Posted in Air, Beginnings, Change, Critters, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Listening, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Wonder, Woods, Word/Theme for the Year

A Monday meander: Comfort zones

One foggy morning. (Looking out at the neighbor’s new dock.)

When we pause, allow a gap, and breath deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly we slow down, look out, and there’s the world. It can feel like briefly standing in the eye of the tornado or the still point of a turning wheel. Our mood may be agitated or cheerful. What we see and hear may be chaos or it may be the ocean, the mountains, or birds flying across a clear blue sky. Either way, momentarily our mind is still and we are not pulled in or pushed away by what we are experiencing.

~ Pema Chodron

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Posted in Beginnings, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Gifts, Gratitude, Listening, Maryland, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter, Word/Theme for the Year

Wishing you all the best for 2019

Reflections swirling on the water.

Listen with Ease

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still?  Then you hear everything, don’t you?  You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds — which means really that you are listening to everything.  Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel.  If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change that comes without your volition, without your asking, and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.

~ J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

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Posted in Air, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Listening, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Weather, Winter, Wonder

A Monday meander: Listening

The sun sits on the fence.

Whether listening to me, or listening to a flute player, or listening to the birds in the morning, or sitting by the side of the waterfall and listening to it, the same experience can happen. It happens not from what you listen to, it happens because you listen. Just listening gives you total silence; in deep listening you disappear. The whole art is how to listen.

Once you know how to listen, in deep receptivity, sensitivity, you are not there. The listener is not there, only listening. And when the listener is not there, there is no ego: there is no one who listens, only listening. And then it penetrates to the very core of your being.

… So try to be a listener. Just hearing is not enough. Hear, you can; listening will need great discipline. It is the greatest discipline there is. If you listen, you are already delivered; because in that listening, suddenly you find yourself.

This looks like a paradox. You disappear, I say, and in that disappearance you find yourself. You are empty, and in that emptiness arises a fullness, a fullfilment. No thought is there. And then there is understanding. And love flows, like breathing – it goes in, it goes out, it goes in, it goes out. Then you start sharing your being with the existence that surrounds you. Then the part is no more part and separate – it throbs with the whole. You fall in line with the whole, you are no more out of step. A harmony has arisen – the celestial music, the music of the stars.

~ Osho, The Whole Art is How to Listen

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If we were having coffee: Smile

Thursday’s sunrise.

Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

~ Mother Teresa

We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”

~ Sri S. Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

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A nearing the end of the year ramble

Christmas tree decorations and reflections (with some bokeh thrown in for good measure).

Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes.

~ Clarice Lispector

Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.

~ Eckhart Tolle

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Posted in Autumn, Beginnings, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Home, Life, Listening, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Wonder, Word/Theme for the Year

Semi-hibernation

A not-yet-winter sky.

Tides and storms, the patterns of seasons and migrations, the quality of the soil and the air – all of these continue to influence and are influenced by us; they remind us of the intricate web from which we cannot disentangle ourselves, try as we might. Also, some of us are still lucky enough to live in places where we are awakened by birdsong in the morning, where at night we can see the Milky Way spilled across the sky. These things are part of our daily human experiences. As such, these phenomena – like anything else – can take on particular meaning, both original and universal.

Such meaning depends on authenticity, which often depends on engagement. This is the case whether we are talking about authenticity between people and people or between people and nature. We must be attentive; we must give our senses over to the other.

~ Hannah Fries, In Defense of Wonder

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Biggest surprise

Little Peanut playing in the living room.

Each day holds a surprise.  But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us.  Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

~ Henri Nouwen

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