In the philosophy of the poet – love ushers forth from a well of wisdom. From the contemplative heart we receive lived wisdom as from the sage.
We listen to our journey as it has been lived through their lives. Their truths are our truths – in shadows and in light. They speak of what might have been; the seen and the unseen. They birth in us new ways of saying, of being, of naming and of seeing.
David Whyte explores the Poetry of Compassion in the recording below. In it he talks of the inner journey, and the search to find your own way. He explores our capacity to embrace all of self, including our darker side and grief. He brings gentle connections to, as he says, “restore our personal innocence” and be compassionate with ourselves.
By recitation of poetic works from Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda, and his own poem – “The Well of Grief” – he evokes and opens for us a deep relationship to the words and imagery of the inner journey.
This recording is 37 min.duration, but may be stopped at short intervals between various poems. I highly recommend the full recording on the site below.
However, you may choose to listen in intervals of five minutes or so.
David Whyte visiting Australia April 24 – May 3 http://www.davidwhyte.com/
We are all called to be winnowers… to cast aloft our dreams and thoughts, to winnow with the Spirit. Discernment, like winnowing, is a gift which enables us to sift the motives of our heart; to raise up our inner most thoughts and find the wisdom of our way.
Ernest Larkin helps us appreciate it. He says:
“Discernment has two focuses: process and problem.
It is a process insofar as it is progressive awareness of the movements of the spirits in our counsciousness. …
The “spirits” are thoughts, desires, and affective moods, which are the telltale signs of the Holy Spirit or opposing influences. …
Discernment is mindfulness, recollection, centredness. It is being aware of what is going on spiritually.”
In this season of Lent, in the Christian tradition, we are called to look inward and examine our hearts and practices, in the light of God’s word. It is a particular time in which we turn our attention to the questions of our heart and let ourselves explores some shadows.
In the silence of our hearts we may let some of the bigger questions arise … What is the best I can do at this time?
Can I explore more deeply choices available to me and be open to new directions or possibilities?
Larkin continues in a very practical way, noting process and problem work together:
“Discernment as problem solving is interpreting the spirits in order to determine God’s will. Where are these feelings and sentiments tending?
Are they moving the person toward or away from God?
What behaviour and choices are they suggesting?
Discernment is concerned … with the trajectory or orientation. Where are they pointing?
We are called to live beyond rote rules and in accord with God’s particular will for us.
God’s project for me is that I become the unique person I was created to be. Discernment is the tool for the process.” *
It takes courage and support to look at our shadows, to explore our choices and to choose growth. A spiritual director or Christian companion is invaluable in being there for you to carry your thoughts and dreams through the process of discernment.
Quoted extracts from “What to Know about Discernment” by Ernest E. Larkin. O. Carm
Published in Review for Religious, 2001. pp.162-3. Published Society of Jesus St. Louis. Missouri. US Central and Sth Province. Archives can be accessed . through http://cdm.slu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/rfr/id/559
Recommended Reading:“Silent Presence”, Ernest Larkin. Dimension Books. N Jersey. 2000.
I hope you are reading this at morning; at the start at least of a new dawning.
Today’s experience is to sit and be in the spaciousness of now – in this present moment.
To allow the moment to have space and peace and an unfurling of its own.
My hope is that you may receive through image and the word and that they may speak to your heart and bring balm to your innermost being.
(Please note: just click the red arrow play button for the recital.)
WILD GEESE recited by Mary Oliver poet
She invites you into this poem with the words –
“You do not have to be good,
You do not have to walk on your knees for one hundred miles in the desert repenting”…
and she draws towards her conclusion with –
“whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination …..
Mary Oliver is a highly acclaimed and prolific American Poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for her work “American Primitive” and in 1992 won the National Book Award for Poetry. Wild Geese is one of her most popular poems, as is The Journey, both included in her book “Dream Work” published in 1986. Atlantic Monthly Press. N.Y
It is an interesting reality – our personal energy. In some ways I have often had high energy… it is a clear gift. I see others do not have it in the same way it comes to me. But it is there in each of us. It is the power with which we each embrace life and live it.
Our energy for life is in some way tied particularly to our faith and values. It is a zeal for life itself and a strength of conviction allied to a sense of meaning and purpose. In times when I had become disillusioned or lost my way, my energy also waned until I found a new connection to meaning within myself.
There seems a correlation between the amount I give of myself in circumstances and the personal sense I have of it being in accord with my values. It is a faith that I am in the right place, or the right work or right standing with others….it is an outworking of my core beliefs about myself, my path and place at the time.
Faith in the rightness of things generates the energy that things are worth doing and enables me to go the extra mile when needed. Our commitment to our core beliefs, whether specifically religious or not, is lived out in small steps daily. We step out incrementally growing in our faith and test its limits.
Two Insights from Thich Nhat Hanh, Author and Buddist monk.
Taken from: “Taming the Tiger Within: Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions.”
“Faith is the outcome of your life. As faith continues to grow, you continue to get the energy, because faith is also an energy like love. If we look deeply into the nature of our love, we will also see our faith. When we have faith in us, we are no longer afraid of anything.”
“When you have faith, you have a lot of energy. When you believe in something really good, true, and beautiful, you are very alive.”
Thich Nhat Hanh -“Taming the Tiger Within: Meditations on Transforming Difficult Emotions.”p239, 241. Riverhead Books, Penguin Publ. NY. 2004.
I awoke this morning before dawn, and all was in darkness and stillness. I saw how partially and gently light reveals the presence. Initially there is no colour or form. Our senses strain to codify that in which we are immersed.
Despite our inadequacy we wrest words out of the darkness to give expression to that which remains veiled and uncertain.