Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Awakin Readings

Every week, we post a reading from various wisdom traditions, to provoke insights and deeper reflection. Each thought is also accompanied by an illustration and an audio recordings (and often translations in other languages). Explore and enjoy!

The Practice Of Soft Eyes

--by Parker Palmer (Aug 13, 2018)

In a sacred landscape, with its complexities and convolutions, surprise is a constant companion: it lies just around the bend or hidden in the next valley, and though it sometimes startles us, it often brings delight. But on the flatlands of a desacralized world, where we grow accustomed to seeing things approaching us long before they arrive, surprise is neither expected nor welcomed. When it suddenly arises, apparently out of nowhere, we are stricken with fear and may even respond with violence. […] It is possible to respond differently to surprises, to allow one new idea to generate yet another in us — a process sometimes called thinking. But in a flattened, desacralized culture thinking is not what happens when we are taken — or threatened — by surprise....

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