Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sacred Silence

Silence is indeed sacred and many poets, philosophers, teachers speak of it. I like to think of silence as a great womb birthing all of us and all things into being.
I could fill a book with profound quotes. But these three will suffice for today...

Silence is our real nature.
What we are fundamentally is only silence.
Silence is free from beginning and end.
It was before the beginning of all things.
It is causeless.
Its greatness lies in the fact
that it simply is. 
Jean Klein ~

Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; 
a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul's break for freedom.   ~ David Whyte

The silence of a quiet mind is the essence of that beauty. Because it is silent and because it is not the plaything of thought, then in that silence there comes that which is indestructible, which is sacred. In the coming of that which is sacred then life becomes sacred, your life becomes sacred, our relationship becomes sacred, everything becomes sacred.    ~ Krishnamurti

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


What is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.
It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth 

or digs holes into darkness for safety,
But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.

~Kahlil Gibran ~ 

Another mother has passed on ~ into the great mystery. My lifelong friend, Douy called yesterday to tell me. She asked that I attend the funeral in her stead as she is halfway across the country and cannot return.

What is it about certain people that when we meet there is a "knowing?" It is rare indeed to find others to whom we can so entirely be ourselves. People with whom we are so comfortable it feels safe to just be.

It is a testament to Evelyn that she provided the space for Douy to feel safe, accepted, and loved through all the years since they met. In high school, over 40 years ago, Douy needed a mother's love and acceptance. She found it in two women, both mothers. Her boy friend's and her best friend's.

My mother also opened her heart to Douy in those days so long ago. The amazing thing is that once opened, their hearts continued to hold and nurture her. Time moves us through the stages of our lives, but relationships sparked by knowing are timeless.

Women from that generation, born before the Great Depression and young adults during the Great War (WWII) are slowing passing on from our lives. Evelyn was 92. Although I didn't know her, I sense she was a great lady.

I am honored to be touched by the spirit and energy of these women. I hold them and Douy and all of their loved ones in my heart ~ that vast open spaciousness out of which all arises and dissolves.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fully alive, completely awake

The essence of life is that it's challenging. Sometimes it is sweet, and sometimes it is bitter. Sometimes your body tenses, and sometimes it relaxes or opens. Sometimes you have a headache, and sometimes you feel 100 percent healthy.

From an awakened perspective, trying to tie up all the loose ends and finally get it together is death, because it involves rejecting a lot of your basic experience. There is something aggressive about that approach to life, trying to flatten out all the rough spots and imperfections into a nice smooth ride.

To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again. From the awakened point of view, that's life.

~ Pema Chodron

The thing I seem to be practicing these days is just this. Pema Chodron has such a simple, beautiful way to express what life is and how to navigate one's way through it with grace, compassion and joy. Challenging, sweet, bitter, completely awake... How I welcome each moment!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sons and Daughters

I have been blessed with two children ~ a son and a daughter. On my desk sits their photographs. Both are the senior photos from high school. I love to have them close and just glancing at the pictures opens my heart. I'd like to believe that I love them unconditionally, without attachment. I wonder if a mother really can...

My son is 23 and just left on an adventure. He'll be working on an organic farm in Colorado. I think it is a good thing. He is such a free spirit and he struggles with deciding what he should do. I used to worry about him, almost obsessively. I felt it was my fault he didn't have direction. Now I know in my heart he actually does; just not direction in any traditional sense of the word.

My daughter, 29, is more focused and has created a life reflecting perfectly who she is. She spent a year in Bejing after college graduation, teaching English as a second language. She likes exciting experiences, too, but is somewhat more deliberate about planning and organizing her adventures. She has a wonderful life partner and is surounded by kindred spirits and family that offer support and love.

Your Children are not Your Children 

They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
~Kahlil Gibran~
With each new day, my heart continues to open to the joy and wonder of these gifts, my children.