IMG_0563

 

‘You may not believe in magic
But don’t you think it’s strange
The amount of matter in our universe
Has never slightly changed.

That all which makes your body
Was once part of something more
And every breath you ever breathe
Has seen it all before.

There are countless scores of beauty
In all the things that you despise
It could once have been a shooting star
That now makes up your thighs.

And atoms of forgotten life
Who’ve long since ceased to roam
May now have the great honour
To call your crooked smile their home.

You may not believe in magic
But I thought that you should know
The makings of your heart were born
Fourteen billion years ago.

So the next time you feel lonely
When this world makes you feel small
Just remember that it’s part of you
And you’re part of it all.’

Erin Hanson

Advertisements

stock-photo-37025432

 

‘Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience.
Anyone who abandons you is for
teaching you how to stand up
on your own two feet.
Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.
Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back.
Anything you hate is for
teaching you unconditional love.
Anything you fear is for
teaching you courage to
overcome your fear.
Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe.’

-Jackson Kiddard

How Is Your Heart Doing? By Omid Safi

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is yourhaal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.
I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation. Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and fast-paced sports.

I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.

We need a different relationship to work, to technology. We know what we want: a meaningful life, a sense of community, a balanced existence. It’s not just about “leaning in” or faster iPhones. We want to be truly human.

W. B. Yeats once wrote, “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a solider to fight on a battlefield.”

How exactly are we supposed to examine the dark corners of our soul when we are so busy? How are we supposed to live the examined life?

I want us to have a kind of existence where we can pause, look each other in the eye […] and inquire together: Here is how my heart is doing. […]

How is the state of your heart today?

Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”

Omid Safi is Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion. Reading above is excerpted from the OnBeing blog.

17157707_1164765833621023_3153358902608288956_o

BE FULLY ALIVE

Today.

There is no love without loss.
No heart without heart break.
No joy without tears.

The trick is
not to annihilate
the ‘negative’
from your life.

But to hold it ALL
in your vast and ancient heart.

Be the sky!
Hold the thunder, the snow,
the sad moon,
the glorious Sun.
Hold it all.

And you are free!
To love.
To risk.
To fail.
To be fully alive.

Today.

– Jeff Foster

66cab26ae4ff69bbe678ce1f0d977849

“You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people, but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them.”

~ Iyanla Vanzant

Image from www.ashleymariephotography.co

The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo

letting-go

“When a plate breaks, we call it an accident. When a heart breaks, we call it sad. If it is ours, we say tragic. When a dream breaks, we sometimes call it unfair. Yet ants drop dirt and manage more and birds drop food and peck again. But as humans, when we drop what we need, philosophies and complaints abound.

It’s not that we moan, but that we stop living to hear ourselves moan. Still, stars collide and histories begin. In our world, something is always letting go and something is always hitting the Earth. Often that which lets go survives by releasing, by not holding on until what needs to go is ripped from it. Often that which is hit survives by staying soft, by allowing what hits it to temporarily shape it the way stones shape mud.

As humans, we take turns letting go and being hit. Love softens this process, and peace slows it down, until in moments that are blessed, we seem to play catch with what we need.” ~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Get Real- Jeff Brown

e4923c24a5100621bed63ccc3c8eaec4

Photographer Erkin Demir

“I know we often want it all happy and positive, but that’s just not where much of humanity is. Many of us are overwhelmed with pain, undigested sadness, unexpressed anger, unseen truths. This is where we are at, as a collective. So we have two choices. We can continue to pretend it’s not there, shame and shun it in ourselves and others, distract and detach whenever possible. Or we can face it heart-on, own it within ourselves, look for it in others with compassion, create a culture that is focused on authenticity and healthy emotional release. If we continue to push it all down, we are both creating illness and delaying our collective expansion. But if we can just own the shadow, express it, release it, love each other through it, we can finally graduate from the School of Heart Knocks and begin to enjoy this magnificent life as we were intended. Pretending the pain isn’t there just embeds it further. Let’s illuminate it instead.”

~ Jeff Brown

Open Your Heart- Chögyam Trungpa

IMG_2134

“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.”

-Chögyam Trungpa 

                            Image from Creativelife.cz

Love-Ann Albers

77c0b91272e7f43e0bd6f0b9735e204e
image from theodysseyonline.com
“Let go of your worries. Open your hearts and breathe in all the love that is waiting to pour into your lives.You are not on earth to make money, although we celebrate money. You are not on earth to find the perfect partner, although we celebrate loving partnership. You are not on earth to build bridges, start centers, or heal anyone else, although these are beautiful and necessary endeavors that certainly serve as vehicles for the one and only true purpose of being on earth itself… You are here to remember and re-experience your connection with Love – the love that creates you, the love that breathes life into you. You are nothing less than an embodiment of love in a human body.
Being human is an exquisite adventure. There is such a depth of love and feeling even in your tears. There is such a strength of spirit even in your challenges. There is such a desire for loving growth that arises even in the darkest chaos. There is nothing and never was anything other than love, trying to remember itself. Only different shades of love.
You connect with this love, by connecting with any love. Love is not an emotional high. When you witness something beautiful, you remember this love. When you appreciate yourself or anyone else you connect with this love. When you are kind to yourself or another, you feel this love. Any small loving act reconnects you with the eternal source of your being. As you seek love, see love, and strive to be loving, you reconnect with your deepest and most eternal nature. In spite of all human appearances, this is who and what you really are.
Be kind to yourselves. Treat yourselves as if there is nothing less than Divine love within you. When you dress, you are clothing the Divine. When you eat, you are feeding the Divine. When you go to work you have an opportunity to allow Divine love to work through you. When you drive in traffic you can allow Divine love to surface for all you pass, or you can feel separate. In every moment you have a choice to feel the love that lives and breathes in all things, even if only in a simply act of self-acceptance.”
-Ann Albers

The Practice of Turning People into Trees

36117fb1c74375ec9cdbb5e794ac10ac
Image from 500px.com

“…when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
Ram Dass