Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

1 Comment

Beyond all walls and worry



Photo: Karen Olin Darling

Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought. Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence. Flow down and down in always widening rings of being.

~ Rumi

What is drawing? How does one get there? It’s working one’s way through an invisible iron wall that seems to stand between what one feels and what one can do.

How can one get through that wall? — since hammering on it doesn’t help at all. In my view, one must undermine the wall and grind through it slowly and patiently.


Photo: David Campbell / http://www.gbctours.com

And behold, how can one remain dedicated to such a task without allowing oneself to be lured from it or distracted, unless one reflects and organizes one’s life according to principles?

And it’s the same with other things as it is with artistic matters. And the great isn’t something accidental; it must be willed. Whether originally deeds lead to principles in a person or principles lead to deeds is something that seems to me as unanswerable and as little worth answering as the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg.

But I believe it’s a positive thing and of great importance that one should try to develop one’s powers of thought and will.

~ Vincent van Gogh

When you hold on tightly to a part of your life that’s not working, it has no room to heal. Whether you’re unhappy with your love life, finances, career, home, or health, let go …If you hang on to these aspects of your life because of fears such as “What if I can’t find someone or something better?” then the situation will only worsen.

However, if you’re willing to open your hands and allow the situation to be freed, one of two situations will occur: Either it will be washed away from you and replaced by a better situation, or the situation will heal in a miraculous way. Try not to control the outcome of your troubling situation. Let go, and let God help you!

~ Doreen Virtue


What gives energy rather than takes it


Photo: Diane Kirkup

It’s a very powerful choice, the option we’re given each day, about where we direct our energy and attention.

At its heart, it seems to be a matter of how we might choose to shift and raise our emotional tone.

This is the daily gift, the one already bestowed, that we needn’t earn or search for or figure out how to “get”. It’s waiting in each day, hour, and moment, in unlimited supply. The limits arise from how we might overlook, dismiss, or ignore it. This may be the root of the very definition of ignorance.

Yet the mercy is that even when we forget, overlook, or ignore, we can begin again, as many times as we like, or need. And the grace is that the more that we do, the more that practice seems to help us reach for the kindness of this option more quickly – to want to reach for it, even when the pull from inner insistence, demand to be right, tug at us especially hard. It can feel like an act of empowerment to choose this constructive response over allowing those other reactions to run wild like a pack of unruly dogs.


Photo: Diane Kirkup

Why does that old pull succeed in snagging us at all? The answers are typically the usual suspects. Firstly, it will bring some sort of pay-off – some degree of pleasure, certainly, and also, some element of pain can be a pay-off, too, because it’s more fuel for the story we’ll tell ourselves about it, and the identity we’ll start to spin and weave around that.

Oh, the sweet freedom of stepping into the mid-air spaciousness of not choosing any of those old, misdirected habits, those premature conclusions based only on past experience. The lower end of the emotional scale has one agenda: let’s wallow in what it means to be miserable, and let’s be right. And, perhaps, an even bigger agenda: let’s avoid facing the reality of the matter at all.


Photo: Diane Kirkup

Eroding into a negative and displeased emotional tone is usually about either resisting or running away from emotion that arises, rather than actually meeting it and feeling. Like waves that are going to wash up on the beach of life, feelings will come, and bring with them an energy and a momentum.

When I don’t invest in a lower emotional tone, don’t buttress and reinforce it, shrug it on like a cloak, take it up like a duty or a sentence, there’s an inner vision, a spirit of faith just waiting to reach toward the lift and propelling joy of a higher one. It gives energy rather than taking it. It feels wonderful, like a favorite memory. It’s always a possibility, as long as some story, some made-up figment that’s never been real, isn’t allowed to convince me otherwise.

I must remind myself that the human world offers very little reinforcement for this; often, none. But I am well capable of remembering what does — and of asking for help when I forget.

Leave a comment

Rest easy, then go with the flow


Photo: David Campbell / http://www.GBCTours.com

This post is dedicated to the memory and work of Joan King, a master investigator of Reality who left this world June 11. As I spontaneously said to one friend, “Her work continues now, on whole N-E-W (non-ego-willed) levels, the ones she loved so much! Here is a soul who, in both science and spirituality, was a bridge-builder as she strove to illuminate the realities of the human nature with which we’re meant to navigate the physical aspects of this life, and our eternal higher nature, through which we have the opportunity to transform ourselves and our world. God speed, Joan. You’re with us every day, we know.

