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Posts tagged ‘Learning’

Heart into Heart

Permission
Over this summer I was forced to not contribute to ‘society’, because I couldn’t.  I had permission from all the world and from myself to survive surgery, to rest, to mend, and to stop feeling that I ought to do anything else. Of course, this tribulation has had quite an effect on me. As I gradually depart from that invalid condition, questions bubble up: What to do next? Who am I now? Should I reflexively return to who I was before, or am I no longer that person? Read more

Reading Proust

I sit under a tree on a summer morning reading, out loud to myself, three pages of Proust. I savor the syllables shaping my tongue. My mind imbibes his. Time stretches over the frame of described action so that scenes stain and shimmer on his writerly canvas with greater permanence than had I absorbed them silently. When I reach a stopping point, I sip my tea, watch two dark quacking ducks pass overhead, let my mind float. Read more

Stillness & Tea

I sip my tea, running my heart’s fingers over the contours of compassion. This wet, cool morning intensifies  pain in my hips and pelvis. With the pain, my stillness intensifies. I am unable to escape so I stay. After months of pain, my mind is worn down with ‘weather report’ remarks to itself, as if today’s alarm bell of pain is an emergency. It isn’t. It is just there. It is time to move on inside myself. As long as I sit still, I am free. This situation allows me, finally, to explore through the world of physical quietude what courses beneath. Read more

Yes…yes

My father sat on the edge of the bed as I hung a framed Maxfield Parrish print of ‘Daybreak’ on the wall at the foot of the bed. He was happy gazing at this dreamy scene of two nymphs in a temple with gilded mountains in the distance. Then I handed him a smooth pale gray and salmon stone I’d brought from the beach. He liked that too.

He is at a dreary, institutional nursing facility for the time being, confined to a locked wing so he won’t stress himself. (For previous post about my father’s aphasia: Five Things.) We have a way of talking now. Read more

Transformation Information

Sufi masters often say that the secrets of the Path are handed heart-to-heart, like seeds, for you to grow in your flesh garden.

In the past Winter Intensive, I said — though perhaps not as loudly as I felt — that a teaching which is not handed heart-to-heart has no Reality, it won’t contain the experience of spiritual lineage transmission. Sufis are big on experience. So, first of all, this is truth, not a bid for control or a slash of stinginess or cloud of mystique. And second, it underlines the respect with which true matters — like one’s life, one’s opportunity — are best approached. We can always approach ourselves with contempt and derision, and many of us do, but a healthier, more fruitful attitude is respect and appreciation. Read more