Friday, December 23, 2011

Large Spiral Rose-Like Galaxy - New Hubble Image

The newly released Hubble image shows a large spiral galaxy, known as UGC 1810, with a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813

Jesus's Life - Jung as quoted by Rob Brezsny

The whole point of Jesus’s life was not that we should become exactly like him, but that we should become ourselves in the same way he became himself. Jesus is not the great exception but the great example. 

—Carl Jung as quoted by Rob Brezsny in Pronoia

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Cruise - A Documentary

Watched this the other night. Loved the whole thing - especially what he says about relationships at the 6:45 minute mark!

Teaching, Teachers, Passion - Matt Damon Speaks

YES! Matt Damon speaks about teachers, standardized testing, and passion in the two following videos:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Solstice Joy - by Gary Zukav

... from Gary Zukav's Seat of the Soul Institute Blog

The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory. The death of a friend, an incapacitating illness, or a tragic loss are such times – times of hopelessness and despair, pain and confusion, when all bearing disappears and the void engulfs everything without mercy. These experiences are the soil in which the Universe plants the seeds of your potential for you to cultivate no matter what, and somehow you do, even in those times when you feel you have nothing left to give and no one to give it to.

Now I see more. The coming and going of the seasons give us more than the springtimes, summers, autumns, and winters of our lives. It reflects the coming and going of the circumstances of our lives like the glassy surface of a pond that shows our faces radiant with joy or contorted with pain. It also shows us our amazing independence from our circumstances. In cold or warmth, light or dark, deprivation or abundance, we can choose to respond with love or react in fear. Who could have dreamed such a choice is possible? When a child dies, we grieve and despair until we can see the change in our lives as a gift instead of a loss. Now millions of us are beginning to see the painful AND the joyful circumstances of our lives as opportunities to expand in love or contract in fear. We can experience anger, jealousy, loss, rage, or resentment without acting on it. We can act in love instead, even while we are immersed in anger, fear, jealousy, or rage. We can choose. We can cultivate care, patience, gratitude, and contentment each time we feel them. We can choose.

Each solstice shows us that we can choose. We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the Universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to Life when each arrives. We have always done that, and we always have. Now we have a new and liberating awareness. We can greet all the experiences of our lives joyfully and use them all wisely.


Friday, December 09, 2011

Philip Glass & Lou Reed at Occupy Lincoln Center: An Artful View

Visible Shape (Philip Glass & Lou Reed occupying Lincoln Center) from jaune! on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Behind the Urgency - Mark Nepo

When feeling urgent,
you must slow down.

I learned this, over and over, during the many crises of cancer. Unless someone is bleeding or can’t breathe, unless there is some true physical requirement to act swiftly, a sense of urgency is a terrible illusion, a trick that happens, again and again, because life inside our skin and outside our skin are forever different.

It is as hard as it is humbling. When feeling like I can’t sit still, I need, more than ever, to sit still. When feeling like I will die if I don’t have your approval, I need, more than ever, to die to my need for your approval. What we need is always harshly and beautifully right before us, disguised in the wrapping of our nearest urgency. We just refuse to accept this, because it feels so difficult to face.

The doorway to our next step of growth is always behind the urgency of now. Now more than ever, when all feels urgent, you must cut the strings to all events. Now more than ever, when the weights you carry seem tied to your wrists, you must not run or flail. Now more than ever, when you feel that being who you are is a knife to those you love, you must be strong inside where no one has seen you, for loving from there can only make those you love grow. Now more than ever, when feeling that you are the source and recipient of all pain, you must bow your head till the ancient channel from sky to heart can reopen, till you remember that you are a blessed piece of spirit-dust in spirit-wind. Now more than ever, you must breathe till your ounce of breath becomes the sky, again and again.

In this way, pray to know your place in the human family like you’ve never known it. In this way, pray to have your True Self inch through your turmoil. In this way, love yourself the way you love the emptiness of time. Love yourself the way you love your children or your dog or your dearest friend, without reservation. In this way, today with all its hardships will spill into tomorrow, and decisions will become as clear as streams thawing.

~Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Quote from "Spiritual Alchemy" by Dr. Christine Page

I love this:
"Now is the time to remove the veils of separation, dissolving the myths that to be human is to belong to a lesser race or that each of us isn't in a position to know Divine consciousness. So I ask you, What part of your soul is waiting in the shadows to be acknowledged? What dreams, aspirations or beliefs about yourself have you carried from childhood but now lie dormant, marginalized by a busy schedule or, in my case, because they don't make sense?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cam's Thanksgiving Sermon

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Questions of the Heart

The mind alone cannot answer the questions of the heart.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Nature of Teaching - Mark Nepo

Kikakou was a student of Basho, the great Japanese poet of the seventeenth century. One day Kikakou brought Basho this haiku about why we need each other: 
A blind child
guided by his mother,
admires the cherry blossoms... 
This moment of small things opens the heart of all teaching. For we each take turns being the blind child, the guiding other, and the blossom, never really knowing which until we've learned what we are to learn from each other. In this, we all take turns being the teacher.

In essence, being a spirit on earth calls us to keep listening to that Original Presence inside that doesn’t change, and to live accordingly. Of course, being human, things get in the way. We often get in our own way, repeatedly. In truth, we all struggle with these recurring life positions: being lost, being found, and being a bridge. We all experience these different senses of the journey.

This took me many years to learn and accept. But having begun innocently enough, there arose separations, and now I know that health resides in restoring direct experience. Thus, having struggled to do what has never been done, I discovered that living is the original art.

After thirty years of teaching, I confess that I can find no other way to learn than to ask and listen. I have to say, I want to say, that it starts out simple, gets complicated and, by burning what is not real, gets simple again. This is the curriculum that never ends. No matter if we’re tired, spring comes again and some undying impulse needs to break ground. It’s the same with pain and denial, those winters of the heart. One day, if blessed, the tulip coated with soil is again a tulip, and with an urgency we thought we left behind, we must wake.

I think we could forget all the ways to study in school and just wait for this moment; knowing and believing that those who wake are students and those who stay awake are teachers.

Accepting This - Mark Nepo

Yes, it is true. I confess,
I have thought great thoughts,
and sung great songs—all of it
rehearsal for the majesty
of being held.

The dream is awakened
when thinking I love you
and life begins
when saying I love you
and joy moves like blood
when embracing others with love.

My efforts now turn
from trying to outrun suffering
to accepting love wherever
I can find it.

Stripped of causes and plans
and things to strive for,
I have discovered everything
I could need or ask for
is right here—
in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,
but we can feed each other.
We cannot eliminate loneliness,
but we can hold each other.
We cannot eliminate pain,
but we can live a life
of compassion.

we are small living things
awakened in the stream,
not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,
we are asked to experience
meaning in the life that moves
through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do
and nowhere to go.
Accepting this,
we can do everything
and go anywhere.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Marco Tempest - The Magic of Truth and Lies

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Steve Jobs' Eulogy by His Sister

Steve's final words were


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happiness and Life - John Lennon

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chuck Close - Interview with Charlie Rose

I love what he says about limitations around the 20 minute mark.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mirrors of Self - Ruth and Charque

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You share more than you think with your mother and grandmother...

Did you know that when your grandmother was five months pregnant with your mother, the egg that would eventually become you was already present in your mother's womb?  That means, before your mother was even born, your mother, your grandmother and you all shared the same biological environment.  Whatever intense feelings (grief, trauma, etc.) affected your grandmother likely affected your mother and you.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Heart and Path - Mark Nepo

Heart of stone

It takes six million grains of pollen to seed one peony, and salmon need a lifetime of swimming to find their way home, so we mustn't be alarmed or discouraged when it takes us years to find love or years to understand our calling in life.

Everything in nature is given some form of resilience by which it can rehearse finding its way, so that, when it doesn't, it is practiced and ready to seize its moment.  This includes us.

When things don't work out - when loves unexpectedly end or careers stop unfolding - it can be painful and sad, but refusing this larger picture keeps us from finding our resilience.  Then, sadness can turn into discouragement, and pain can spoil into despair.

