Just for this moment be in the present; you have the rest of the day to tell yourself the story of your life.
A sure sign of intelligence, maturity, and self-confidence is the willingness to change one’s beliefs in the light of new evidence and considerations.
Three words that reveal they don’t really understand you:
‘You should just…’.
Immediate thoughts after meditation session:
For a brief time I was able to invert the common experience of consciousness being located behind the face and in the middle of the head. I was able to expand the location of consciousness to fill the four walls within which I was seated. I am still pondering this phenomenon. I wonder, if consciousness is a type of software running on the hardware of the brain, a software that models reality, incorporating images and concepts and relations. Does it make sense to assume it must exist somewhere? Sure, consciousness depends on the brain, but it is composed of non-material entities and categories (or so it seems – a claim very difficult for a materialist such as myself to digest), and as such, does not from necessity need to reside anywhere. If consciousness is not a material thing, it cannot be located anywhere. Is consciousness a realm of reality unto itself? And if not, how could the material realm produce such an illusion?
I opened my eyes at the end of the session and looked at my field of vision (a brown leather couch, a bookshelf to my left, a world map directly ahead, lamp and black side table), and was able to understand that this view was being created in my mind, and I was aware of it in the arena of consciousness. Though the software seamlessly makes me think those things which I see are out there in front of my eyes, and I am here, at a node where light waves reflected from those objects converge (which indeed, I think is safe to say, is an accurate description of the physics involved), I was able to grasp the experience of conscious awareness of this field of vision more fully, more accurately. That is, the images ARE NOT OUT THERE, but are in my mind, and I am consciously aware of those images. This deceptively simple realization was hard to achieve, and lasted only moments, but it was real and, I believe, accurate.
Should you ever doubt the second law of thermodynamics, release your children in any room in the house and wait longer than one minute.
Don’t mistake the crowd for the truth; failing to fit in does not mean you’re broken.
Your horizons might extend further than your neighbour’s, your colleague’s, your friend’s; trust in your own eyes, let others trust in theirs.
With deference to Hamlet, might I add: there is also nothing either right or wrong, but truth to one’s self makes it so.
The greatest gift you can give another is a piece of your deepest self.
Not your time. Not your money; but something more precious still.
Is it understanding, or compassion, or attention that you offer? Is there a word bringing these together?
That piece you offer freely, that is the gift. You offer without reservation. You say ‘Do with it as you will’, though, of course, you hope and trust the other treads lightly.
And that’s the risk you take…
…and the pain you can inflict.
There is little to build upon moving forward when the second time around is the same as the first.
The ornaments look lovely but their pulling down the branches of the tree. – Cake, from ‘Love You Madly’
Woe the moment a material purchase becomes the highlight of your year.
Heed not too quickly the disapproving gaze, it may be the clearest proof yet you are on the correct way.
I’d rather fail a thousand times, before succeeding at something I despise.
By showing up with hope to help others, I’m guaranteed that hope is present. Then my own hope increases. By creating hope for others, I end up awash in the stuff. – Anne Lamott
ILLUSTRATION BY ELEANOR DAVIS
Read her beautiful article in National Geographic’s October 2018 issue.
I am going to make you see the world as I do, even if that means beating it into you.
Arrogance is bad. Arrogance grounded in ignorance is even worse.
Independence may be a defense from the truth, a form of self-righteousness and silent arrogance.
Don’t seal yourself from the world, and claim superiority.
We may be our own worst (or forgiving) judges, yet removed from the tempering wisdom found only in human contact, our judgments lack facts.
A mind turned inward fails to recognize its reflection in the arena of social interaction.
The eye can’t see itself.
No one is an island.
Insight my mind has not brought!
Endless loops with doubt fraught!
Infinite thoughts pitifully caught!
Stagnation has only wrought rot!
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star. – Henry David Thoreau
Healing doesn’t have to look magical or pretty. Real healing is hard, exhausting and draining. Let yourself go through it. Don’t try to paint it as anything other than what it is. Be there for yourself with no judgement. – Floating around Twitter and Facebook
I am an old soul.
I weep at the beauty of woodland paths,
of slanted sunbeams breaking through autumn canopies,
and falling, twirling, dancing leaves of red, orange, yellow and brown.
I love this world.
And my existence.
The animals in the forest,
I know they are there. And that suffices.
The trees, the streams, the moss wreathing jutting rocks of granite.
Birds. Deer. Mice.
Insects and worms and peeping frogs.
Paths. Worn, fresh, or to be made.
The breeze. Wind and rain and sleet.
Gently softly falling snow.
Flowers and grass and reeds and the call of the blackbird in the swamp.
The distant ovenbird and piercing screech of the hawk.
Fences, new and broken. Barbed-wire tacked to ancient trees overgrown by gnarled trunks.
Passing days and months and years.
The ticking clock on lazy Sunday afternoons curled up warmly in the silent comfort of Grandma’s house.
Feeling safe. Secured. Loved. Complete.
I am an old soul.
It takes a village to raise a child, a flag to raze the children. – Chris Hannah