Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

~ Mary Oliver

(excerpt from poem: Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?)

 "For the world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving."

~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

"In the mode of "beyond doer and done to," something shifts... Self-esteem is no longer dependent on being the winner, or on being right. Up and down are no longer the only criteria by which life is measured. The seesaw gives way to a merry-go-round, known in Buddhist culture as the wheel of life. In this model, it is clear that we cycle through all the manifestations of what it means to be human. We move from state to state, sometimes causing each other pain and sometimes bringing each other joy. As the seesaw gives way to the merry-go-round, an appreciation is gained of the difficulties and complexities involved in being human. Not only are we all completely capable of hurting one another but we are also capable of a profound empathy, even for those who have hurt us or for those we disdain."

~ Mark Epstein

“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man's pride.”

~ William James

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen

"There is a saying in the Tibetan scriptures: 'Knowledge must be burned, hammered, and beaten like pure gold. Then one can wear it as an ornament.' So when you receive spiritual instruction from the hands of another, you do not take it uncritically, but you burn it, you hammer it, you beat it, until the bright, dignified color of gold appears. Then you craft it into an ornament, whatever design you like, and you put it on."

~ Chogyam Trungpa

“A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, the longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home.” 

~ Hermann Hesse, Wandering

"The shamans say that being a medicine man begins by falling into the power of the demons. The one who pulls out of the dark place becomes the medicine man, and the one who stays in it is the sick person. You can take every psychological illness as an initiation. Even the worst things you fall into are an effort of initiation, for you are in something which belongs to you."

~ Joan Halifax 

"To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on there own."

~ Jack Kornfield

"What would it be like to give yourself the freedom from having to be in any particular state right now?"

~ Adyashanti

"In the presence of nature a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature" 

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence  of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendall Berry









~ From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

"People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.” 

~ Barbara Kingsolver

"To Listen a soul into disclosure and discovery is the greatest service a human being can do for another."

~ Quaker Saying

"Understanding the nature of impermanence and the importance of ceremonially marking life changes has enabled our human psyche to meet its very nature and to track its own journey around the wheel of our becoming-ness for thousands of years. With most of this knowledge absent in modern society we are missing a major healing modality that has the potential, not to medicate, fix, or suppress, but to validate and partner the excruciating journey through grief, loss, or life-threatening illness into the promise of an initiated life."

~ Petra Lentz Snow

"Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened."

~ Pema Chodren


are you breathing just a little,

and calling it life?

~ Mary Oliver

(excerpt from poem: Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?)