the open road

1-Pics for Blog Edits353

Have I lived enough?

Have I loved enough?

Have I considered Right Action enough, have I

come to any conclusion?

Have I experienced happiness with sufficient gratitude?

Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I’m just thinking it.

Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,

where the gardener, who is said to be a simple man,

is tending his children, the roses.

~Mary Oliver

we climb trees in our lives, dive into nothingness, love and despair, and believe in all manner of perplexing dreams…….can we wander into deeper experience…. can our awake and rich lives find us synchronistically?

D.H. Lawrence wrote: “Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes.” When we are motivated by immediate gratification to “just what we like,” we will feel continuously driven: No amount of productivity or consuming or recognition can break through the trance of unworthiness and put us in touch with the “deepest self.” As Lawrence points out, to do what the deepest self likes “takes some diving.” To listen and respond to the longing of our heart requires a committed and genuine presence. The more completely we’re caught in the surface world of pursuing substitutes, the harder it is to dive.   ~Tara Brach


Why the act of self-observation has an altering effect on behavior is a mystery. Yet, as religions have known for centuries, somewhere in the process of watching ourselves impartially and nonjudgmentally, a strange transformative magic takes place. Even our deeper “habits of being” eventually reveal themselves and dissolve when scanned by the cold eye of what Hinduism terms “the witness” and Christians call “watchfulness.” This process has roots in the deeper structure of the of the physical universe itself, where according to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the act of observing a thing changes the nature of what is observed. We do not directly oppose negativity or habituation within ourselves; we simply focus the beam of attention onto it and let the principle of light dispelling darkness do the rest. Attentive self-awareness is a universal solvent, the most powerful we have at our disposal. As the Zen master Ikkyu said: Attention, attention, attention.   ~Harry Moody

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