As the many grains of pollen birth the one flower and the many eggs spawned birth the one fish, each person we love and each dream we try to give life to brings us closer to the mystery of being alive.  So, we must try as many times as necessary until our many loves become the one love, until our many dreams become the one dream, until heart and path feel the same.

~ from The Book of Awakening

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Radical Abundance: David Korten Presentation

This is a long-ish and very inspiring lecture.  If you don't have a lot of time, just listen to the first 15 minutes or so.  It might just pull you in.  :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

~Howard Thurman

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dalai Lama - What Surprises Him the Most...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Overcoming - Helen Keller

Friday, October 07, 2011

Rule Breakers - Think Different

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Quote from Steve Jobs - 2005 Stanford Commencement

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Steve Jobs, commencement address, Stanford University 2005.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Worry - Chinese Proverb

"That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent."
- Chinese Proverb

Friday, September 02, 2011

Family Constellations - Quote from Mark Wolynn

Did you know that what we reject in our parents lives inside us? We can carry their emotions, behaviors, addictions and traumas as though they were our own. It’s our unconscious way of loving them. The more we distance from them, the more we are likely to suffer. Once we find our peace with our parents, it not only has a positive effect on us, but also on our children who often carry our heaviness for us.
Mark Wolynn - Family Constellations

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Friend's Divorce - Naomi Shihab Nye

I want her
To dig up
every plant
in her garden,
the pansies, the penta,
roses, rununculas,
thyme and the lilies,
the thing
nobody knows the name of,
unwind the morning glories
from the wire windows
of the fence,
take the blooming
and the almost-blooming
and the dormant,
especially the dormant,
and then
and then
plant them in her new yard
on the other side
of town
and see how
they breathe!

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Relating - Molly Vass

The stuff of our lives doesn't change.
It is we who change in relation to it.

A Set of Inner Doors - Mark Nepo

Whatever our gifts or wounds or life situation - whether we have been married several times or have never been in love, whether we have plenty of money or are sorely in need of more - the core issues of our lives will not go away.

There exists for each life on Earth a set of inner doors that no one can go through for us.  We can change jobs or lovers, travel around the world, become a doctor or lawyer or expert mountain climber, or nobly put our life on hold to care for an ailing mother or father, and when we are done, though the worthy distraction could take years, the last threshold we didn't cross within will be there waiting.  There is no substitute for genuine risk.
Stranger still is how the very core issues we avoid return, sometimes with different faces, but still, we are brought full circle to them, again and again.  Regardless of how we may discover that no other threshold is possible until we use our courage to open the door before us.  Perhaps the oldest working truth of self-discovery is that the only way out is through.  That we are returned repeatedly to the same circumstance is not always a sign of avoidance, but can mean our work around a certain issue is not done.

In my own life, it is not by chance that struggling to adulthood with a domineering and critical mother, I have been thrust again and again into situations with dominant men and women, struggling painfully for their approval and fearing their rejection.  For years, I tried to manage the circumstance better, which was like sanding and varnishing the door without ever opening it.  I was destined to repeat the pain of rejection, no matter how skillfully I handled it, until I opened the door of self-worth.

Even my calling to be a poet became a distraction that lasted many years.  Feeling rejected and insecure at heart, I quietly made a mission of becoming a famous writer, only to find myself one day replaying the issues of approval and rejection a hundredfold at the mailbox, as I awaited word from countless critical strangers known as editors.  I was stunned and relieved to finally discover myself at the same threshold of loving myself that I had run from years before.  

The thresholds go nowhere.  It is we who, in our readiness and experience, keep coming back, because the soul knows only one way to fulfill itself, and that is to take in what is true.

* Meditate on an issue that keeps returning to you.
* Relate to it as a messenger and ask the messenger what door it is trying to open for you.
* How will your life change if you move through this threshold?
* How will your life be affected if you do not?

from The Book of Awakening  by Mark Nepo

Friday, July 08, 2011

what to remember when waking - David Whyte

In that first
hardly noticed
in which you wake,
coming back
to this life
from the other
more secret,
and frighteningly
honest world
there is a small opening
into the new day
which closes
the moment
you begin
your plans.

