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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Space Between the Logs

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This is from a poem that I love. It’s called, “Fire” by Judy Brown.


What makes a fire burn
is the space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood….



This feels like beautiful advice. It’s an invitation to pause and to find the spaces in our life that allow spirit to shine through. So, what stops us? What makes it so difficult? When we’re in a rush and feeling stressed, the hardest thing in the world is to stop. You probably know what it’s like. If you try to stop, everything in your body and your mind is still charging forward. There’s a huge, anxious, restless drive to check things off the list and tie up all loose ends. It’s really physically uncomfortable to pause!

We each have an existential hum of fear that is in the background of our daily life. We have a perception of our temporariness, that …

Gift to the Soul: The Space of Presence

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For many of us this is a season when it feels that we are going faster and faster. Everything’s racing, through school semesters, wrapping up work commitments,  holidays; the currents of life are in full tilt.
Given the time of year, one student fell into a period of intense stress resulting from a cycle of classes, studying, working and little sleep. He didn’t realize how long he had neglected to write home until he received the following note:
 Dear Son,  Your mother and I enjoyed your last letter.   Of course, we were much younger then and more impressionable.  Love,  Dad.
As you know, it’s not just students. Some months ago a friend described getting caught in this state busy-ness while trying to get her daughter to school. She was busy getting things ready while her daughter was trying to show her something. Every time her daughter would call her over she would say, “Just hang on a moment. I’ll be there in a second.” After several rounds of this, the little four-year old came out of her…

Living Whole-Heartedly

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The happiest people I know have something in common: they are whole-hearted in how they engage in their lives...whole-hearted in relating with others, in work, in meditation, and in play. They have a capacity to give themselves thoroughly to the present moment. Yet for many, it's challenging to engage with this quality of presence. Take this personal ad for example. It says: Free to a good home, beautiful 6-month old male kitten, orange and caramel tabby, playful, friendly, very affectionate, ideal for family with kids.  OR handsome 32-year old husband, personable, funny, good job, but doesn't like cats.  He or the cat goes.  Call Jennifer and decide which one you'd like. How often do we find that in our relationships, rather than loving presence, we have an agenda for someone to change, to be different? How often do we find that our insecurities prevent us from being spontaneous, or whole-heartedly engaged with friends? You might think of one important relationship and ask y…