Tuesday, December 27, 2016

John O'Donohue: Beannacht

In the wake of the sudden deaths in an automobile accident yesterday of close friends of our oldest son's, it comes to me tonight to share this prayerful blessing by John O'Donohue. This is for Adam and Shannon and all whose lives they touched and who are grief stricken by this great loss.

With love, prayers, and deep blessing ~ Molly

Beannacht / Blessing

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
- John O'Donohue

Monday, December 26, 2016

Margaret Mead: Great Opportunities

We are continually faced with great opportunities 
which are brilliantly disguised 
as unsolvable problems.

 Margaret Mead

Vandana Shiva: What We Owe Each Other Is a Celebration Of Life

“[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” 
 Vandana Shiva

Margaret Mead: There Is No Greater Insight Into the Future

There is no greater insight into the future 
than recognizing...when we save our children, 
we save ourselves. 

 Margaret Mead

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee: Our Heart Knows What Our Mind Has Forgotten

Our heart knows what our mind has forgotten — 
it knows the sacred that is within all that exists, 
and through a depth of feeling we can once again 
experience this connection, this belonging.
Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Joanna Macy: What We Cherish In Our Hearts

Out of this darkness a new world can arise, 
not to be constructed by our minds so much as to 
emerge from our dreams. Even though we cannot see 
clearly how it's going to turn out, we are still called 
to let the future into our imagination. 
We will never be able to build what we have not 
first cherished in our hearts.
- Joanna Macy

From Our Home and My Heart To Yours At Christmas

For the Children, For Peace - Our community altar that Ron built several years ago in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook. It continues to stand illuminating our prayers for the children and for peace.

 Merry Christmas and
warmest holiday blessings to all!
Whatever your religious tradition or spiritual practice,
may gratitude, love, laughter, and joy be with you.
And during those times that are especially hard, may
connection, compassion, and tenderness also be with you.

A prayer sits in front of me at my computer here 
at home and on my desk at work:
May we be at peace.
May our hearts remain open.
May we know the beauty of our own true nature.
May we be healed.

This is my prayer for us all.

On this Christmas Day, and as 2016 draws to an end, it is 
my hope that each of us will more deeply integrate 
the heart of what Christmas is. And may we consider 
and be mindful of how we may enter the coming New Year
with an increased commitment to help usher in a more
compassionate, just, kind, and peaceful world 
beginning, as always, within our own hearts.
 This, to me, is the loving essence of Christmas.

May our hearts remain open.
May we do this for the children, for ourselves, 
for our loved ones, for peace, and for all who we 
share this beautiful Earth with.
Bless you. Bless us all.

With love,


Kuan Yin, Bodhisattva/Goddess of Compassion

Friday, December 23, 2016

Joanna Macy: The True Meaning of Compassion

Kuan Yin. Photo by Molly
We are capable of suffering with our world, and that is the true meaning of compassion. It enables us to recognize our profound interconnectedness with all beings. Don't ever apologize for crying for the trees burning in the Amazon or over the waters polluted from mines in the Rockies. Don't apologize for the sorrow, grief, and rage you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal. That is what is happening as we see people honestly confronting the sorrows of our time.

- Joanna Macy

Joanna Macy: The Greatest Danger

Joanna Macy has long been among my beloved teachers.
This wisdom is deeply needed today.
May we soak it in.
Peace & blessings to all - Molly

As we reflect on the state of our world, 
we can realize the power we have to make a difference.

If you’re really paying attention, it’s hard to escape a sense of outrage, fear, despair. Author, deep-ecologist, and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy says: Don’t even try.
How do we live with the fact that we are destroying our world? What do we make of the loss of glaciers, the melting Arctic, island nations swamped by the sea, widening deserts and drying farmlands?
Because of social taboos, despair at the state of our world and fear for our future are rarely acknowledged. The suppression of despair, like that of any deep recurring response, contributes to the numbing of the psyche. Expressions of anguish or outrage are muted, deadened as if a nerve had been cut. This refusal to feel impoverishes our emotional and sensory life. Flowers are dimmer and less fragrant, our loves less ecstatic. We create diversions for ourselves as individuals and as nations, in the fights we pick, the aims we pursue, and the stuff we buy.
Of all the dangers we face, from climate chaos to permanent war, none is so great as this deadening of our response. For psychic numbing impedes our capacity to process and respond to information. The energy expended in pushing down despair is diverted from more crucial uses, depleting the resilience and imagination needed for fresh visions and strategies.
Zen poet Thích Nhất Hạnh  was asked, “What do we most need to do to save our world?” His answer was this: “What we most need to do is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.”

Cracking the Shell

How do we confront what we scarcely dare to think? How do we face our grief, fear, and rage without “going to pieces?”
It is good to realize that falling apart is not such a bad thing. Indeed, it is as essential to transformation as the cracking of outgrown shells. Anxieties and doubts can be healthy and creative, not only for the person, but for the society, because they permit new and original approaches to reality.
What disintegrates in periods of rapid transformation is not the self, but its defenses and assumptions. Self-protection restricts vision and movement like a suit of armor, making it harder to adapt. Going to pieces, however uncomfortable, can open us up to new perceptions, new data, and new responses.
Speaking the truth of our anguish for the world brings down the walls between us, drawing us into deep solidarity. That solidarity is all the more real for the uncertainty we face.
In our culture, despair is feared and resisted because it represents a loss of control. We’re ashamed of it and dodge it by demanding instant solutions to problems. We seek the quick fix. This cultural habit obscures our perceptions and fosters a dangerous innocence of the real world.
Acknowledging despair, on the other hand, involves nothing more mysterious than telling the truth about what we see and know and feel is happening to our world. When corporate-controlled media keep the public in the dark, and power-holders manipulate events to create a climate of fear and obedience, truth-telling is like oxygen. It enlivens and returns us to health and vigor.

Paul Tillich: Grace

This is a gem, something I have learned and come to embrace as profound wisdom over the years of my healing and awakening. Grace, I believe, is something that can come to permeate each of our lives. The challenge and the paradox is the doorway through which grace enters us. We often, through fear and ignorance, don't see the door and unknowingly keep it closed. That has certainly been my experience. Things shift, however, as we become willing to try and risk something new and to more fully surrender into something larger than ourselves. 

I have discovered that it is indeed often that which we reject and split off from our conscious awareness - our masked and projected fears and shame, the unattended and neglected pain in our hearts, the opportunity to shed old belief systems for new and more deeply loving ones, the invitation to embrace and come to better know ourselves and others, all this and much more - that holds the key to greater understanding, compassion, peace, wisdom, and love than we have ever known before. 

May we all be increasingly blessed with the acceptance of that which we have rejected. May we allow grace and love to grow within ourselves and our lives and what it is that we bring to the world.

Bless us all on our journeys ~ Molly

Photo by Molly

Grace is more than gifts. In grace something is overcome; grace occurs in spite of something; grace occurs in spite of separation and estrangement. Grace is the reunion of life with life, the reconciliation of the self with itself. Grace is the acceptance of that which is rejected.

- Paul Tillich,
The Shaking of the Foundations