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Feathers

Strength is not defined by exertion alone.

There is fortitude in the pausing, gaping space around the fear of your experience.

Change is not the answer.

Being present with life as it is holds a unique kind of safety.

Even a plummeting cliff fall becomes Loving if we open our hearts beyond our minds.

The wider the opening, the softer the fall.

Let the wings of compassion catch you and waft you towards healing.

Light as a feather you may recall you are unbreakable.

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Courageous Grace

“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree.  As you approach, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared.  You are frightened and angry.  But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap.  Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern:  You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.”

-Tara Brach

True Refuge:  Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Opening ourselves to a wider understanding of another person’s perspective is the first step towards cultivating a compassionate heart.  We can learn to do this by becoming quiet in the easy moments.  Themes of our thinking may or may not show their constancy, but we soon learn individual thoughts come and go like soft waves lapping and retreating along a coastline.

By familiarizing ourselves with our thinking’s lack of structure, we realize that others may be experiencing an onslaught of confusion in their minds as well.  If they happen to attach to a negative or fearful thought sequence, this may spill over into their world experience.  They may lash out or in some instances, shut down completely.

If we are left to look at the surface of what they are presenting, we remain stuck in fear right alongside them.  If we open ourselves to the possibility of a deeper understanding, compassion naturally replaces our hurtful interpretations with grace.

From grace, we no longer need to concern ourselves with another’s behavior.  All we need is to recognize the mutual beauty that exists between us far beneath the surface of what appears in the world.

The only question is, how deep are you willing to go?

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Small Moments

As you come to embody your personal experience more fully, you will begin to notice life in a new way.  Living in Presence affords you the beauty of seeing Love’s abundance surrounding you.

Small moments become deeply moving as your heart awakens.

With all this noticing of Beauty, you come to know other truths about yourself.  You may find searing judgments and criticism below the surface of your life.  In fact, you may be shocked at how harshly you speak to yourself.

Therefore, as mindfulness breathes awareness through your experience, you have to fill your emotional stores replete with forgiveness.

Yet, as you grow your heart in its most Loving direction, you will become more adept at handling the hurtful stories you tell yourself.

Space begins to form around difficulty.  From this opening, healing may enter and wisdom may rise to your consciousness.

The greatest salve of humanity is forgiveness.  Forgiveness of the world, forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of each other.

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The Unfolding of Life

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When a problem arises, we are conditioned to ‘think our way through it’.  If we spend enough time and effort reshaping our life based on what our minds tell us to do, eventually life will submit to our will.

But what if it does not?  What if the harder we try to problem-solve or the deeper we delve into logic, we are still stuck with the exact same life and the exact same conflicts.

Maybe our life is not a problem to be solved.  What if life is simply an unfolding we need to experience without interference?

In its unfolding, we welcome All.

Everything expresses to its fullness.

When this happens, sometimes what we label as ‘ugly’ tumbles into beauty.

Maybe it’s time to let life be.

“We can’t understand the nature of reality until we let go of controlling our experience.”

-True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart (Tara Brach)

 

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Loved

A perfect sky of endless blue greeted me with no judgment

Within its infinite reach, the sky held space for the changing weather

Rain, sleet or thunder moved through it unencumbered

No judgment

Could my soul become like the sky?

Could I hold my humanity, in all its heartbreak and sunshine, and still be endless?

I looked to the sky for validation.

The sky did not answer me.

Instead, its vastness descended upon me and washed away my wondering

It did not change me or challenge me

It only welcomed all that I was, all that I am and all that I might be

Part sky and part Truth

Endless and finite

Beauty and fear

Held tightly and set free

Loved.

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Truth Lives

I was under the impression that to awaken, the body was something to overcome.  I spent my time fighting with its tendency towards fear, anxiety and the physical manifestations of these states.  This battle raged for many months and years until one day it stopped.  The fear, anxiety and physical manifestations did not, but the resistance to them lessened.   As my grip fell away from manipulating the body’s experience, this is when peace would visit.

The mind will be frantic at first without a problem to solve.  It will buck against the framework of simply being.

It will want to move, to alter, to make better or more.  It will hate to be still.

Invite this resistance to come sit at your table.  Offer it a chair.  Let it be wild with its anger.  Let it try to scare you into action.  Let it do whatever it wants.

Beyond this chaos lives the Truth.

No need to reach.  No need to strain.

Truth lives.

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The Deep Heart of Listening

If you want to deeply listen to someone else, you first have to be clear on what your inner experience is.  You have to connect to the present moment and let your thoughts, judgments and feelings come into your awareness while not attaching to them.

The miracle of listening this way allows the talker to unfold into their own brilliance.  Without letting our busy-body minds interfere with their process, an invitation is extended so that Truth may enter.

When Truth enters, healing occurs.

The story and its circumstances are not altered, yet the talker is allowed an opportunity for inner transformation if they are ready for it.

However, as a listener, if we are invested in validating, interjecting and sharing our own ideas about how this story ‘should be’, we block the flow of the miracle.

Yesterday, I mindfully listened to a woman who shared a harrowing and unjust life story.  Instead of responding with my words or gestures, I let the story sweep over me.  I saw inside myself the judgments, labels and rising tides of emotions.

These were mine.  Not hers.

But because I waited through that uncomfortable urge to say something, the story slowly shifted to immense beauty.  While it included heartbreak, the lights of resilience started to shine through it.

My labels and judgments were soon replaced by sheer awe.

When awe enters, it is easy to detach and yield with an open heart to the Love that lives inside struggle.

Where else could we yield?  What miracles await us if we simply let go?

I am ready to listen.

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