What you can plan
is too small
for you to live.

What you can live
will make plans
for the vitality
hidden in your sleep.

To be human
is to become visible
while carrying
what is hidden
as a gift to others.

To remember
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
true inheritance.

You are not
a troubled guest
on this earth,
you are not
an accident
amidst other accidents
you were invited
from another and greater
than the one
from which
you have just emerged.

Now, looking through
the slanting light
of the morning
window toward
the mountain
of everything
that can be,
what urgency
calls you to your
one love? What shape
waits in the seed
of you to grow
and spread
its branches
against a future sky?

Is it waiting
in the fertile sea?
In the trees
beyond the house?
In the life
you can imagine
for yourself?
In the open
and lovely
white page
on the waiting desk?

~David Whyte, from
The House of Belonging

The House of Belonging - David Whyte

I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
like any other.

the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
I thought

it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

David Whyte, The House of Belonging

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Friend - Hafiz

This is the kind of Friend
You are -
Without making me realize
My soul's anguished history,
You slip into my house at night,
And while I am sleeping,
You silently carry off
All my suffering and sordid past
In Your beautiful

Saturday, July 02, 2011

My Garden Nautilus (and Slug)

I thought I was taking a pic of the snail shell, and this morning I also noticed the slug (or could it be the snail that left its shell behind!?).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

For Your Birthday - John O'Donohue


Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth.

Praised be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world's waves,
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Everything is Waiting for You - David Whyte

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

~David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Einstein on Clutter

Sunday, April 24, 2011

“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”
Stephan Hoeller

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Commitment - Goethe

Until one is committed, there is hesitance, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never have otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man would have dreamed could have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Gift - William Stafford

Time wants to show you a different country. It's the one
that your life conceals, the one waiting outside
when curtains are drawn, the one Grandmother hinted at
in her crochet design, the one almost found
over at the edge of the music, after the sermon.
It's the way life is, and you have it, a few years given.
You get killed now and then, violated
in various ways. (And sometimes it's turn about.)
You get tired of that. Long-suffering, you wait
and pray, and maybe good things come - maybe
the hurt slackens and you hardly feel it any more.
You have a breath without pain. It is called happiness.
It's a balance, the taking and passing along,
the composting of where you've been and how people
and weather treated you. It's a country where
you already are, bringing where you have been.
Time offers this gift in its millions of ways,
turning the world, moving the air, calling,
every morning, "Here, take it, it's yours."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Money - Thornton Wilder

“Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”

— Thornton Wilder (The Matchmaker A Farce in Four Acts)
Dandelion Seed Head

"Learn to wish that everything should come to pass exactly as it does." 

Epictetus, Greek philosopher (c.55 - c.135 C.E.)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Where You Are - Hafiz

This place where you are right now,
God circled on a map for you.

~ Hafiz

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Joy - Cheri Huber

"Joy is compassion turned inward..."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grace emerges... - by Rob Brezsny

Pronoia doesn't promise uninterrupted progress forever. It's not a slick commercial for a perfect summer day that never ends.

Grace emerges in the ebb and flow, not just the flow.

The waning reveals a different kind of blessing than the waxing.

But whether it's our time to ferment in the valley of shadows or rise up singing in the sun-splashed meadow, fresh power to transform ourselves is always on the way.

Our suffering won't last, nor will our triumph.

Without fail, life will deliver the creative energy we need to change into the new thing we must become.

(excerpted from the revised and expanded edition of

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Storm is Passing Over

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Faith - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

From "A Course of Love" (10.17)

"Nothing happens by accident and the observation of this will help to put the responsibility of your life back into your hands, where it belongs. You are not helpless, nor are you at the whim of forces beyond your control. The only force beyond your control is your own mind."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Vulnerability - Brene Brown's TED Talk

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Visionaries - Henri Amiel

Monday, January 03, 2011

A New Year's Benediction - Neil Gaiman

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Blessing for the New Year (Beannacht) - John O'Donohue