What we reflected upon in the week ending August 21st


Perhaps intimacy is the ability to be fragile and vulnerable.  You can love someone very, very much and still not be able to be intimate with them.  Judy T

According to the teaching of the Buddha, in true love there is no place for pride. Thich Nhat Hanh

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. Buddha

Love your neighbour as you love your coffee (Seed group wisdom)


Create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is yours alone to sing falls into your open cupped hands and you recognize and greet it.  Only then will you know how to give yourself to the world so worthy of rescue.   Martha Postlethwaite

You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place…. The offering of that gift—your true self—is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs.   Bill Plotkin – Soulcraft

If you want the moon, do not hide from the night.  If you want a rose, do not run from the thorns.  If you want love, do not hide from yourself.  Rumi

Is it not true that somewhere deep down in the silence of our troubled hearts, we have always looked for God’s coming? Yet … we need only say our yes to who we are … we need simply to become more responsive to the secret yearning of our heart.  Johannes Beptist Metz –  The Advent of God 

May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love, to postpone my dream no longer, but do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more.  John O’Donohue

What we reflected on the week ending August 12, 2022


Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won’t get in.   Isaac Asimov

But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  Matthew 6:23-24. 

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.  To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings, and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.   Wendell Berry

So let the darkness shape you, let it reform you, let it cradle you and birth you into a new life; a new way of being.  Let the spark flame again, in the darkness is where you will find it.    LJ Vanier – Ether: Into the Nemesis 


The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people.  Leo Tolstoy

Truth without kindness is cruelty.  Kindness without truth is pandering.

And now these three remain.  Faith, hope and love.  And the greatest of these is love.   Corinthians 13:13

It was humbling to watch a small bird work, singing as it went, leaving what it couldn’t use as it found it. If we could only treat each other with such simple kindness. Mark Nepo – Twig and Nest

It is a service to other human beings to look at them, confused and self-concerned as they may be, with the eyes of love and to resist for as long as possible letting the cataract of judgment occlude our view.  Maria Popova – Marginalian website

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12

My still center, my True Self, does not need to oppose, differentiate, or compare itself. It just is and is content. Richard Rohr – Everything Belongs

What we reflected on in the weeks ending July 21st


Give a piece of your HEART, not a piece of your mind.

LOVE is the picking up of something that has dropped, and the giving of space for someone to discover for themselves what it means to be human, and the forgiving of mistakes when we realize that they are.  Mark Nepo.


ALL SHALL BE WELL, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well…for there is a Force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go. Julian of Norwich

In the noisy confusion of life, keep PEACE with your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Max Ehrmann


It was when I stopped searching for HOME within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.  Rupi Kaur

Our sense of BELONGING can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.  Belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are.  It requires us to be who we are.   Brene Brown


St. Francis moved from the common economy of merit to the wondrous ECONOMY OF GRACE, where God does not do any counting, but only gives unreservedly.  CAC Newsletter

Never assume malice, if stupidity can also explain the situation.

Those who act with toxicity of any manner,  we have to understand it is almost as if they are ASLEEP.  You have to understand that if they knew what they are doing, they would not have done it.  Eckart Tolle

There is none who needs a smile more than one who does not have one.

What we meditated on the week ending July 2nd

There are things you can’t back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it’s up to you to decide what them things are. (Mildred D. Taylor – Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry)

Worry is rust upon the blade.  We are simply not as sharp when we worry. (Henry Ward Beecher)

I didn’t cause.  I can’t control.  I can’t cure.  But I can contribute.

Is the inventor of the ear unable to hear? Is the creator of the eye unable to see? (Psalms 94:9)

When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and stillness gradually takes us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth.  (John O’Donohue – Beauty: The Invisible Embrace) 

“How do I cultivate the quietness of my being, where ‘what I should do with my life’ will become apparent?”  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. The journey is constant, between listening to the inner voice and making the choice to take an action. The minute you make a decision, if you feel it is disharmonious with some other plane of existence, you must go back inside again…. My work constantly requires me to empty so that I become more of an instrument for some other kind of wisdom or presence or force. It’s true for each of us. (Ram Dass)

Letting go is never easy. The desire to have, to hold, to possess and to control is part of our nature. But the more powerful part yearns to learn the lesson of growth and openness; to enter the mystery of secret loving without desiring, to live in emptiness and stillness and therefore in a state of receptivity and readiness so that the quality of our being and “our being present to” are all that matter.  (Daniel J. O’Leary – Year of the Heart)

What we reflected on June 1 – 10, 2022

Our reflections recently have touched on the wisdom of simply BEING WITH – ourselves, our struggles and one another.   Enjoy.

