Thursday, April 25, 2024


    Contemplation is being open to all of the reality we can stand.” Richard Rohr

    YES. AND we're more deeply conditioned than we realize, to quickly, instinctively say NO! to anything unpleasant, uncomfortable, painful, distressing, and even 'different' than what we're used to! A LOT of today's reality is far from likeable and very difficult to accept! So mostly unconsciously, we tend to shrink back & shrivel up, further & further away from the full spectrum of reality.

    “The smart way to keep people passive & obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” Noam Chomsky, “How the World Works”

    A rigid defensive posture - whether self & or externally imposed - imprisons us in a small, narrow, constricting, supposedly 'safe' box. 'Ordinary unhappiness' or much worse, is the inevitable result. We feel trapped, like a caterpillar stuck in a cocoon. Fearful defensiveness easily turns into offensiveness, and much worse - the violent polarization in politics, race, religion, social media, etc & the endless slaughter of wars that we witness on the news daily.
Brian McLaren's 45-minute overview from a Developmental Psychology / Mystical Christian perspective is imho excellent : .
    Kelly Noonan's
2017 (1hr 46min) documentary "Heal" on Netflix is also imho very applicable & well worth watching : 

    Of all the ways you can limit yourself, your own self-definition is the most powerful.” Michael Crichton

    "Letting go of our suffering is the hardest work we will ever do. It is also the most fruitful. To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way - in the newness of each moment where all is possible and nothing is limited to the old." Stephen Levine

    By saying YES! to ALL of life's 10,000 joys AND 10,000 sorrows we free ourselves, spread our wings, and fly!

    Mindfulness practice - and really all deep spiritual practice - is about "cultivating a certain kind of intimacy with the core of our being."
Jon Kabat-Zinn PhD
    Gradually we learn to practice remembering, feeling, recognizing & re-connecting with
who / what we can sense we are in the depths of our being – our true selflove.

    "Wisdom comes when we live from the heart. It’s the recognition that love is the only power that is moving any of this."
Jac O’Keeffe

    “A mystic sees beyond the illusion of separateness into the intricate web of life in which all things are expressions of a single Whole. You can call this web ‘God, the Tao, the Great Spirit, the Infinite Mystery, Mother or Father,’ but it can be known only as love.” Joan Z. Borysenko PhD

    THIS is the mystics' level of consciousness, expressed in Rumi's
The Guest House" :

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond

     “I share poetry when speaking about mystery, because as a great poet said, ‘You can’t get the news from poetry, but men and women die every day from lack of what is found there.’
    Poetry connects us to the mystery. This is in the same spirit as Buddhist texts that begin with the words, ‘O Nobly Born, remember who you really are, you are the sons and daughters of the awakened ones.’ You are in the lineage of those who have awakened before you. Look directly at the mystery of love and existence. It is your birthright to remember freedom and awakening.
    ‘If I had influence with the good fairy who’s supposed to preside over the birth of all children, I should ask her gift to each child in the world a sense of wonder so indestructible it would last throughout their life.’
Rachel Carson
    This is one of the gifts of poetry. We can meditate to quiet the mind, we can calm ourselves, we can de-stress, and we can see in new ways. And with this mindful presence, poetry invites a sense of wonder and mystery, and with that, an opening to love.

Jack Kornfield


      "Imagine love wants to see
your true face

    Imagine that nothing matters
except love

    Imagine love as you

love as everything
you’ve ever given attention to

love abides in difference
love as a force
that gives us meaning

love abhors a vacuum
love wants to know love
    Imagine everything matters
love is real
love is a power
uncontainable & inconceivable

love as language, as selfless action,
as water, as purslane, as voles, as dragonflies, as wind

    Try to imagine a
able to rise whole into thin air,
invisible to our eyes
holding our entire awareness
on the thin new blade
of a brightness soon to come

    Imagine the imperfections of
that love adores
love imagining
your radical truth &
trusting your courage
your vision
your journey
to recognize
your self
in vastness."             
Poem by Qayyum Johnson

        “Your task is not to seek for love,
         but merely to seek & find all of the barriers
yourself that you have built against it.”
Helen Schueman

     More about love :

Yuval Noah Harari, "What it Means to be Human" (in 3 minutes!)


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