“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
— Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
‘Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before.
Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.’
‘After feeling driven my whole life
something very near the center has
unwound and I can no longer hurry
through airports or return all my calls.
And sometimes people I barely know
swim up like old worn fish to show me
the map of their gills, and the one long
gash of something they once swallowed,
and how it has cut each breath since.
And I am honored to warm them
like a blanket. But when alone, I
find it hard not to watch
what I swallow.
When alone, these things
I’ve wanted to know since birth
feel so unanswerable, I must
have been torn from them.
I’m sure a hawk doesn’t know it’s a
hawk. I’m sure a spirit doesn’t know
it’s being spiritual. Or a screen door
slapping, like a tired life, in the night,
if it’s opening or closing.
Though we give up the murky fears,
we still can’t know our worth, any-
more than a faceless treasure
can fathom why
it was boxed
“Momfulness is the word I use for this spiritual practice of conscious mothering. When we mother with mindfulness and compassion and a willingness to let this vocation awaken our hearts and transform our lives, we walk a spiritual path. We discover that care for our children and family is not a distraction from sacred practice but is the very essence of it.”
‘I had a friend who died. One of the things that contributed to her death was her immersion in the mantras of the New Cage movement: the body is an illusion, your suffering is an illusion, the ego is all bad, ‘just ask for what you want and it will come’, presence is what happens when you watch your pain from across the room. These dissociative, dehumanizing perspectives were appealing to her because she wanted so desperately to turn off her pain and to find an easier way. This would have been fine if she had simply utilized these techniques as a detachment tool, but she went farther, and made them into a way of being. Unfortunately, these tools became weapons that turned against her. When her unresolved pain rose back into consciousness again- as it always will in its efforts to be seen and healed- she was now entirely ill-prepared to deal with it, having floated away from reality for so long in a pseudo enlightened spirituality-induced stupor. She couldn’t deal with the now because she was still crippled by the then. What she needed was healing, not more self-avoidance techniques. When reality became too much to bear, she ended her life, unable or unwilling to work through her material. Let there be no doubt that models that lead people away from the healing of the heart do not serve humanity. Real spirituality is all about enrealment- it includes everything human in the equation. The real now is the one that includes everything we left behind on the path. We must work through our story, before the unresolved elements of our story kill us. Prayers for those who have been led astray.’- Jeff Brown
You do not heal from trauma, and nobody heals you either. You simply reconnect with that sacred place in yourself that was never traumatized, never broken, never damaged in the first place; your true Self, absolute and ever-present, innocent and free.
It is not a destination; it is You, alive and awake in the moment.
Know yourself as the Absolute, and let all thoughts and feelings move through you, however intense or uncomfortable. The forms pass, they always pass, and You remain.
“Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.”
“Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.”
“The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”
‘In my short time on this planet, I have known great sorrow, plunged into the depths of oceanic despair, been thrown so deeply into my loneliness that I thought I would never return. I have tasted the ecstatic joys of meditation, the fierce intimacy of love, the savage pains of heartbreak, the excitement of unexpected success and the blows of sudden failure. There were times when I thought I’d never make it, times when my dreams had been shattered so thoroughly I couldn’t imagine how life could ever go on. Yet it went on, and sometimes I found humility within the devastation, and out of the ashes of imagined futures often grew new and present joys, and no experience was ever wasted.
I have come to trust life completely, trust even the times when I forget how to trust at all, trust that life doesn’t always go according to plan, because there is no plan, only life, and even the times of great uncertainty hold supreme intelligence, and sometimes you have to fall to stand more fearlessly, with greater kindness.
And somehow I am always held, in a way I cannot explain and do not want to. I may be crushed yet again before too long, I may experience further seemingly insurmountable challenges and heartbreaks, but somehow I am always held. Somehow I am always held.’