Morning Trip (305)

“Faith and prayer are important elements of my belief in God. Faith is my rock, but it is also the way I align my thoughts, my heart, and my actions to realize my goals. Prayer is the way I connect with the energy of God, it is also the way I clarify to myself what i am asking for. Thus, when I enter a challenging and uncertain situation I say, ‘I’m putting my trust in my faith, Dear Lord, and I am stepping out on Your Word.'”
–Maya Angelou

Morning Trip (239)

“Advice to those about to acquire a Vermeer: Always look at it as it might appear in its average moments–not as it might glow in the light-dance of the fireplace, or burn from within on a fall Sunday morning when the amalgamation of the sun’s rays blasts red upon those fat dutch cheeks, or as you would make it glow when you return home flushed with the one victory or another, or with wine. None of that.

Rather think: What will this masterpiece look like at 2:45 on a February afternoon when you have run out of toilet paper and the roof leaks and a horse has just kicked in your kitchen door for the fun of it. And a dead badger is wedged high in the chimney, stinking up the house. Consider such moments as these, when you are about to acquire your Vermeer. But yes. She is as lovely as a Vermeer.”
–Roger Rosenblatt, The Book of Love

Morning Trip (208)

“The Heart Remembers Everything It Loved
Everything remembers something. The rock, its fiery bed,
cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
of watery fingers along its edge.

The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
gathering itself together for the fall.

The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
the sand under the beaks of savage birds.

The tree remembers the story of each ring, the years
of drought, the floods, the way things came
walking slowly towards it long ago.

And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
and the arms remember lifting up the child.

The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
everything it lost and found again, and everyone
it loved, the heart cannot forget.”

– Joyce Sutphen

Morning Trip (193)

“So when these states of mind arise – restlessness, desire, fear, wanting, worry, agitation, or judgment, if only it were somehow different than it is, “I don’t like this” – what to do with them? Sit in the very middle of them and study them. Note how they feel in the body. There’s desire. Desire runs much of our world. Pay attention to see what it’s like, how do you feel it in the body, what is it like in the mind. Give clear and careful mindful attention to it, without getting caught – not suppressing it, or trying to get it to go away, and not getting involved. Just noting, “desire, desire, wanting,” until you come to see its nature and you come to some balance where you’re not so caught up in it or afraid of it.

The same for anger. Most of us are either afraid of it and stuff it down or we act it out. See if when judgment or anger arises you can just sit and note, “angry, furious, judging,” whatever it is, and feel it. Heat, movement, energy in the body, certain contractions, different qualities of mind, see if it is possible to experience that energy and learn from it. See how it changes, what it does to you, what its flavor is, its effect on you, and then maybe you can learn not to be quite so caught in it. It doesn’t mean it won’t still come, heaven knows, but your relationship to it can be a wiser one. Do it again and again – with fear, with all the kinds of mental states that come up, especially the difficult ones – until you can sit and allow them to come and go like cows or sheep in the meadow.

What if they’re very strong, what if they’re too difficult, they’re really, really hard, what should you do? You’re so restless you just can’t stand it, what to do? Die! Be the first to ever die of restlessness. Just say, “Fine, take me.” Surrender to it and let it kill you. And what you discover if you do that is that in a way you die; what dies is your resistance to it, and that you just carry on. You discover this powerful capacity we have, if you work with it, to open to all of our experience and find some balance in it.”
– Jack Kornfield
Householder Series