Reflections on feeding the hungry: including our spiritual, emotional and psychological needs and desires

If it is bread that you seek, you will have bread.  If it is the soul you seek, you will find the soul. If you understand this secret, you know you are that which you seek. ― Rumi 

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. — Ursula Le Guin

water water water wind water … across the land shape of a torn heart … inside the divine spiral there is a voice, inside the voice there is light …  — Juan Felipe Herrera

Songs about Food, Fishing & Hunger:

From Blossoms
By Li-Young Lee
From blossoms comes this brown paper bag of peaches we bought from the boy at the bend in the road where we turned toward    signs painted Peaches.   From laden boughs, from hands, from sweet fellowship in the bins, comes nectar at the roadside, succulent peaches we devour, dusty skin and all, comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.   O, to take what we love inside, to carry within us an orchard, to eat not only the skin, but the shade, not only the sugar, but the days, to hold the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into    the round jubilance of peach.   There are days we live as if death were nowhere in the background; from joy to joy to joy, from wing to wing, from blossom to blossom to impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

MEDITATIONS on BREAD

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. — Viktor E. Frankl

The piece of bread is an ambassador of the cosmos offering nourishment and support. — Thich Nhat Hahn

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. — Nikolai Berdyaev

Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread. — Richard Wright

 In the Lord’s Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach. — Woodrow Wilson

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. — Mahatma Gandhi

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. — Nelson Mandela

There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk. — M. F. K. Fisher

Sense the blessings of the earth in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine, the taste of warm, fresh bread, the circling flight of birds, the lavender color of the sky shining in a late afternoon rain puddle, the million times we pass other beings in our cars and shops and out among the trees without crashing, conflict, or harm. — Jack Kornfield
 

It is not accidental that all phenomena of human life are dominated by the search for daily bread – the oldest link connecting all living things, man included, with the surrounding nature. — Ivan Pavlov

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. — Viktor E. Frankl

We light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it … If I survive, I will spend my whole life at the oven door seeing that no one is denied bread and, so as to give a lesson of charity, especially those who did not bring flour.  — Jose Marti

Truth is, I think, if God just gave us our daily bread, many of us would be angry. ‘That’s all you’re going to give me? You’re just going to give me enough to sustain me for today? What about tomorrow or next year or 10, 20, 30 years from now? I want to know that I’m set up.’ And yet Jesus says just pray for your daily provisions. — Francis Chan

You can’t just leave out one part; the bread won’t rise if the yeast isn’t there.  — Holly Near

I like reality. It tastes like bread. — Jean Anouilh

To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. — John Irving

We believe that salvation is to be found in wholesome work in a beloved land. Work will provide our people with the bread of tomorrow, and moreover, with the honor of the tomorrow, the freedom of the tomorrow.  — Theodor Herzl

Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread. — Conrad Aiken

For one country is different from another; its earth is different, as are its stones, wines, bread, meat, and everything that grows and thrives in a specific region.  — Paracelsus

When you fight to give your family bread, that’s not passion anymore: that’s conviction. — Yoel Romero

When we cast our bread upon the waters we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from the grantor’s gift. — Maya Angelou 

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one. – Nikoli Berdyaev

When the children of Israel were suffering from hunger and thirst, Moses prayed to God and God answered his prayers with food from heaven. The Qur’an says: “And We caused the clouds to comfort you with their shade, and sent down unto you manna and quails. [saying,]’Partake of the good things which We have provided for you as sustenance’” (2:57). — Muhammad Shafiq
 

WATER MEDITATIONS
 
Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. — Lao Tzu
 
For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 
All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. — Toni Morrison

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive. — Thich Nhat Hahn

When you do things  from your soul,  you feel a river  moving in you, a joy. — Rumi
 
Thousands have lived without love, not one without water. — W. H. Auden

In a state of grace, the soul is like a well of limpid water, from which flow only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing both to God and man, rising from the River of Life, beside which it is rooted like a tree. — Saint Teresa of Avila
 
