Another place where I find soul, one of the strongest places is in the presence of other people whom I meet at soul level. It happens whenever a dialogue takes place in which both people are truly present, tuning in to really hearing each other and reflecting back. A sense of discovery occurs, as when musicians get together and improvise a musical dialogue, a dialogue that depends on letting go of ego and defenses. To voice something you’re feeling and put observations into worlds with another person who is totally present is a creative act embodying soul and love….Jean Shinoda Bolen
how many times have we been hurt by the ones we loved the best? how gently these remembrances melt our tired hearts…..we know we do half the hurting……may we awaken to the illumination only held in the completed circle…..
I can remember the scene as vividly as if it were yesterday. My best friend Skipper and I were 7 yr old boys living in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. One day, after playing in the verdant valley behind his house, we sat down in our favorite place between 2 tall trees. We looked into each other’s eyes and promised that when we grew up we would be cowboys out West. And no matter what happened we would be friends forever. The valley seemed to conspire with this shining moment in our lives. The sun was bright, the sky was blue, and the 2 trees served as silent witnesses to our vow. But circumstances beyond our control pulled us apart. My family moved to another part of the city. Years passed, and I never saw Skipper again. But I have not forgotten the ardor that perfect instant of mutuality with him. Although we never rode the range together, our friendship lives on in my mind. In ‘Soul Mates,’ Thomas Merton writes, ‘Each friend is indeed a world- a special sphere of certain emotions, experiences, memories, and qualities of personality. We are all made up of many worlds and each friendship brings 1 or more of those worlds to life.’ My early friendship with Skipper took me to a world of possibilities. It showed me the value of sharing my dreams with another, a gift I have carried into many of my adult relationships. Every friendship has its own peculiar characteristics, and we can access them through the spiritual practices of imagination and being present……Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat
Friendship needs a lot of nurturing. Often people devote their primary attention to the facts of their lives, to their situation, to their work, to their status. Most of their energy goes into doing. Meister Echhart writes beautifully about this temptation. He says many people wonder where they should be and what they should do, when in fact they should be more concerned about how to be. The love side of your life is the place of greatest tenderness within you. In a culture preoccupied with fixities and definites and correspondingly impatient mystery, it is difficult to step out from the transparency of false light into the more candlelit world of the soul. Perhaps the light of the soul is like Rembrandt’s light. This tawny, gold light gives you such a real sense of the depth and substance of the figures on whom it gently shines. It achieves a profound complexity of presence through the subtle use of shadow. Such golden earth-light is the natural sister of shadow and cradle of illumination…….John O’Donohue