The resolution of a koan requires a certain trust of mystery, a faith that there is an answer which will come in time.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship that we establish or seek to establish between each other. So you and I are the problem, and not the world, because the world is the projection of ourselves, and to understand the world, we must understand ourselves. That world is not separate from us; we are the world, and our problems are the world’s problems.
~ J. Krishnamurti
How to Be a Poet
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
~ Wendell Berry
In spite of its plain appearance, the beauty of the mockingbird is recognized by all. This beauty lies in its song. It has one of the best singing voices of all birds, equal to that of the nightingale. It also has a talent for mimicry. Mockingbirds can imitate other birds, cats, and even dogs.
… The mockingbird can teach you about the power of song and voice. It can help you to learn new languages and sing them just as naturally as one born to them. Anytime the mockingbird shows up as a totem, it is a time to learn to sing out your talents. Regardless of how others may see you, expect people to notice your actions — not your appearance.
The mockingbird can help you to realize your inner talents and sing them forth. It can help you to find your own sacred song in life. By singing that sacred song, you will find your life more rewarding and more significant. Most people, even if they know their inner sacred song (life purpose), are afraid to act upon it. The mockingbird can assist with this.
… The ability to stimulate responses in others is part of what the mockingbird can teach you. It can help you to flush out injurious insects around you in your life and see where and who they are. The mockingbird will help you to recognize subtle clues that others may miss. You hear the true song of others.
Whenever the mockingbird arrives, look for opportunities to sing forth your own song. Follow your own path. Learn to take what you can and apply your own creative imagination and intuition to it, so that you sing it forth in the manner and tone that is most harmonious for you and your life.
~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak
All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.
~ Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace
.. along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.
~ David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous
by Wendell Berry
At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.
Within sorrow is grace. When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open. And in that breaking open, we uncover our true nature.
~ Wayne Muller