THE HUMAN EYE
"The human eye is one place where the intensity of human presence becomes uniquely focused and available."
"When you really look deeply at something, it becomes part of you… To look at something that can gaze back at you, or that has a reserve and depth, can heal your eyes and deepen your sense of vision."
Spend some time reflecting of the gift of eyes. Write a short list of things and people you really took the time to see today with the eye of amiable regard and appreciation. 
Quotations | John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic WisdomPhoto | Augusto Serna

THE HUMAN EYE

  • "The human eye is one place where the intensity of human presence becomes uniquely focused and available."
  • "When you really look deeply at something, it becomes part of you… To look at something that can gaze back at you, or that has a reserve and depth, can heal your eyes and deepen your sense of vision."

Spend some time reflecting of the gift of eyes. Write a short list of things and people you really took the time to see today with the eye of amiable regard and appreciation. 

Quotations | John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Photo | Augusto Serna

FALLING TOWARD THE GLASSBLOWER’S BREATH
Here’s a poem for to get drunk on, a lovely poem to walk with. Consider the new rule: "Break the wineglass and fall toward the glassblower’s breath". How about that? What do you think or feel, leaning into the breath of the artist who dances and loves into being all that is? 
There’s an old rule that drunks have to argueand get into fights.The lover is just as bad. He falls down a hole.But down in that hole he finds something shining,worth more than any amount of money or power.
Last night the moon camedropping its clothes in the street.I took it as a sign to start singing.Falling up into the bowl of sky.The bowl brakes. Everywhere is falling everywhere.Nothing else to do.
Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass.And fall toward the glassblower’s breath.
Rumi as rendered by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi(HarperOne, Reprint, 2004) page 8.

FALLING TOWARD THE GLASSBLOWER’S BREATH

Here’s a poem for to get drunk on, a lovely poem to walk with. Consider the new rule: "Break the wineglass and fall toward the glassblower’s breath". How about that? What do you think or feel, leaning into the breath of the artist who dances and loves into being all that is? 

There’s an old rule that drunks have to argue
and get into fights.

The lover is just as bad. He falls down a hole.
But down in that hole he finds something shining,
worth more than any amount of money or power.

Last night the moon came
dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing.
Falling up into the bowl of sky.
The bowl brakes. Everywhere is falling everywhere.
Nothing else to do.

Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass.
And fall toward the glassblower’s breath.

Rumi as rendered by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi
(HarperOne, Reprint, 2004) page 8.

THE CYCLIST

On the day of the race, he waited with the others and felt that life was waiting in the hills. He couldn’t quite say why, but a blessing was about to happen. As the gun went off, he could hear the rush of all the racers breathing—like young horses in the morning.

He had trained for months, up and down the sloping hills, cutting off seconds by wearing less and leaning into curves. His legs were…

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WINGING IT
IT IS NOW 5.08 AM. I have been up for a while listening to the precious sounds of silence. On my way to the airport and readying my whole being for another retreat with genuine seekers who desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the mystery. May I have the courage to take the plunge too, yet again. Keep all retreatants and myself in your thoughts and your prayers. The image depicts my journal entry this morning.
Photo | curtain on the bus during a celtic journey in Ireland | Philip Chircop  

WINGING IT

IT IS NOW 5.08 AM. I have been up for a while listening to the precious sounds of silence. On my way to the airport and readying my whole being for another retreat with genuine seekers who desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the mystery. May I have the courage to take the plunge too, yet again. Keep all retreatants and myself in your thoughts and your prayers. The image depicts my journal entry this morning.

Photo | curtain on the bus during a celtic journey in Ireland | Philip Chircop  

THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY
On the 20th of July, 1969, the first human being walked on the Moon. The American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon’s surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, and declared: 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' The Sea of Tranquility had been named the Mare Tranquillitatis in 1651 by the Italian Jesuit astronomers Francesco Grimaldi and Giovanni Battista Riccioli, in their lunar map: Almagestum novum.
ONE QUESTION
What other “one small step for a human” can you think of, a step that can be considered  ”one giant leap for humanity”?
Photo | Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon | Nasa 

THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY

On the 20th of July, 1969, the first human being walked on the Moon. The American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon’s surface, in the Sea of Tranquility, and declared: 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' 

The Sea of Tranquility had been named the Mare Tranquillitatis in 1651 by the Italian Jesuit astronomers Francesco Grimaldi and Giovanni Battista Riccioli, in their lunar map: Almagestum novum.

