Egocentricity

“Egocentricity is the process of wanting something other than what is. Egocentricity means there is an “I” who is separate from everything else and doesn’t like it; one thing is happening, but I want a different thing to be happening. Egocentricity is that constant concern with how I feel, what I think, what I’m doing, what I want – looking at what is and seeing it as inadequate. My identity is maintained by the struggle of wanting something other than what is; that is how I continue to know myself.

This practice involves finding a willingness to suffer in order to end our suffering. Instead of spending our time trying to avoid suffering, we just find the willingness to go directly into it. Whenever anything causes us to suffer, we can know two things: suffering is the same as egocentricity, and when it arises, that is our best opportunity to end suffering. As we open to our suffering, as we embrace it, as we accept it, our relationship to it changes. It is no longer something horrible, something to escape from. Suffering becomes just another opportunity, another chance for freedom.

Please find out about that for yourself.”

~ Cheri Huber

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The guest house

“This being human is a guest-house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you
out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.’

~ Rumi

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Stand Still

“Stand still.
The trees before you and the bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is a place called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.”

~ David Wagoner

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Joy

“Joy is the meeting place of deep intentionality and self forgetting, the bodily alchemy of what lies inside us in communion with what formally seemed outside, but is now neither, but become a living frontier, a voice speaking between us and the world: dance, laughter, affection, skin touching skin, singing in the car, music in the kitchen, the quiet irreplaceable and companionable presence of a daughter: the sheer intoxicating beauty of the world inhabited as an edge between what we previously thought was us and what we thought was other than us.

Joy can be made by practiced, hard-won achievement as much as by an unlooked for, passing act of grace arriving out of nowhere; joy is a measure of our relationship to death and our living with death, joy is the act of giving ourselves away before we need to or are asked to, joy is practiced generosity. If joy is a deep form of love, it is also the raw engagement with the passing seasonality of existence, the fleeting presence of those we love understood as gift, going in and out of our lives, faces, voices, memory, aromas of the first spring day or a wood-fire in winter, the last breath of a dying parent as they create a rare, raw, beautiful frontier between loving presence and a new and blossoming absence.

To feel a full and untrammeled joy is to have become fully generous; to allow our selves to be joyful is to have walked through the doorway of fear, the dropping away of the anxious worried self felt like a thankful death itself, a disappearance, a giving away, overheard in the laughter of friendship, the vulnerability of happiness felt suddenly as a strength, a solace and a source, the claiming of our place in the living conversation, the sheer privilege of being in the presence of a mountain, a sky or a well loved familiar face – I was here and you were here and together we made a world.”

~ David Whyte From CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

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I will not

“I will not die an unlived life,
I will not live in fear
Of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid,
more accessible,
To loosen my heart
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise.

I choose to risk my significance; to live
So that which came to me as seed
Goes to the next as blossom
And that which came to me as blossom
Goes on as fruit.”

~ Dawna Markova, from the book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life

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Sense of isolation

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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Somewhere special

“You don’t have to go somewhere special to be somewhere special. Wherever you happen to be has a unique and valuable beauty all its own.
You don’t have to do anything special to experience how truly great and special life is. Even in the ordinary things there is always extraordinary richness to be found.
Just the sensation of the warm sun on your skin is amazing. And that’s something you can feel anywhere on the face of the Earth.
There’s no need to wait until some special moment to experience life in all its glory. The fact is, you can make any moment special just by giving your love and authenticity to it.
Look around you, wherever you are, and you’ll see plenty of opportunities for fulfillment. What makes life special is your choice to live it fully.
Allow yourself to feel the wonder, to drink in the beauty and to experience the special time and place where you are. Life is always special, so live it accordingly.”

~ Ralph Marston

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