Tagged Letting Go

Snow Day Reflection

There are different kinds of realizations. They are not always lightening bolts but sometimes soft and slow, as if snow were quietly falling and settling. Softly and slowly, as we relax into our practice and our life, we can come to see and feel the way we habitually treat life as an enemy to be overcome. Some days, we are brave warrior, pumped up, focused and solid. But other days, life is an occupying army rolling over us. Fear makes everything go dark. It is important to note what happens when we are afraid or stressed or overwhelmed. And there…

Determination

“If we could surrender to Earth’s intelligence, we would rise up rooted, like trees.” –Rainer Maria Rilke   One day recently I woke up with no voice, just a breathy whisper. This is challenging under ordinary circumstances but on this particular day it felt like catastrophe. I was scheduled to teach mindfulness meditation and give…

Odilon Redon, "Flower Clouds," 1903

Soft

The root meaning of heal is whole. Illness and mishap and even great tragedy can lead us eventually from the pain of isolation to a greater wholeness. There is such a powerful tendency in our spiritual aspiration to climb up out of the mess of our lives. But what if awakening involved sinking down instead…

Minor White, Moencopi Strata, Capitol Reef, Utah, 1962. Courtesy of The Minor White Archive, Princeton University.

The Power in Obstacles

Last week, a group of us talked about what happens when we face obstacles and difficult situations.   We agreed that no one escapes such things, and that often what happens is inside is fear, which has a powerful undertow. Signs at ocean beaches warn swimmers not to try to fight their way out of a…

A Way Out of Hell

The impermanence of life causes suffering, but permanence is hell. When I was young, I had a recurring nightmare in which I was trapped in a grid or maze.  I was not alone in the maze. Other people, including friends, were visible and in shouting distance, but we couldn’t move to really face one another. …

One Day This Will Happen

One day this will happen to you: life will surprise you. Life will show you that you have been dreaming, and it will wake you. We each have countless examples. Here is one of mine. Once many years ago, I took my young daughter on a meditation retreat led by Thich Nhat Hanh—a retreat that…