The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle – those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn’t make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn’t live without them. — Wendell Berry
 
I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. — Emily Bronte
 
Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not. — James Taylor

I think love is the greatest force in the universe. It’s shapeless like water. It only takes the shape of things it becomes. — Guillermo del Toro
 
Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. ― Margaret Atwood
 
In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of You are found all the aspects of existence. ― Kahlil Gibran
 
The ocean was the best place, of course … It was a feeling of freedom like no other, and yet a feeling of communion with all the other places and creatures the water touched. ― Ann Brashares
 
Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future. ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
 
No water, no life. No blue, no green. — Sylvia Earle

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea. — Isak Dinesen
 
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. — Loren Eiseley
 
Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths. — Muhammad Ali
 
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all. — Ban Ki-moon

Water is the driving force of all nature. — Leonardo da Vinci

New Years 2021: Poetry and song for the coming year.

Music:

A New Year’s Poem — Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rimes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

THE YEAR AS A HOUSE
A Blessing Jan Richardson

Think of the year
as a house:
door flung wide
in welcome,
threshold swept
and waiting,
a graced spaciousness
opening and offering itself
to you.

Let it be blessed
in every room.
Let it be hallowed
in every corner.
Let every nook
be a refuge
and every object
set to holy use.

Let it be here
that safety will rest.
Let it be here
that health will make its home.
Let it be here
that peace will show its face.
Let it be here
that love will find its way.

Here
let the weary come
let the aching come
let the lost come
let the sorrowing come.

Here
let them find their rest
and let them find their soothing
and let them find their place
and let them find their delight.

And may it be
in this house of a year
that the seasons will spin in beauty,
and may it be
in these turning days
that time will spiral with joy.
And may it be
that its rooms will fill
with ordinary grace
and light spill from every window
to welcome the stranger home.

—  Jan Richardson  ©

Beannacht (New Year blessing) – John O’Donohue

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

THIS WEEK with JCC and Around Town: May 13-17

WED, May 13 

  • WALK a MILE
    Any time of the day • Walk indoors or outdoors. Share your images with us on facebookWalk a mile together (but apart). 
  • SCHOOL SPIRIT WEDNESDAY – 
    Sports Day
    All day: Wear your favorite sports team gear!
  • BREAKFAST with REV GAIL (zoom link: 179085789)
    8am • Zoom link: 179085789. (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    Call to talk & gather. Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 170985789 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • Community Event: STORYTIME with Miss Meredith
    9am • Jackson Library Livestream
  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
  • Community Event: MT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY’S VIRTUAL CLASSROOM (Facebook Live)
    11:15am • Mon, Tue, Fri @ Facebook Live
    Connect live to the highest peak in the Northeastern US, Mount Washington, New Hampshire, as Weather Observers and Education Specialists at the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory present a Facebook Live program called “Home of the World’s Worst Weather Live.”
  • RING BELL
    Noon • Jackson Community Church

THURS, May 14

FRI, May 15

  • WALK a MILE
    Any time of the day • Walk indoors or outdoors. Share your images with us on facebookWalk a mile together (but apart). 
  • BREAKFAST with REV GAIL (zoom link: 179085789)
    8am • Zoom link: 179085789. (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    Call to talk & gather. Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 170985789 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • Community Event: STORYTIME with Miss Meredith
    9am • Jackson Library
  • Community Event: STORY by Believe in Books
    9:30am • Believe in Books Livestream
  • Community Event: MT WASHINGTON OBSERVATORY’S VIRTUAL CLASSROOM (Facebook Live)
    11:15am • Mon, Tue, Fri @ Facebook Live
    Connect live to the highest peak in the Northeastern US, Mount Washington, New Hampshire, as Weather Observers and Education Specialists at the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory present a Facebook Live program called “Home of the World’s Worst Weather Live.”
  • RING BELL
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
  • C3: COCKTAILS & CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS (zoom ID 179085789)
    5pm • Zoom link: 179085789. (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    This week our hosts are Ginger & David Perkins. This week we discuss varied stories about the ‘commissioning’ of Jesus’ followers by comparing Matthew 28:16-20Mark 16: 14-18, and John 20: 20-23. Call to talk & gather. Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID: 170985789 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)

