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Readings, By Date (2017)

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Nov 13: Vinoba Bhave, The Sun Is The Perfect Example (4618 reads)
The sun is the perfect example of acting without desire. When the sun rises does the idea enter its mind to say, 'I shall banish the darkness, I shall urge the birds to fly, and I will set...
Nov 06: Thuy Nguyen, Space To Heal (5512 reads)
Healing requires space. As we plow through day to day life, we dream about finding a time when there will be space to heal, rejuvenate and refuel. Some of us are holding off until the weekend,...
Oct 30: Gerald G. May, Welcoming Fear As A Friend (5773 reads)
The basic lesson is this: Fear is not an enemy but a friend. Fear is something good, something alive, alert, and wild in us. Fear may be a response to danger, bur fear itself is not dangerous. On...
Oct 23: Jeanne de Salzmann, Seeing Is Not Thinking (4981 reads)
The question is not what to do but how to see. Seeing is the most important thing—the act of seeing. I need to realize that it is truly an act, an action that brings something entirely new, a...
Oct 16: Robin Wall Kimmerer, Planting Twin Trees (4834 reads)
There was a custom in the mid-eighteen hundreds of planting twin trees to celebrate a marriage and the starting of a home. The stance of these two, just ten feet apart, recalls a couple standing...
Oct 09: Alan Watts, One Has No Self To Love (6454 reads)
Love that expresses itself in creative action is something much more than an emotion. It is not something which you can “feel” and “know,” remember and define. Love is the...
Oct 02: Parker Palmer, Habits Of The Heart (9176 reads)
“Habits of the heart” (a phrase coined by Alexis de Tocqueville) are deeply ingrained ways of seeing, being, and responding to life that involve our minds, our emotions, our...
Sep 25: Ilan Shamir, Advice From A Tree (6261 reads)
Dear Friend, Stand Tall and Proud Sink your roots deeply into the Earth Reflect the light of a greater source Think long term Go out on a limb Remember your place among all living beings...
Sep 18: Ram Dass, Beyond Content Of Thought (4941 reads)
Instead of trying so hard to get out of the shadow, the dark, which I think actually reinforces the shadow and its reality, just do your practices. See, if somebody says, “I’m having...
Sep 11: Norman Fischer, Emptiness And Compassion Go Hand In Hand (5088 reads)
The word “emptiness” is a fair translation of shunyata, but it has the drawback of sounding negative, even despairing.  The Chinese, searching for a word that might translate...
Sep 04: Parag Shah, Happy Birthday, Dear Sister (5013 reads)
Happy Birthday, Dear Sister. Welcome to the festival of this world. I pray in silence on this day, That you are bestowed with the gift of Nothingness! That Nothingness which is full of...
Aug 28: Brother David Steindl-Rast, Loving Your Enemy (5647 reads)
To love our enemies does not mean that we suddenly become their friends. If it is our enemies we are to love, they must remain enemies. Unless you have enemies, you cannot love them. And if you...
Aug 21: Michelle, Heart And Soul Bonds (5018 reads)
Our lives are greeted by different types of relationships. Some fun, some cozy and intimate, some crazy and adventurous, some inseparable. Nevertheless, there are also other type of connections,...
Aug 14: Ray Grigg, Each Thing's Way (4984 reads)
Trouble is caused by people who think they are smart enough to improve things. First they try. When there is resistance, they push. Then they push harder until their intentions are lost in...
Aug 07: Sam Harris, To Know Your Mind, Pay Close Attention To It (5351 reads)
Certain rare and wonderful experiences are possible. But this is all we need, to take “spirituality” (the unavoidable term for this project of self-transcendence) seriously. [...] We...
Jul 31: Richard Rohr, From Being Driven To Being Drawn (6108 reads)
When I was a young man, I liked ideas and books quite a lot, and I still read a great deal. But each time I come back from a long hermitage retreat, I have no desire to read a book for the next few...
Jul 24: TKV Desikachar, The Boss And The Attendants (4762 reads)
The great masters, in ancient times, not only had visions of the Higher Force, they were also very practical. Their teachings are simple: They encourage the development of a great mind, but warn us...
Jul 17: Riva Melissa Taz, The Grandest Vision For Humanity (4805 reads)
The universe is complex and beautiful. When we listen to stories of humanity, life and death, we can’t fathom the complexity of the narratives of all those who have lived before us, of all...
Jul 10: Zilong Wang, The False Duality Between "Job" And "Service" (6060 reads)
Around the time when I set off for Asia in July, two of my dearest friends/teachers both went from full-time volunteer work to taking full-time jobs. Their decision to return to the...
Jul 03: Vimala Thakar, Force of Love is the Force of Total Revolution (5915 reads)
A tender, loving concern for all living creatures will need to arise and reign in our hearts if any of us is to survive. And our lives will be truly blessed only when the misery of one is genuinely...
Jun 26: Robina Courtin, Attachments Are Not Set in Stone (5777 reads)
Attachment is such a simple word, but it’s multi-faceted. At the most fundamental level it’s that feeling of neediness deep inside us; that belief that somehow I am not enough, I...
Jun 19: Michael Damian, Enlightenment is Intimacy with All Things (6511 reads)
Depending on how we use it, the mind can obscure or reveal truth and thereby create hell or heaven for us. In that sense, where we really live is in the quality of our state of mind. The...