What if the only experiences that make any real impact in life are those in which we’re as completely present to the moment as possible?

And what if these can only happen when we’ve had adequate periods of rest and reflection?

Neuroscientist and author Joan C. King came to that conclusion in her research lab at Tufts University after she discovered that just as every cell in our body needs to function from a nucleus or center, we are also designed to live from some sort of core in order to be healthy and whole.

To do that, we need to function within the timeframe of that core or center, which is the present. If thoughts and awareness are swirling around in what-ifs of the future, or mired in what’s already become part of history, we’ll be disconnected from that ever-present center.


Photo: David Campbell / http://www.GBCTours.com

It doesn’t go away, but our functioning has no access to it. And we sacrifice the greater share of our potential power, King says.

Those of us who pray or meditate know that one of the benefits of these is that they help us get back to that present-time condition of awareness. This is what leads to that “flow” we feel when we’re connected with and functioning from our center, a sensation of showing up in life and seeing a remarkable number of factors appear to simply fall into place.

Many even describe having experiences like these during dire or emergency situations, as though they connect with and go to some quiet inner place and then everything flows from that.

King describes another vital concept that cells model that is part of what enables them to function: they don’t stay “on” all the time. Cells’ life rhythm is cyclical. They experience periods of expending energy for a task, then immediately shift over into a “refractory” period during which they rest and gradually accumulate energy and resources in preparation for their next expenditure.


Photo: David Campbell/ http://www.GBCTours.com

Cells have no choice but to rest, and their innate wisdom abides by this requirement of healthy living.

Humans often skip this part of the cycle, even though it’s as much a part of our design as it is that of our cells, says King. In a culture in which sleep deprivation has become epidemic (and work could rightly be dubbed a state religion) lots of us may be missing the chance to function from our best and deepest resources.

Genuine rest and re-creation (to take that word down to its root parts) allow us to connect with our center effectively. Without these, our access to this greatest source of our natural strength is blocked.

King also notes that without rest cycles, we have little opportunity to use another powerful tool: learning from experience, because the resting phase is the one that gives us the time and space to reflect, the only way we gain the perspective that allows us to learn.joan_king_0008

Connect with Joan King’s work at:


The spirit of Joan’s life is captured in her family’s request in lieu of flowers – that those who wish to honor her pay kindness forward to three other individuals.

Some of her own words about the lovely legacy she’s left for us:

“The cellular wisdom series of books is not a declaration of dogma, but rather is a vehicle for me to share my insights about the teachings of our cells and our bodies about how to thrive in our lives as individuals and in relationship, from intimate to corporate to community to planetary. My books are intended to stimulate you to explore and uncover your own insights.”  ~ Joan C. King

Leave a comment

What are the fruits of our living and giving?

It can be a rich world out there in the blogosphere.

Some gleanings here and there:

IMG_1014Trust truth. It claimed us long ago. It uses us and aspects of life to push, pull, confirm and challenge us to a deeper realization. ~ Gangaji

How does truth make use of us, in the fruits of our living and giving?

In a week that included the anniversary of Sept. 11, blogger and Strategic Monk Greg Richardson notes: “When we talk about someone giving their life for someone or something, we are usually talking about how their life ended. … It is often not the way a life ends that best describes it. …The lives that are given include much more than how they end, each moment of each day. They give all their experiences and emotions, their thoughts and secrets, their passions and wisdom, their abilities and desires.

Read the rest of Greg’s “Focused on Giving Our Lives” at http://wp.me/p2kVKj-1Jq.

IMG_1997And while we’re talking about living and giving, writer Kathy Custren makes me smile with her admission, “Personally, I can only multi-task if I concentrate on one thing.”

Find her singular thoughts on the subject of being universal and individual and the part concentration and focus play in that at “Clarity of Singularity” at http://omtimes.co/17yV8HW.

Artwork courtesy Saffron Moser and Nelson Ashberger.