SAT, May 16

  • WALK a MILE
    Any time of the day • Walk indoors or outdoors. Share your images with us on facebookWalk a mile together (but apart). 
  • RING BELL
    Noon • Jackson Community Church
  • Community Event: LIBRARY PICKUP HOURS
    2-6pm • Jackson Public Library
    Order one workday in advance. Please email with the title, author, and what formats you will accept (eBook, downloadable audio, Kindle, paperback or hardcover, anything else).

SUN, May 17

  • WALK a MILE
    Any time of the day • Walk indoors or outdoors. Share your images with us on facebookWalk a mile together (but apart). 
  • INTERFAITH GATHERING (zoom ID: 142985761)
    8am • (Zoom ID 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    Gather for poetry, conversation, readings & prayer. Bring your own caffeine. 🙂 Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID# 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • CHOIR PRACTICE (zoom ID: 142985761)
    9:00am • Zoom ID 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    Warmups & choir practice with director Billy Carleton. Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID# 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • VIRTUAL WORSHIP SERVICE (zoom ID: 142985761)
    10:30am • Zoom ID 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
    Join us for worship, special music,  prayer, scripture, and reflection. Stay for virtual coffee hour. Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook (if technology supports this function on the day of event). Afterward, recordings of worship service will be posted to FacebookVimeo.com channel & Youtube.com channel. Option: Call on touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866, meeting ID# 142985761 (password required, email church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org)
  • VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR
    Stay after worship and we will break into small groups for brief social opportunity. Same link as worship.
  • RING BELL
    Noon • Jackson Community Church

Notes:

  • SUPPORT: Do you need support of any kind? We have volunteers ready to assist with errands and other projects (via library’s Jackson Bridge listserv), access to emergency supplies, and Rev Gail is available for emotional and spiritual companionship. Call Rev Gail directly at 978.273.0308 or email the church: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org
  • Jackson Public Library’s Guide to Online Services (activities, events, reading and information materials, etc)

THIS WEEK: June 3-9

MON, June 3

  • CLERGY PEER GROUP
    9-10:30am • Conference call
  • PEACE & EMPOWERMENT CAMP PLANNING SESSION
    1pm • JCC, second floor.
    Organizing content for Peace & Empowerment camp.
  • Community Event: MEET YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS
    7pm • North Conway Community Center
    Get to your know state legislators!

TUE, June 4

  • CLERGY LUNCH
    12:30pm • Center Conway, NH
    CLergy of the Eastern Slope meet for lunch and peer work. Rev Gail attends.
  • PASTORAL CARE VISIT
    Afternoon • Maine Med, Portland, ME

WED, June 5

  • PASTORAL CARE VISITS
    Locations in MA, ME & NH.

THURS, June 6

  • Community Event: WAY STATION LEADERSHIP TEAM
  • 8:30am • Way Station (Nativity Lutheran campus)
    Review of next steps prior to June opening.
  • BLISS YOGA with Anjali Rose
    9am • First Floor, Parish House / Jackson Community Church. Beginning stretch, flow and align yoga; safe for new practitioners. Weather dependent; if schools are delayed or closed, the class will be cancelled.
  • Community Event: STORY TIME for TODDLERS
    10am • Jackson Public Library
  • AA
    6:30pm • Second Floor, Church
  • Community Event: AFRO-SEMITIC MUSIC
    7-9pm • Barnstormers, 104 Main St., Tamworth
    The group explores both African, American, and Jewish liturgical and secular music interpreted in jazz. David Chevan leads this  ensemble, doing their residency in Tamworth, and they will culminate their experience with this performance. For more information, email Carly.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