Jun 12: Mark Nepo, Be Alight with Who We Are (6238 reads)
There is always purpose in being, but not always being in purpose. How easily we get caught up in defining who we are in relation to those around us. I remember walking home from school in...
Jun 05: Margaret Wheatley, Big Enough to Take It All In (5374 reads)
To want to see clearly is a true act of fearlessness. To open our heart and mind, to be open to what life is offering us in this moment, requires tremendous courage and steadfastness. In the...
May 29: J. Krishnamurti, Is There Righteous Anger Ever? (5932 reads)
One of the most common expressions of violence is anger. When my wife or sister is attacked, I say I am righteously angry; when my country is attacked, my ideas, my principles, my way of life, I am...
May 22: Eknath Easwaran, Live Intentionally, In Freedom (5691 reads)
Modern psychology commonly asserts that we cannot enter the unconscious fully aware. The mystic responds, "Oh, yes, you can! I have done it." The journey cannot be adequately described,...
May 15: Herman Hesse, Knowledge can be Conveyed, but not Wisdom (5624 reads)
Look, my dear Govinda, this is one of my thoughts, which I have found: wisdom cannot be passed on.  Wisdom which a wise man tries to pass on to someone always sounds like...
May 08: Costica Bradatan, True Humility: Selfless Respect for Reality (6834 reads)
From the potential unique location – the site of devastation that we might become – we understand that we are no grander than the rest of the world. Indeed, we are less than most...
May 01: Tara Brach, The Sacred Art of Pausing (8837 reads)
In our lives we often find ourselves in situations we can’t control, circumstances in which none of our strategies work. Helpless and distraught, we frantically try to manage what is...
Apr 24: Paul Fleischman, Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us (5545 reads)
The universe is very big and very old. It was only discovered by us in the twentieth century. When you look up at the night stars you aren’t seeing it. Our Milky Way galaxy alone has billions...
Apr 17: Tracy Cochran, Touching the Earth (5249 reads)
In the great myth of the Buddha’s journey, there came a point when he is completely overwhelmed. As he sits meditating under the Bodhi tree, the devil Mara sends temptations to distract him...
Apr 10: Clarissa Pinkola Estes, We Were Made for These Times (9776 reads)
My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world...
Apr 03: Ursula LeGuin, The Way of the Water (6159 reads)
We have glamorized the way of the warrior for millennia. We have identified it as the supreme test and example of courage, strength, duty, generosity, and manhood. If I turn from the way of the...
Mar 27: Peter Kalmus, We Are Swimming in Miracles (5969 reads)
Chicago. I remember in high school, I went for a walk. I was going to a friend's house and I was walking past all these houses; it was the evening, sort of dark. In every house, there were blue...
Mar 20: Robin Wall Kimmerer, Returning the Gift (6183 reads)
In the teachings of my Potawatomi ancestors, responsibilities and gifts are understood as two sides of the same coin. The possession of a gift is coupled with a duty to use it for the benefit of...
Mar 13: David Brooks, I-It and I-Thou (7233 reads)
(Reflections on "I-Thou" by Martin Buber) I-It relationships come in two varieties. Some are strictly utilitarian. You’re exchanging information in order to do some practical...
Mar 06: Sri M, Moved by Love (6160 reads)
In the Himalayas, there lived an infamous bandit named Sultana, who plundered the caravans of rich pilgrims and looted resource-rich monasteries. The very mention of Sultana, it was said, made...
Feb 27: Hazrat Inayat Khan, A Scheme to Change the World? (6584 reads)
The other day I lectured in Paris and after my lecture a very able man came to me and said, 'Have you got a scheme?' I said, 'What scheme?' 'Of bettering conditions.' I...
Feb 20: Alan Watts, You Play the Piano (8681 reads)
The existence, the physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. That is to say, it doesn’t have some destination that it...
Feb 13: Omid Safi, Praise Song for Wide Open Space (6011 reads)
Wide open spaces fill my heart with a sense of awe. It can be a plain, a desert, a view from a mountaintop, a vista. Somehow wide open spaces remind me of God’s presence in ways that few...
Feb 06: Suzanne Toro, Why Meditate (5869 reads)
Meditation is the act of getting quiet and settling the mind. It’s the process of slowing and eventually stopping your thoughts, at which point you can bask in and feel the silence, trusting...
Jan 30: Brother David Steindl-Rast, Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose (6606 reads)
The only point where one can start to talk about anything, including death, is where one finds oneself. And for me this is as a Benedictine monk. In the rule of St. Benedict, the momenta mori has...
Jan 23: Parker Palmer, My Misgivings About Advice (7891 reads)
My misgivings about advice began with my first experience of clinical depression thirty-five years ago. The people who tried to support me had good intentions. But, for the most part, what...
Jan 16: Vincent Horn, Theory and Practice (4988 reads)
If we look at what theory is, it’s essentially an abstraction, or representation, of direct experience. It’s a way for us to take our understanding and transmit, through the medium of...
Jan 09: Jane Hirshfield, Shaped by a Silky Attention (5468 reads)
A request for concentration isn't always answered, but people engaged in many disciplines have found ways to invite it in. Violinists practicing scales and dancers repeating the same movements...
Jan 02: Sandra Ingerman, Medicine for the Earth (9728 reads)
In all spiritual traditions it is taught that everything that manifests in the physical world starts in the invisible realms of spirit. We must remember that a baby grows in the womb. Trees and...