements of practice

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When we know our wholeness, when we are consciously aware of both ego and essence, we feel the pain of loss in our lives not as crippling devastation that makes us want to give up on life itself, but as human sadness that we know will change with time as all feelings do. Awareness of the essence of what we are does not take us away from our feelings, but it can give us a perspective that makes it easier to be with these feelings without identifying exclusively with, suffering painfully over or acting upon them…….Oriah Mountain Dreamer

as swift as haunting ghosts, the unfettered skitterings of the deep mind lash out at silence and taunt us……when we move back into the light and the wind, they whip away and the sun warms the hum of stillness…..settle in….

Silence is frightening, an intimation of the end, the graveyard of fixed identities. Real silence puts any present understanding to shame; orphans us from certainty; leads us beyond the well known and accepted reality and confronts us with the unknown and previously unacceptable conversation about to break in upon our lives. Silence does not end skepticism but makes it irrelevant. Belief or unbelief or any previously rehearsed story meets the wind in the trees, the distant horn in the busy harbor, or the watching eye and listening ear of a loved one. In silence, essence speaks to us of essence itself and asks for a kind of unilateral disarmament, our own essential nature slowly emerging as the defended periphery atomizes and falls apart. As the busy edge dissolves we begin to join the conversation through the portal of a present unknowing, robust vulnerability, revealing in the way we listen, a different ear, a more perceptive eye, an imagination refusing to come too early to a conclusion, and belonging to a different person than the one who first entered the quiet.Out of the quiet emerges the sheer incarnational presence of the world, a presence that seems to demand a moving internal symmetry in the one breathing and listening equal to its own breathing and listening elemental powers. To become deeply silent is not to become still, but to become tidal and seasonal, a coming and going that has its own inimitable, essential character, a story not fully told, like the background of the sea, or the rain falling or the river going on, out of sight, out of our lives. Reality met on its own terms demands absolute presence, and absolute giving away, an ability to live on equal terms with the fleeting and the eternal, the hardly touchable and the fully possible, a full bodily appearance and disappearance, a rested giving in and giving up; another identity braver more generous and more here than the one looking hungrily for the easy, unearned answer…..David Whyte

everything moves

Our habitual patterns are, of course, well established, seductive, and comforting. Just wishing for them to be ventilated isn’t enough. Mindfulness and awareness are key. Do we see the stories that we’re telling ourselves and question their validity? When we are distracted by a strong emotion, do we remember that it is part of our path? Can we feel the emotion and breathe it into our hearts for ourselves and everyone else? If we can remember to experiment like this even occasionally, we are training as a warrior. And when we can’t practice when distracted but know that we can’t, we are still training well. Never underestimate the power of compassionately recognizing what’s going on……Pema Chodron

2 thoughts on “the elements of practice

  1. Can we ever run away from the truth that is our own song? We cannot, and yet so many spend their lives trying to outrun the one thing that made them human – the one thing that defined their beauty. Let us sit within the stillness, warmed against our lessons, carried forward by the things we keep. When the night grows cold, let us begin our fire anew. May your day be filled with black and white photographs of all you ever needed. May you bleed to all your color – your light. ~ Ever, Bobbie

    • …… if an intensely colored palette of silvers, blues, and aquas melted into blacks, and grays, and whites…….being, sifting stars, ferris wheels…..wishing you a tiny heart flame Bobbie….

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