FRI, June 7

  • PASTOR’S DROP-IN HOURS @ JTOWN
    8:30-10am • JTown Deli, Jackson
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • PASTOR’S OFFICE HOURS
    9:30-11am • Find Rev Gail @ Church.
    Come by to visit with Rev Gail or text/call to make a separate date: 978.273.0308.
  • TRILLIUM SUMMIT SETUP
    11:15am • Whitney Community Center
    Setup for June 8th’s trillium summit event. More info or to register for this program.
  • Community Event: FIRST FRIDAY DENMARK ARTS CENTER SONGWRITING CIRCLE
    Noon • Brown Church, Conway Village
    This is a Mountain Top Music program.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SAT, June 8

  • **MEN’s BREAKFAST** (updated location: Wentworth Hotel)
    7:30-9am • Wentworth Hotel
    Friends and members of church gather for breakfast and conversation.
  • Community Event: TRILLIUM SUMMIT
    8:30am-12:30pm • Whitney Community Center
    Initiative  to enrich and empower the lives of girls and women in Mt Washington Valley. Keynote by Riley Parkhurst. Includes interactive games, crafts, discussions, presentations
    and demonstrations. Girls and women will explore their own strengths, learn new skills, become better communicators and learn how to form healthy relationships with others. More info or to register for this program.
  • UCC Event: HORTON CENTER OPEN HOUSE
    All Day • Horton Center, Pine Mountain
    11am worship @ Castle Rock followed by BBQ, tours & games! All day! All are welcome to our Open House! Please call or email to register. No charge.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    7:30pm – Thursday – Saturday • M&D Playhouse
    More info and tickets.

SUN, June 9

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Gazeboby Jackson Historical Society
  • WORSHIP – PENTECOST
    10:30am • Jackson Community Church
    * Organ/piano by Alan Labrie
    * Worship leadership & message by Rev Gail Doktor
    * Wear red!
  • Community Event: EARLY MUSIC & INSTRUMENTS with Ferré – Lang Trio
    4pm • Pvt Home, Jackson
    Featuring  Ferré-Lang Trio. Music for harpsichord, viola da gamba, violincello and contrabass. Directions emailed to reservation-holders prior to concert. ($35/person). More info.
  • Community Event: DA CAPO CONCERT
    4-5:30pm • Whitney Community Center. Directed by Mary Bastoni-Rebmann and John Waldie. Performing songs by Bob Seger, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Paul Williams and more! Suggested donation $10/pp.
  • Community Event: M&D Playhouse’ THE SHADOW BOX
    3:30pm – Sunday matinee • M&D Playhouse, North Conway
    More info and tickets.

Meditation on sacred bodies: loving our bodies, caring for other bodies & living in the communal body (themes from 1 Corinthians 12 and Luke 4)

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours, no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ’s compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.
― St. Teresa of Avila

I Sing the Body Electric Walt Whitman(1 – excerpt)
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
… The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curv’d neck and the counting; Such-like I love … (7 – excerpt)
…  This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be fathers in their turns,
In him the start of populous states and rich republics,
Of him countless immortal lives with countless
embodiments and enjoyments. How do you know who shall come from the offspring
of his offspring through the centuries? (Who might you find you have come from yourself,
if you could trace back through the centuries?) (8 – excerpt)
A woman’s body … She too is not only herself,
she is the teeming mother of mothers,
She is the bearer of them that shall grow
and be mates to the mothers.
Have you ever loved the body of a woman?
Have you ever loved the body of a man? Do you not see that these are exactly the same
to all in all nations and times all over the earth?
If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred …

Except for the BodyMary Oliver

Except for the body of someone you love,
including all its expressions in privacy and in public,

trees, I think, are the most beautiful
forms on the earth.

Though, admittedly, if this were a contest,
the trees would come in an extremely distant second.

