“The greatest inspiration, the most sublime ideas of living that have come down to humanity come from a higher realm, a happier realm, a place of pure dreams, a heaven of blessed notions. Ideas and infinite possibilities dwell there in absolute tranquility.
Before these ideas came to us they were pure, they were silent, and their life-giving possibilities were splendid. But when they come to our earthly realm they acquire weight and words. They become less.”
“The sweetest notions, ideas of universal love and justice, love for one another, or intuitions of joyful creation, these are all perfect in their heavenly existences. Any artist will tell you that ideas are happier in the heaven of their conception than on the earth of their realization. We should return to pure contemplation, to sweet meditation, to the peace of silent loving, the serenity of deep faith, to the stillness of deep waters. We should sit still in our deep selves and dream good new things for humanity. We should try and make those dreams real. We should keep trying to raise higher the conditions and possibilities of this world. Then maybe one day, after much striving, we might well begin to create a world justice and a new light on this earth that could inspire a ten-second silence of wonder – even in heaven.”
― Ben Okri
“Unless you know how to love your neighbor, you cannot love God. Before placing an offering on the altar of God, you have to reconcile with your neighbor, because reconciling with your neighbor is to reconcile with God. You can only touch God through his creatures; you will not understand what is true love, the love of God, unless you practice the love of humanity.” ~Thich Nhat Hahn, Zen master, poet and peace activist, Taming the Tiger Within
Recently, I had the honor of becoming friends with Chase Gagnon through a poetry group we’re apart of on Facebook. To say it simply, his words move my soul. Today, I have the privilege to share the power of his poetry, photography and storytelling! Enjoy.
“I was walking into Zeff’s on the corner of Russell and Winder for lunch when I saw him sitting against the wall. The same tattered old man who’s always roaming around Eastern Market through the snow and freezing rain asking strangers for money, the guy who you can see digging through dumpsters and trash cans looking for scraps of food.
I never have anything to give him, and he knows this by now. But it’s the day after Christmas, and I just hit it big off a dollar scratcher. Won thirty five bucks. He puts his head down as I approach, shielding his face from the wind. “Hey man, you want some lunch?” His eyes lit up “you serious fam? I’m hungry as a motherfucker!
I said “hell yeah!” motioning him with my head to get up off the cold ground. We walked into the filthy dive and sat at the bar, each ordered a couple coney dogs and some chilly fries with a hot cup of coffee.”
“We sat and talked about basketball, how insane Andre Drummond played last night as highlights from the game flashed across the fuzzy TV screen above the counter. Laughed at how stupid our fellow Americans were for electing Donald Trump, and then talked a little bit about how goddamn cold it’s been this past week.
I saw his eyes ice over when he thought about the weather outside, gazing back out into the filthy streets where he sleeps while he sipped his piping hot coffee, both bare hands gripping the mug for warmth. “You know, I can’t remember the last time someone treated me like a human.”
“Give your soul the silence it needs to make itself heard. Because the voice of your soul is silent. It’s power can flourish only in the silences. Then your soul will fill you with life. You will be like you really are.”
“I speak my truth. My voice matters. I express myself. I speak with kindness. I speak with love. My voice is strong. My voice is clear. My voice is steady. I have an opinion. I have the words I need. I stand up for myself.”
“I am gentle with my words. I listen to others. I am authentic, honest and creative.”
“I say what I mean, and mean what I say.”
“I play in my imagination. I create my reality. I know and share my truth.”
“I speak freely and with confidence. It is now safe for me to express my feelings and to create the life I desire. Everything I do is an expression of Love.”
“I move beyond old limitations and now allow myself to express my truth freely and creatively.”
“I release all fears, negativity and doubts that block my creative expression.”
“I am aligned with my highest truth and communicate this with love and honor. My words echo softly within the Universe.”
“I speak in alignment with my most authentic truth. I express my thoughts genuinely and with clarity. I communicate my feelings with ease. I listen with interest. I am a Divine receiver.”
“There is a very Simple Secret to being happy. Just let go of your ‘demand’ on this moment. Any time you have a demand on the moment to give you something or remove something, there is suffering. You’re Arguing with ‘What Is’ – Your demands keep you chained to the ‘dream-state’ of the conditioned mind. The desire to ‘control’… is, ultimately, our unwillingness to just be awake.”
“Spiritual awakening happens when you stop bullshitting yourself into continual non-awakening. It’s very easy to use disciplines to avoid reality rather than to encounter it. A true spirituality will have you continually facing your illusions and all the ways you avoid reality. Spiritual practice may be an important means of confronting yourself, or it may be a means of avoiding yourself; it all depends on your attitude and intention.”
“First *NEW MOON* of 2016 is in Earthy Capricorn. She’s calling us to reach for our dreams and ground them into the physical plane, but reminds us that we must first embody our knowing. For that is where our truth and nectar lies.
“The wisdom, the insights, and the understanding we receive are to be embodied within each one of us. While many are eager to share and teach what they learn as soon as they receive it, that is not what is being called of us. We are to live with and practice what we are learning and that should be our central focus, our locus of devotion.