TRAGEDIES happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you can do to stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread. William Stafford – The Way It is

STILLNESS can be a great companion. The fragments of your life will have time to unify, and the places where your soul-shelter is wounded or broken will have time to knit and heal. You will be able to return to yourself.  John O’Donohue – Anam Cara

There is no “back to the old me.” YOU ARE DIFFERENT NOW, full stop. This is not a wholly negative thing. …. The goal of healing is … to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom and all — with courage. Catherine Woodiwiss

When you feel yourself breaking down, may you BREAK OPEN instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom. Elizabeth Lesser

LOVE DOES.  I could simply say to you, ‘you are in our thoughts and prayers’.  But I am going to babysit, so you can fly to the funeral.  Love does. Anon

Of course I’LL HURT YOU. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Letter to a Hostage

A moment of happiness, YOU AND I SITTING on the verandah, apparently two, but one in soul, you and I. We feel the flowing water of life here, you and I, with the garden’s beauty and the birds singing. The stars will be watching us, and we will show them what it is to be a thin crescent moon. You and I unselfed, will be together, indifferent to idle speculation, you and I. The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar as we laugh together, you and I. In one form upon this earth, and in another form in a timeless sweet land. Rumi – A Moment Of Happiness

The Science of Spirituality … Who Knew?

A lovely woman in the morning meditation group drew to my attention yesterday to the work of Dr Lisa Miller, who wrote The Awakened Brain.  A little digging took me to the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia University, where they study the science of spirituality. 

The science of spirituality… how refreshing!  When I was in graduate school, the dominant culture in the Psychology Department was that science and spirituality were mutually exclusive.  If something could not be measured, it didn’t exist or, at least, it didn’t exist as a legitimate subject of study.  What a delight to discover that, in another place, Lisa Millar was devoting her life to integrating the deep core of spirituality to our understanding of human experience!

You can find out more about the work at the Institute website.

I have taken the liberty of copying a table I found there.  It shows the difference between life without a spiritual core and life with a spiritual core.  This seems to align nicely with the work of Richard Rohr – the False Self and the True Self that he speaks of in his book, “The Immortal Diamond”, and the spiritual development from the first half of life to the second half of life that he writes about in “Falling Upward.”  

If you want to learn more about Richard Rohr, look for the Centre for Action and Contemplation.  Here is the website link for the daily meditations

A Spiritual core shapes development, meaning, purpose, calling and connection

With spiritual core (True Self)Without spiritual core (False Self)
Self isInherent WorthAbilities Based
IdentityMeaning & PurposeAquiring Success
WorkCalling & ContributionTalents & Gains
RelationshipsSacred, Share Love & GrowPleasing, Meet Needs
PathAlways ConnectedUltimately Alone
Place in the worldPurposeful WorldRandom World
Existential RealityLove, Life-givingUnknown
Good eventsBlessingsDeserved luck
Bad eventsOpportunities. LearningRandom. Failure
From https://spiritualitymindbody.tc.columbia.edu/our-work/

What we reflected on the weeks ending April 8, 2022


WE ARE SAFE because we are connected, not because we are worthy.

WE ARE ONE, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other. Teillard de Chardin

IN THE MIDST OF CRISES, a solidarity guided by faith enables us to translate the love of God in our globalized culture, not by building towers or walls that divide, but then collapse, but by interweaving communities and sustaining processes of growth that are truly human and solid. And to do this, solidarity helps. . . . Richard Rohr

I SWIM with others.
Some are dolphins, some are sharks.
Which is which depends on the temperature of the water
or the weather. Something: it’s not clear.
Robin Knight – Shellfish

IN LOVING SOLIDARITY, we each bear what is ours to carry, the unjust weight of crucifixion, in expectant hope for God’s transformation. Richard Rohr


NO MATTER HOW old you are, you can always find things to do that matter.

