January 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 1)
Is there Enough Silence for the Word to be heard?"
Greetings and happy new year! While the universe may exist within timeless cycles in an eternal now, we experience our individual lives as a linear journey with a beginning and an end...or perhaps a transition to another beginning. To awaken our spirits enough to be mindful of the longing for something we cannot always name but yearn for nevertheless is to set forth on an inner journey no less complex or real than the outer one. Shall we set forth anew on this path together?
To be on journey is to love your life enough to change it, to choose struggle instead of exile, to risk everything with only the glimmering hope you are on the right path.
~ Andrew Kopkind
Not all those who wander are lost.
~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
Frequently we do not leave the past behind. We clasp on to it. We dissect it, and let fears for the future, tempered by the past, unconsciously prevent us from taking up the task eternal.
~ from EXPLORING CELTIC SPIRITUALITY by Ray Simpson
Our real journey in life is interior. It is a matter of growth, deepening, and an ever greater surrender to the creative action of love and grace in our hearts.
~ from THE ROAD TO JOY by Thomas Merton
To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.
To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.
To journey and to be transformed by the journey
is to be a pilgrim.
~ Mark Nepo
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
~ David Wagoner
Loneliness is the feeling we have when we refuse to journey... Turning to invite the quiet transforms the feeling by changing the faces and quality of our attention. We are secure enough to let go, and to embrace solitude where we hear our own voice, even in the silence. We are wholeheartedly in the company of our deepest thoughts and feelings, independent of human presence or our physical surroundings.
~ from THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE HEART by Charlene Sexton
The theory of karma suggests that life itself is in its essential nature both educational and healing, that the innate wholeness underlying the personality of each of us is being evoked, clarified, and strengthened through the challenges and experiences of our lifetime. All life paths may be a movement toward the soul.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen in KITCHEN TABLE WISDOM; STORIES THAT HEAL
I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.
~ Lillian Smith
Love, faith, and hope are the elements the soul needs to make its journey home. Love of truth motivates the soul to want to set out on the journey; faith sustains and supports it as it proceeds; and hope gives it the optimism that things will unfold in the right way.
~ from Facets of Unity by A H Almaas
I don't know who I am. And I don't think people ever will know who they are. We have to be humble enough to learn to live with this mysterious question. Who am I? So, I am a mystery to myself. I am someone who is in this pilgrimage from the moment that I was born to the day to come that I'm going to die. And this is something that I can't avoid, whether I like it or not...I'm going to die. So, what I have to do is to honor this pilgrimage through life. And so I am this pilgrim — if I can somehow answer your question — who's constantly amazed by this journey. Who is learning a new thing every single day...I am this person who is proud to be a pilgrim, and who's trying to honor his journey.
~ Paulo Coehlo
The spiritual journey is one of continually falling on your face, getting up, brushing yourself off, looking sheepishly at God and taking another step.
For millennia, a genuine cri du coeur, cry of the heart — a longing for a taste of mystery, a touch of the sacred — the yearning to embark upon a meaningful journey has been answered by pilgrimage, a transformative journey to a sacred center. It calls for a journey to a holy site associated with gods, saints, or heroes, or to a natural setting imbued with spiritual power...always, it is a journey of risk and renewal. For a journey without challenge has no meaning; one without purpose has no soul.
~ from THE ART OF THE PILGRIM by Phil Cousineau
All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.
~ from TALES OF THE HASIDIM by Martin Buber
The Real Work
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
~ Wendell Berry
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.
~ John Muir
At its heart, the journey of each life is a pilgrimage through unforeseen sacred places that enlarge and enrich the soul.
~ John O'Donohue
Images © Linda DeGraf 2015