For as we know, it’s not about trying to change the world “out there” but about turning the focus within, grounding our roots into Mamma Earth and humbling ourselves to the greater journey of Creation, which is all about growth.
So on this NEW MOON in Capricorn, it’s time to deepen our roots and abide with all that is circling in our present Reality.
Like the goat, we can climb the mountain toward our dreams, slow and steady, remembering to take good care of ourselves along the way, while taking the time to enjoy the view.”
“Blessed. Surrounded by every opportunity in the world.
“Granted to meet in life that which can revitalize and restore and reawaken what was lost, stuck, stopped.
“Given a charge of inner worlds power. A prana of life-giving essence to offer into the most obdurate situations hope and enthusiasm.
“Not put off by coming up against tremendous outward and inward stuff to cut through. Just knowing there is a force, there is a way somehow.
“Bearing a treasure that is priceless. Offered the keys to the kingdom.
“It is simply a matter of calibrating the Living Spirit in all things as supreme. Yet there is something in this worship, in this ritual that is more than the simple basic model would suggest.
“We are here entering upon the mystery of soul remembrance. What does it mean when we can recall in a fragrant fashion all good and essential things and we never can forget them?
“What does it do for us when we immerse ourselves over and again in especially painful and enduring lessons and repetitive experience, yet all throughout we feel and know inside that we can come through and that everybody can come through?
“What this does is to tap a storehouse of spirit spark that is right here available whenever we are ready to surrender to it’s depth of power.
“Usually, we must first exhaust every other way of dealing with what is at hand. Only then do we remember the prayer, the vision, the promise…
“It is a rhythm, a pulse, a knack. Once you get it, you can’t lose it. Then you know the New Birth in all things.”
This new moon in Sagittarius brought up a lot of old wounds and pain for me that still tenaciously cling to the here and now. It happened when I was least expecting it. Thoughts such as, “I have shown up for what I want to grow and expand in my life.” or “I have done the inner work.” placed a perfect fitting mask upon my face that I forgot who I am. Somewhere along the line I got a little lost in some idealistic vision of myself. The intensity of my inner suffering knocked me to the ground like all the fallen leaves and layers of bark upon the forest floor. Though I thought I have been facing reality, I now humbly realize that there are still areas of my life that need the continuation of healing. Instead of thinking negatively about repeating karmic patterns, I choose to mindfully walk through these experiences. I surrender to the mystery of Spirt Essence. My ancestors would call it the Great Spirit. Opening again to the self-love, the experience of I AM. In each breath…being in communion of spirit.
*the link that inspired this post is from Mysticmama
Sometimes we have to repeat certain words to ourselves over and over again. Over days and even weeks just to help keep our focus. To help pick us up when we have fallen over a negative thought or feeling. It’s like that story that Pema Chödrön tells about the Buddha:
“On the night on which he was to attain enlightenment, the Buddha sat under a tree. While sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara. The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and that their weapons turned into flowers.
What does this story mean? My understanding of it is that what we habitually regard as obstacles are not really our enemies, but rather our friends. What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as an obstacle and enemy or as a teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves.”
Well, that is why over the last couple of weeks I have needed to repeat some words over and over again to myself. Because I have been experiencing a lot of obstacles and unpleasant circumstances….particularly arising from within my own thoughts and emotions.
Here is what I’ve have personally had to write and say to myself over and over again to transform those arrows and swords into flowers:
“I am right on track, right on schedule. I trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. All is well. I am free to enjoy myself. I am right where I need to be, when I need to be, how I need to be. My life is enough. I am enough. Everything I say or do is enough. In chaos or order, it is enough. My life is natural and wholesome. I am natural and wholesome. I have the grace to recognize and accept that. I have the grace to be free. I go on and on past this moment, past boundaries, past time, past understanding. I am an infinite being. I AM Infinity, itself. I AM Essence.”
*this post is dedicated to a dear Twitter friend, Ishani, @musicmoonlove “Be blessed, Soul Sister.” ❤
“In one of my former lives I was a cloud. The cloud had a nice time in the sky, travelling around and looking down. A cloud is sometimes transformed into rain, and when the rain comes, the cloud isn’t scared to death. The cloud knows that the rain is something very exciting too. So, instead of crying, the cloud begins to sing and becomes the rain falling on fields and into the rivers.”
“If we look deeply we see that the nature of a cloud is also the nature of no birth: The cloud does not come from nothing. It has come from the water in the river and ocean. It has come from the heat of the sunshine. You know that the birth of a cloud is a poetic image. The cloud is simply a new manifestation. Before being a cloud, the cloud has been many other things. Our true nature is the nature of no birth and no death. Birth and death are notions that cannot be applied to reality, because there is nothing that can be born from nothing, and there is nothing that can become nothing at all. The meditation practice of looking deeply will bring about insight. It will dissipate our fear and our despair.”
-Thich Nhat Hahn
*art by Omer Agam (digital artist and graphic designer)