Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Presence as prayer

Image courtesy of Tarot by Cecelia

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.

~ Bahá’u’lláh

We can trust that there is a knowing that is out of the realm of thoughts or emotions or circumstances. When we deeply trust, our minds open to discover what is true, regardless of what we are feeling.  

~ Gangaji

The single most important thing we can do is stop and get off the train of our own obsessive convictions and move into awareness of some sort of presence or the present time … and breathe again. That’s about as prayerful as life gets. That is about as faithful and spiritual as I mean. And everyone can relate to that.              ~ Anne Lamott

Let go of what you are not and be who you truly are. When you let go, you create space to receive more.

~ John Whiteman

Words from Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul are also helpful:

Photo: Nelson Ashberger

“ … identify as the observer, not the experience; don’t let painful experience influence the present; you are not the thoughts you observe; a life of joy and love follows from a commitment made to a life of joy and love. Learn to live from your heart, not your ego. Take refuge in the Divine, not the temporary. Learn to control your mind rather than letting it control you. It’s just a mass of thoughts. It is possible never to ‘have’ a problem again.”

The journey that matters most to me requires that I review the events in my life for the wisdom and purpose they carry. This inventory brings questions like:

~ What are my true needs, and what is my inner “enough”?

~ How do I remember that strength, and every resource I require, arrives increment by increment, as I am ready?

~ How do I remember that inspiration and assistance will arrive, but need me to ask for them, acknowledge that I need them, and be willing to receive and act upon them?

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What shall we keep room for in our hearts?

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“Evolution is transformation. And transformation is happening all the time. It happens as we learn new things … ” notes author Christine DeLorey.

“Evolution is not an automatic ever-ascending spiritual conveyor-belt,” she adds, “but the result of our ability to face reality, adjust, adapt, and change.”

A key element of our transformative path is contrast, whose intensity and extremes can sometimes seem — and feel — shocking. Even disheartening.

10854827_878021268895335_1204551440909094264_oHow can we maximize its effectiveness, by seeing what it is pointing to, for our heart’s understanding? What is it helping us remember? And how is it reminding us of all that we do not yet know?

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” urges poet Mary Oliver, and theologian Paul Tillich reminds, “The first duty of love is to listen.”

“ … if you are willing to let your heart break completely open, with no internal narrative controlling the opening, you will discover the pure, innocent love that is alive in the core of every emotion, every feeling, everybody,” writes Gangaji.

“It remains pure and spacious regardless of change or loss.”

11798178_10155840072870181_1562789834_nOnce this happens, then perhaps we are equipped at last for what these words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s invite:

“Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog …”

Including those often-timid ships of our own small selves.

 


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Becoming a gathering of heaven

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.

~ William James

Evolution is transformation. And transformation is happening all the time. It happens as we learn new things … Evolution is not an automatic ever-ascending spiritual conveyor-belt, but the result of our ability to face reality, adjust, adapt, and change.

~ Christine DeLorey

photo 3

Quiilt: Joan Haskell

In recognizing yourself as life itself, you are put right-side up. You freshly live your life, rather than thinking it and then trying to live according to those thoughts. …The thinking mind becomes the servant — rather than the master — to the direct experience of life.

~ Gangaji

And finally, a blessing and prayer for every season:

O God! Dispel all those elements which are the cause of discord, and prepare for us all those things which are the cause of unity and accord!

O God! Descend upon us Heavenly Fragrance and change this gathering into a gathering of Heaven!

Grant to us every benefit and every food.

Prepare for us the Food of Love! Give us the Food of Knowledge! Bestow on us the Food of Heavenly Illumination!

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá


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Look up to see the Beauty

GLEANINGS FOUND HERE AND THERE:

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Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.

I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

~ Louisa May Alcott

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The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The goal is to recognize yourself as the subject.

Then you get put right side up, and you directly live your life as the totality of being.

… Let the whole world break your heart (open).

~ Gangaji


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Harvests of the heart

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

Autumn is that time when so many endings seem to arrive at once, as the summer skies in which our dreams have soared in days of endless light grow overcast, like the darker mornings that are pointing us toward winter.

The intensity of contrast can be shocking when it appears. It reminds us of all that we do not yet know, and of the freedom in embracing that.

greens1374978_233813396773683_648730168_nEvery autumn, a part of me feels sad, as well as reminded, and also — like those spiked hulls from which such bright shiny chestnuts emerge — freshly broken open, once again.

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” urges poet Mary Oliver.

Theologian Paul Tillich reminds,“The first duty of love is to listen.”

colortip1383238_233814043440285_366268116_n“ … if you are willing to let your heart break completely open, with no internal narrative controlling the opening, you will discover the pure, innocent love that is alive in the core of every emotion, every feeling, everybody,” writes Gangaji. “It remains pure and spacious regardless of change or loss.”

Once this happens, then perhaps we are equipped at last for what these words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s invite:

rotetry1379621_233814693440220_853513411_n“Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog …”

Including those often-timid ships of our own small selves.

Leaf photos courtesy of photographer Nelson Ashberger.


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The beginning in the endings

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“Evolution is transformation. And transformation is happening all the time. It happens as we learn new things …

“Evolution is not an automatic ever-ascending spiritual conveyor-belt, but the result of our ability to face reality, adjust, adapt, and change,” says Christine DeLorey, author of Life Cycles: Your Emotional Journey To Freedom And Happiness. I also highly recommend her http://creativenumerology.com/ site.

Fall is that time when so many endings seem to arrive at once, as the summer skies in which our dreams have soared in days of endless light grow overcast, like the darker mornings that are pointing us toward winter.

The intensity of contrast can be shocking when it appears; perhaps even disheartening. It reminds us of all that we do not yet know, and of the freedom in embracing that.

greens1374978_233813396773683_648730168_nEvery autumn, a part of me feels sad, as well as reminded, and also — like those spiked hulls from which such bright shiny chestnuts emerge — freshly broken open, once again.

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable,” urges poet Mary Oliver. Theologian Paul Tillich reminds,“The first duty of love is to listen.”

colortip1383238_233814043440285_366268116_n“ … if you are willing to let your heart break completely open, with no internal narrative controlling the opening, you will discover the pure, innocent love that is alive in the core of every emotion, every feeling, everybody,” writes Gangaji. “It remains pure and spacious regardless of change or loss.”

Once this happens, then perhaps we are equipped at last for what these words of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s invite:

rotetry1379621_233814693440220_853513411_n“Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog …”

Including those often-timid ships of our own small selves.

Photos courtesy Nelson Ashberger.


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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.