MAY YOU REALIZE that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful, good, and eternal happening. John O’Donohue – For Solitude


JOY IS the state that arises when we allow ourselves to experience everything as it unfolds, without judgement. It arises when we are being – without condition.       Michael Brown – The Presence Process

May you have the passion to heal what has hurt you, and allow it to come closer and become one with you. John O’Donohue – For Old Age


ALL THE BURIED SEEDS crack open in the dark the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see.  … In nature, we are quietly given countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which is ultimately an awakening that is beyond all imagining.  This moving through the dark into blossom is the threshold to God. Mark Nepo  – The Book of Awakening

What we reflected on the week ending March 26, 2022


THE WORLD is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.  But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater. J.R. R. Tolkien

A FRIEND is someone who dances with you in the sunlight, and walks with you in the shadows.


#hope TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.  And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. Howard Zin

#choice WHATEVER our age, a child still lives within us. We are innocent in ways we do not understand-and we find great contentment in having no need to know all and be all. Hope lives in the inner child that is aware and guileless.  Befriend this childlike part of yourself. Lean back into this- the most real part of yourself – and pray. Little things make us who we are:what we say to ourselves in the privacy of our own minds, what we believe about ourselves, and what we see as important. This little child within us is important. We are who we are because of our choices, and some of our smallest choices have the greatest influence.Listen to the child within, and you will be guided well in the choices you make. All men are made by the same Great Spirit Chief. Chief Joseph – Nez Perce – Cherokee Book of Days

#meditation THERE IS a gathering of energy at the core of us, a vitality which is drained by the struggle to fit in. Living without vitality may even become normalized, until such time as we choose to leave, or are cast out of, a too-small circle of belonging. Only then do we begin to explore the inner regions of solitude, learning our own dimensionality. Making this encounter with that loneliness and longing is what gives us the eyes to recognize those companions and quests which, rather than demanding our smallness, call us into growth. Toko-pa Turner  – Belonging

#maryoliver TODAY I’m flying low and I’m not saying a word. I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep. The world goes on as it must, the bees in the garden rumbling a little, the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten. And so forth. But I’m taking the day off. Quiet as a feather. I hardly move though really I’m traveling a terrific distance. Stillness. One of the doors into the temple.   Mary Oliver

#ruleoflife TO LIVE in God as a fish in water, not always awake but totally dependent for survival. To aspire to a shift in consciousness, even a tiny one. To know what I think, when I am thinking. To know what I am feeling . To not resist what I’m feeling, but to acknowledge and even embrace these feelings. To take actions through deliberate choice. To be present to the moment and to those who witness the moment. To sense my dependence in each of these moments and trust that I’m deeply loved and totally taken care of. To surrender and fall backward into the abyss of the underlying Soul of the Universe. And to know that it’s a gift – all gift. And to be grateful! This is my practice. To be patient and compassionate with my dullness,  my ignorance, my willfulness, my sloth, my self-indulgence. And to understand and accept that this is also my practice. To live in God as fish live in water, neither clinging nor resisting. To come to consciousness, to be awake, to be aware, to be present to the present moment. To live in now – not yesterday; not tomorrow. Moving with the flow.  Breathing in.  Breathing out. Aware of and focused only on the sacred now. This is my practice. Herb K – Practicing the Here and Now

#uncertainty NOTHING ever remains quite the same – but a time comes when we have to follow new guidelines and think new thoughts and do new things.  It does not take a superhuman, but it does take a believer – a worker with ears to hear and eyes to see – not just the physical but the spiritual.  We cannot take for granted that any other human can have accurate perception and spell things out for us.  The miracles are not all in other heads, other hands, other methods.  There must be a burst of inner fire that sparks a miracle, that opens a door to a greater life, a greater calm.  We are never so blind as when we close ourselves off by our critical views, our hardened hearts, our failure to perceive the greatness of gentle things.  O friend, look away from lack and need and pain.  Alter your vision and it will alter life. Cherokee Book of Days