When you first begin, you will find only darkness, as it were a cloud of unknowing. You do not know what it means except that in your will you feel a simple steadfast intention reaching out towards God. Do what you will and this darkness and this cloud remains between you and God… By ‘darkness’ I mean a ‘lack of knowing’–just as anything you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be ‘dark’ to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye… So if you are to stand and not fall, never give up your firm intention: beat away at this cloud of unknowing between you and God and with that sharp dart of longing love……The Cloud of Unknowing
When we’re speeding along, we violate our own natural rhythms in a way that prevents us from listening to our inner life and being in a resonant field with others. We get tight. We get small. We override our capacity to appreciate beauty, to celebrate, to serve from the heart. Our mindfulness practice offers us the opportunity to pause and rediscover the space of presence. When we stop charging forward and open to what’s here, there’s a radical shift in our experience of being alive. As we touch into this space of Hereness, we access a wisdom, a love and a creativity that are not available when we’re on our way somewhere else. We are home, in our aliveness and our spirit……Tara Brach
making it real is the art of spiritual integrity, of being in this world as it unfolds….complete with the uglies and the fierce despair……can we stay in our seats when we’re threatened? can we find the happiness in between the life we want and the life we have?
I may be wrong. But I would like to suggest that the Middle Way is no narrow path to tread with neurotic precision to get to a pot of gold at the end. The Middle Way is probably the broadest and most inclusive experience we humans will ever get our heads around. It is not a balancing act, it is embracing the full spectrum of everything that we are. Deluded and divine, bad and brilliant. Nothing left out, nothing disowned. Cutting wood, cooking food, having babies, being furious, loving like crazy, being bored or getting a depression is no less spiritual than reciting the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit. Some of it hurts more than others, but it is still your sacred path. Living from the Middle Way means you cannot possibly go astray. There is no outside to go to, there is no heavenly hierarchy to fall from, there is no test to pass. You did not come here to learn, you came here to give…..Birgette Gorm Hansen