Fighting the Instrument

Often the instruments of change are not kind or just and the hardest openness of all might be to embrace the change while not wasting your heart fighting the instrument.   The storm is not as important as the path it opens. The mistreatment in one life never as crucial as the clearing it makes [Read More…]

In Muir Woods

  Masters of stillness, masters of light, who, when cut by something falling, go nowhere and heal, teach me this nowhere,   who, when falling themselves, simply wait to root in another direction, teach me this falling.   Four-hundred-year-old trees, who draw aliveness from the Earth like smoke from the heart of God, we come, [Read More…]

The Lesson

When young, it was the first fall from love. It broke me open the way lightning splits a tree. Then, years later, cancer broke me further. This time, it broke me wider the way a flood carves the banks of a narrow stream. Then, having to leave a twenty-year marriage. This broke me the way [Read More…]

Where No One Stays a Statue

It was a sunny day and I went to the park and sat on a bench. I was one of many coming out from under our rocks to warm and lengthen.   He was two benches down, a gentle older man staring off into the place between things, beyond any simple past, staring into the [Read More…]

Initiating the Gift

I often experience the days like someone rowing, and each time I slip an oar below the surface, it disturbs the water. When I’m tired or stunned enough to stop rowing, the water goes clear. In those moments, I can see through to the bottom. It always makes me wonder where I’m going. This is [Read More…]

The Covenant of Love

In the West, we’re eager, even anxious, to choose names for babies before they’re born. In other parts of the world, the naming process unfolds differently. The Yoruba people of southwest Nigeria wait for a child to arrive before considering a name. There’s a need to meet the new being, to keep company with the [Read More…]

Our Authority of Being

Alex is a trial attorney who knows how to be assertive and use the authority of his position. He began as a public defender and his closeness to people under the thumb of authority has always made him fight for the underdog. A few years ago, Alex became obsessed with mountain climbing. After immersing himself [Read More…]

The Effort to Learn

I confess and celebrate that the only thing I’ve done longer than teach is to learn. And not very far along it became clear that teaching is learning with others by living into the questions that experience opens. It was in my second year of teaching—high school, then—that this couplet of e.e. cummings appeared in [Read More…]

Going Off the Deep End

When our beloved dog Mira died, there were those who walked with us, honoring the truth of where we were, no matter what had brought us there. These were the compassionate. And there were those who felt our grief from a distance, though they were puzzled at the depth of our loss, given that she [Read More…]

Did You Miss the Live Stream with Mark Nepo on “The One Life We’re Given?” Here’s the Video!

Patheos Spirituality is honored to welcome Mark Nepo to a live stream event happening here on his Field Notes for Living blog on Tuesday, September 6th at 8 pm Eastern (5 pm Pacific.) We’ll be talking about his new book, The One Life We’re Given. We hope you’ll jump in the conversation in the chat section. Mark is truly one of [Read more…]