Friday, July 3, 2020

Religions, Languages & Wonder

     “Religions are like languages
• all languages are of human origin; 
each language reflects and shapes the civilization that speaks it; 
all languages make meaning out of the raw facts of our existence;
no language is true or false; 
there are things you can say in one language that you cannot say (or say as well) in another; 
the more languages you know, the more nuanced your understanding of life becomes; and 
as important as languages are, the final ‘language’ of wisdom is silence.” 
       Rami Shapiro. “Holy Rascals. Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries.” Sounds True, 2017.

     About those conversations in my head:

          “When there is silence,
           one finds the anchor of the Universe
           within oneself.”                                         Lao Tzu

     “Perhaps as a child you sensed a world that touched a deep and mysterious wonder. You may have had an experience you felt certain no one would understand and so you never shared it, but it has stayed in your heart – some kind of knowing that seemed at once completely true and yet confusing to your mind. Perhaps there was a moment in a temple of trees when a shaft of light from the rising or setting sun struck the jewel of your heart. You may have been hiking on a mountain when you suddenly were stopped by joy, wonder, or a sense of awe. It was not just the view, the misty colors of the many ridges you could see in the distance. Your senses touched the Infinite, and you experienced beauty; something vast touched the vastness within you. Its radiance may have come as moonlight playing on the ocean’s waves. It may have shone through a piece of art, a poem, or a dream that touched what connects us.
     You may have had a glimpse while sitting in a church or a temple, when the silence and reverence of place seemed to invite you to the silence within your Self. Perhaps you felt it when a baby gazed into your eyes from the eyes of such innocence that all of your defenses melted in such sweetness. The jewel may have shone through the stories you have read, heard, or experienced from great spiritual masters in various traditions. What sparkles is not the stories or words; it is something deeper that touches your heart.
     The jewel seems to shine most brightly when we experience love – love for a person, a pet, a moment. … 
     It is the jewel that gives rise to our impulse to know it more deeply and to want it to be revealed more consciously. Bubbling from the hidden depths of our Being arises an impulse to know what seems to lie beyond our limited ideas of who we are. There arises a sense of mystery, an impulse to know God, Truth, Self, enlightenment, love, or peace. This is spiritual impulse. Infinite Truth or Spirit has placed a longing in our heart, in the heart of our awareness, to know itself, to awaken itself beyond egoic consciousness. This impulse transcends both ego and self. We could call this impulse ‘the seed of enlightenment,’ a seed that has been planted deep within and perhaps has lain fallow in the rich soil and silent ground of our Being.

     Spiritual practices are methods that can begin to soften our stance toward our self, toward life in general, and to open us to what transcends the habitual. They are invitations to become intimate with the wisdom of silence and stillness.” 
       Dorothy Hunt. “Ending the Search. From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness.” Sounds True, 2018.

      Awareness born of love is the only force that can bring healing and renewal. Out of our love for another person, we become more willing to let our old identities wither and fall away, and enter a dark night of the soul, so that we may stand naked once more in the presence of the great mystery that lies at the core of our being. This is how love ripens us -- by warming us from within, inspiring us to break out of our shell, and lighting our way through the dark passage to new birth.” John Welwood

Don Pentz - West River, Keji - acrylic on canvas -

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