I Got Kin Hafiz
Plant: so that your own heart will grow.
Love: so God will think,
“Ahhhhhh, I got kin in that body!
I should start inviting that soul
over for coffee and rolls.”
Sing: because this is a food our starving world needs.
Laugh: because that is the purest sound.

Solitude Nancy Wood
Do not be afraid to embrace the arms of loneliness.
Do not be concerned with the thorns of solitude.
Why worry that you will miss something?
Learn to be at home with yourself without a hand to hold.
Learn to endure isolation with only the stars for friends.
Happiness comes from understanding unity.
Love arrives on the footprints of your fears.
Beauty arises from the ashes of despair.
Solitude brings the clarity of still waters.
Wisdom completes the circle of your dreams.

Our Bodies As Sacred

There comes a time when it is vitally important for your spiritual health to drop your clothes, look in the mirror, and say, ‘Here I am. This is the body-like-no-other that my life has shaped. I live here. This is my soul’s address.” — Barbara Brown Taylor

May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul. — John O’Donohue

If you have a body, you are entitled to the full range of feelings. It comes with the package. ― Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually)

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Breath is the gift of life from the one who created us – from the God who is both our origin and our destination … some Rabbis teach that Yahweh is not even really a word at all.  It is literally breath itself. Yah – exhale. Weh – inhale. Yah – exhale. Weh – inhale. Which would make sense – since the closest translation of its [Yahweh’s] meaning is The One Who Causes to Become. There is just something about being known by God and animated by God’s breath in our birth and in our death that wouldn’t leave me this week as I thought about talking to you all here in this room today … This is the comfort I thought of this week as I bore witness to both birth and death. That the God whose name is our very breath – who breathed the words let there be light, who breathed into dust to create humanity, is present when we breath our first breath and present when we breathe our last – I believe that our final exhale is Yah – and that God completes God’s name inhaling Weh – and carries us on God’s divine breath into the heart of God from where we came to begin with. … Amen. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. Such people can connect with everybody. They don’t feel the need to eliminate anybody … ― Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer

Caring for Other Bodies As Sacred: Serving the Communal Body

We sit and talk,
quietly, with long lapses of silence
and I am aware of the stream
that has no language, coursing
beneath the quiet heaven of
your eyes
which has no speech.
William Carlos Williams

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes. — Maggie Kuhn

… I see [God] here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find [God] — Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. — Thomas Merton

You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. — Fred Rodgers

Driven by the forces of love, the fragments of the world seek each other so that the world may come into being. — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond. — Gwendolyn Brooks

Saints cannot exist without a community, as they require, like all of us, nurturance by a people who, while often unfaithful, preserve the habits necessary to learn the story of God. — Stanley Hauerwas

This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

That day, for a moment, it almost seemed that we stood on a height, and could see our inheritance; perhaps we could make the kingdom real, perhaps the beloved community would not forever remain that dream one dreamed in agony. — James Baldwin

The lack of material well-being among the poor reflects a lack of spiritual well-being among the rest. — William Sloane Coffin

God does not look at your forms and possessions but he looks at your hearts and your deeds. — Prophet Muhammad 

Loving with Body & Soul, Heart & Mind: Holy Acts

Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn – by practice and careful contemplations – the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don’t. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest … Amen. ― Toni Morrison, Paradise
On Interdependence
When this is, that is.
From the arising of this comes the arising of that.
When this isn’t, that isn’t.
From the cessation of this comes the cessation of that.
Buddha, Assutava Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya 12.2

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born toeternal life. Amen. — St Francis, Prayer
Madhyamika means “middle way,” and it examines the nature of existence. Madhyamika tells us that nothing has an intrinsic, permanent self-nature. Instead, all phenomena — including beings, including people — are temporary confluences of conditions that take identity as individual things from their relationship to other things. — Barbara O’Brien, Interbeing: The Inter-existence of All Things (essay excerpt)
Clouds In Each Paper  —  Thich Nhat Hanh
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow: and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are.  “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter” with the verb “to be”, we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud, we cannot have paper, so we can say that the cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.  If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

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