ONE QUESTION

What other one small step for a human” can you think of, a step that can be considered  ”one giant leap for humanity”?

Photo | Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon | Nasa 

CARVE OUT THE ANGEL
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set the angel free.” | Michelangelo
In many ways every block of marble has a unique work of art hidden inside of it, and it is the delicate task of the artist to imagine it, discover it and to creatively and radically chip away all that is not it!  
In a similar fashion, every person is like that block of stone! There’s greatness inside, but it has to be evoked.  It has to be carved out through patient and persistent chipping away of all that is not necessary so that what is necessary - the hidden work of art - may show up.
As you con side the unique work of art that you are, what is it that needs to be chipped away that your beauty may manifest?
 

CARVE OUT THE ANGEL

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set the angel free.” | Michelangelo

In many ways every block of marble has a unique work of art hidden inside of it, and it is the delicate task of the artist to imagine it, discover it and to creatively and radically chip away all that is not it!  

In a similar fashion, every person is like that block of stone! There’s greatness inside, but it has to be evoked.  It has to be carved out through patient and persistent chipping away of all that is not necessary so that what is necessary - the hidden work of art - may show up.

As you con side the unique work of art that you are, what is it that needs to be chipped away that your beauty may manifest?

 

I HOPE YOU DANCE

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder 
You get your fill to eat 
But always keep that hunger 
May you never take one single breath for granted 
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed 
I hope you still feel small 
When you stand beside the ocean 
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens 
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
I hope you dance 
I hope you dance 

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance 
Never settle for the path of least resistance 
Living might mean taking chances 
But they’re worth taking 
Lovin’ might be a mistake 
But it’s worth making 
Don’t let some hell bent heart 
Leave you bitter 
When you come close to selling out 
Reconsider 
Give the heavens above 
More than just a passing glance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
I hope you dance 
(Time is a real and constant motion always) 
I hope you dance 
(Rolling us along) 
I hope you dance 
(Tell me who) 
I hope you dance 
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder) 
(Where those years have gone) 

I hope you still feel small 
When you stand by the ocean 
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens 
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance 

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance 
Dance 
I hope you dance 
I hope you dance 
(Time is a real and constant motion always) 
I hope you dance 
(Rolling us along) 
I hope you dance 
(Tell me who) 
(Wants to look back on their youth and wonder) 
I hope you dance 
(Where those years have gone)

Artist | Lee Ann Womak

BECOME A LAKE

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. “How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter” spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and…

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TAKE CONTROL
Perhaps we’re not meant to be in total control of our lives. A virus puts us out of commission for a while … caught unexpectedly in a traffic accident  disturbs our plans for the day … a cancelled flight, a loss, an unexpected storm … these are all happenings beyond our control! 
And yet sitting quietly with the above illustration I found myself asking, "Am I in control of my life? If not, who or what is controlling my life? What can I do when faced with happenings beyond my immediate control?"
As I looked at the keyboard on my laptop, I noticed that above the ’control’ key there is the 'shift' key!  And I thought to myself, "when the going gets rough and tough, what one tiny ‘shift’ can I make to stay grounded and aligned to the natural flow of life?"
Cartoon | Nabhan Abdullatif

TAKE CONTROL

Perhaps we’re not meant to be in total control of our lives. A virus puts us out of commission for a while … caught unexpectedly in a traffic accident  disturbs our plans for the day … a cancelled flight, a loss, an unexpected storm … these are all happenings beyond our control! 

And yet sitting quietly with the above illustration I found myself asking, "Am I in control of my life? If not, who or what is controlling my life? What can I do when faced with happenings beyond my immediate control?"

As I looked at the keyboard on my laptop, I noticed that above the ’control’ key there is the 'shift' key!  And I thought to myself, "when the going gets rough and tough, what one tiny ‘shift’ can I make to stay grounded and aligned to the natural flow of life?"

Cartoon | Nabhan Abdullatif

TWO BAD BRICKS

After we purchased the land for our monastery in 1983 we were broke. We were in debt. There were no buildings on the land, not even a shed. Those first few weeks we slept not on beds but on old doors we had bought cheaply from the salvage yard; we raised them on bricks at each corner to lift them off the ground. (There were no mattresses, of course — we were forest monks.)

The abbot had the best…

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