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A Monday meander: Community

On the anniversary of my mother’s death (09/09), a sunset.

What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.”

~ Ganga White

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Slow walks and long goals

A garden spider.

…But I wonder if the virus is a symptom, that we’ve actually been ill for decades and are only now struggling to name the cause of this plague. Of course, politicians argue over what’s most profitable: prevention or the cure. We were contemplating the ripple effects of the virus: who might slip into poverty, what it would mean to lose our loved ones and not be able to publicly mourn them. The run on toilet paper and bottled water, on meat and guns, tells you everything you need to know about our national character.

~ Amaud Jamaul Johnson, And God Laughs

Recent studies and discoveries increasingly point out that we heal primarily in and through the body, not just through the rational brain. We can all create more room, and more opportunities for growth, in our nervous systems. But we do this primarily through what our bodies experience and do—not through what we think or realize or cognitively figure out.

~ Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

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Starting with a sunset

Yesterday’s sunset as seen from here on the ranch.

Before change can happen, a clear choice must be made.  I believe we all have the freedom to choose the direction of our lives and the values we stand for.  We have only to embrace our beliefs at a deep level and our path of change will open.  Profound change begins in the heart.  From the moment we embrace the clear intention for change, each of us according to our individual natures is inspired to act in a way to bring about a healthy and benign outcome.  All life will conspire to bring this about.  If enough of us decide to make the change, to surrender ourselves to it, transformation will happen.  I have faith in our capacity, as beings of love, to transcend the challenges we face on Earth, should we choose to.

~ Ranchor Prime, The Eight Elements

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Where to start?

A sunrise.

The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of today) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that. Thus he has always believed that there was such a thing as fate, but such a thing as free will also.

~ G. K. Chesterton

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A Monday meander: Vulnerability

Light at the end of the season.

Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.

To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath.

The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.

~ David Whyte, Consolations

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A Monday meander: Life in the Bogs

Perched for a moment.

Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.

~ Robyn Nola

We speak of things “catching our gaze,” “calling our attention,” “grabbing our focus,” and those are all quite precise ways of speaking, because as we’re wandering the world, things solicit our attention, draw us into dialog, a kind of conversation without words. A fallen leaf on the ground calls my attention, and so I slow down to stop and gaze at it. And so, in my experience, this leaf is not dead, though it’s been lying on the ground for days. It has its own agency. It has its own power, its potency. And so, it is with everything we experience.

~ David Abrams, The Ecology of Perception, Emergence Magazine

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A morning walk

Out the back door, near sunrise.

Today is sacred – for it will never come again. What could be more important than living this day with attention and the intention to be of benefit, to the best of your ability, to all you encounter?

~ John Bruna

In spite of all the talk and study about our next years, all the silent ponderings about what lies within them…it seems plain to us that many things are wrong in the present ones that can be, must be, changed. Our texture of belief has great holes in it. Our pattern lacks pieces.

~ M.F.K. Fisher

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