This article reinforces the attention to life approach. Take a gander…
I commend this Letter, “Speaking of Freedom,” to you. Listen or read. Let it sink in. Let it change us.
Relationships are made of common understanding and an uncommon depth of attention.
–Joan Chittister, from the Heart, Monasteries of the Heart, January 19, 2020
“Everybody is invited. When you say ‘creative people,’ it’s redundant. We are creativity. And we’ve done a great disservice to bifurcate it. And one of the things I’ve been saying a lot to people is that we keep telling people to follow their passion and I feel that that can be an intimidating and an almost cruel thing to say to people at times because first of all if somebody has one central powerful burning passion, they’re probably already following it because that’s sort of the definition of passion is that you don’t have a choice. If you don’t, which is a lot of people, have one central burning passion and somebody tells you to follow your passion, I think you have the right to give them the finger…because it just makes you feel worse. So I always say to people, forget it. If you don’t have an obvious passion, forget about it. Follow your curiosity. Because passion is sort of a tower of flame that is not always accessible and curiosity is something that anybody can access any day. Your curiosity may lead you to your passion or it may not, it may have been for air quotes ‘nothing’ in which case all you’ve done your entire life is spend your existence in pursuit of things that made you feel curious and inspired. And that should be good enough. Like if you get to do that, that’s a wonderful way to spend your time here.” (emphasis mine)
–transcribed from “The Source of Creativity,” TED Radio Hour, “Elizabeth Gilbert: Where does creativity come from?”, December 27, 2019
“…I was really interested in the way that the “I” deepened the more you paid attention. In Galapagos, I began to realize that because I was in deeply attentive states, hour after hour, watching animals and birds and landscapes — and that’s all I did for almost two years — I began to realize that my identity depended not upon any beliefs I had, inherited beliefs or manufactured beliefs, but my identity actually depended on how much attention I was paying to things that were other than myself — and that as you deepen this intentionality and this attention, you started to broaden and deepen your own sense of presence.
I began to realize that the only places where things were actually real was at this frontier between what you think is you and what you think is not you, that whatever you desire of the world will not come to pass exactly as you will like it. But the other mercy is that whatever the world desires of you will also not come to pass, and what actually occurs is this meeting, this frontier. But it’s astonishing how much time human beings spend away from that frontier, abstracting themselves out of their bodies, out of their direct experience, and out of a deeper, broader, and wider possible future that’s waiting for them if they hold the conversation at that frontier level. Half of what’s about to occur is unknown both inside you and outside you. John O’Donohue, a mutual friend of both of us, used to say that one of the necessary tasks is this radical letting alone of yourself in the world, letting the world speak in its own voice and letting this deeper sense of yourself speak out.”
—David Whyte, On Being with Krista Tippett
Sounds from Yellowstone National Park
There’s a new queen joining the hive at The Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill and she’s sporting a fine green spot. Can you see her among her drones?
“Our supreme purpose in life is not to make a fortune, nor to pursue pleasure, nor to write our name on history, but to discover this spark of the divine that is in our hearts…when we realize this goal, we discover simultaneously that the divinity within ourselves is one and the same in all—all individuals, all creatures, all of life. . . .
A mystic is one who not only espouses these principles of the Perennial Philosophy but lives them, whose every action reflects the wisdom and selfless love that are the hallmark of one who has made this supreme discovery. Such a person has made the divine a reality in every moment of life, and that reality shines through whatever he or she may do or say—and that is the real test. . . . [A mystic is marked by] an unbroken awareness of the presence of God in all creatures. The signs are clear: unfailing compassion, fearlessness, equanimity, and the unshakable knowledge, based on direct, personal experience, that all the treasures and pleasures of this world together are worth nothing if one has not found the uncreated light at the center of the soul.”
–Adapted from Eknath Easwaran, Original Goodness (Nilgiri Press: 1989, 1996), 8-10 in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, August 15, 2019