Solitude

When you cease to fear your solitude, a new creativity awakens in you. Your forgotten or neglected wealth begins to reveal itself. You come home to yourself and learn to rest within. Thoughts are our inner senses. Infused with silence and solitude, they bring out the mystery of inner landscape. – John O’Donohue, Anam Cara, p. 17

Relection

Wishes

“Wishes of one’s old life wither and shrivel like old leaves if they are not replaced with new wishes when the world changes. And the world always changes. Wishes get slimy, and their colors fade, and soon they are just mud, like all the rest of the mud, and not wishes at all, but regrets. The trouble is, not everyone can tell when they ought to launder their wishes. Even when one finds oneself in Fairyland and not at home at all, it is not always so easy to remember to catch the world in it’s changing and change with it.” – Catherynne M. Valente in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

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Living in a special time

We are living in a special time. Throughout the world there is a stirring and an interrelation of forces never before experienced by mankind. All around us we see an unprecedented acceleration of the possibilities of change. Power potentials have been released which threaten to upset cosmic balances.

Ironically, the more gigantic and astonishing our manipulations of these energies, the more puerile and insignificant our understanding of them. Philosophers and scientists are coming to agree that not only do we need a deep alteration in the present state of mankind, but that a radical shift depends solely on our relationship to consciousness – the invisible, fundamental energy behind phenomenal existence.

As one walks the streets of the city, one is struck by the energies manifested through each human being – the results of wishes, emotions, and physical movements, energies in incessant random motion. Inextricably bound to an entire fabric of events, we have no choice but to submit to the rhythm and momentum of our ordinary lives. Yet, in the midst of the flux, a call to consciousness can be heard. Is it possible to accept one’s inevitable destiny, and, at the same time, open to the timeless, spaceless, essential movement? Can we microscopic entities, beset by our frailties and mal-training, initiate a radical transformation for ourselves and for the earth?

—William Segal, Opening

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Life is glorious

Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together. – Pema Chödrön in Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

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