Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love.
To know this spot of Inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we begin, while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core.
~Mark Nepo (from “Unlearning Back to God”)
Remembering this little bit of grace as I head into the weekend.
"Infinity is the fleeting, the fleeting is the vanishing, the Vanishing is the Reverting." The Tao is the Passage rather than the path. It is the spirit of Cosmic Change,—-the eternal growth which returns upon itself to produce new forms. It coils upon itself like the dragon, the beloved symbol of the Taoists. It folds and unfolds as do the clouds. The Tao might be spoken of as the Great Transition. Subjectively it is the mood of the universe. Its Absolute is Relative."Okakura Kakuzo, “The Book of Tea.”
A DEEPER PERCEPTION SEES PROFOUND BEAUTY IN THE ORDINARY, THE PLAIN, THE UNPRETENTIOUS, THE AUSTERE, THE WORN, THE WEATHERED, THE OLD, THE WITHERED AND FADED, AND THE IMPERFECT, RATHER THAN THE COMPLETE, STATIC, AND RIGID DEADNESS OF SYMMETRY.Robert E. Carter
A wave does not have to die to become water. She is water right here and now. We also do not have to die in order to enter the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is our very foundation here and now.Thich Nhat Hanh
The religious experience as I have known it seems to swing wide the door not merely into life but into lives. I am confident that my own call to the religious vocation cannot be separated from the slowly emerging disclosure that my religious experience makes it possible for me to experience myself as a human being and thus keep a very real psychological distance between myself and the hostilities of my environment. Through the years it has driven me more and more to seek to make it as a normal part of my relations with men, the experiencing of them as human beings. When this happens, love has essential materials with which to work. And, contrary to the general religious teaching, men would not need to stretch themselves out of shape in order to love. On the contrary, a man comes into possession of himself more completely when he’s free to love another.
— Howard Thurman from The Luminous Darkness
Krista Tippett quoted this during her interview with Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons and Rev. Lucas Johnson. It didn’t make the final cut for the hour of radio, but it’s too good not to share.
~Trent Gilliss, head of content