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Wednesday, April 20 2011


Whyte on Heartbreak



       Poet and philosopher, David Whyte has written, among many beautiful works, a book entitled The Three Marriages, in which he delves deeply into the intimate relationships we have with a partner in life, with our vocation and with our deepest self.


       Recently, he delivered a keynote address at the Psychotherapy Networker convention in Washington, D.C.  My good friend Kirk was there, bought a recording of the talk and lent it to me.


       Here's an excerpt from David's keynote:



       "When you think about it, there is no journey of sincerity that a human being can take in life without having their heart broken.  And there's no love affair you can follow, without that imaginary organ being rent asunder at one time or another.  And there's no marriage, no matter how happy it is, that won't leave you helpless and wanting at times, leaving you literally with a broken heart.


       "Not only that, there is no work you can follow without having your heart broken.  If you are sincere about your vocation, you will get to thresholds where you will not know how to proceed, and where you will forget yourself, and where you will start to imprison yourself with the very endeavor that was first a doorway to freedom.


       "And then, in that third marriage with the self, a really sincere examination of the old interior substrate should, if you are sincere, lead to existential disappointment.  And, if you don't become disappointed in yourself, you're not trying.


       "So, it's interesting to think that there is no path a human being can take with real courage that doesn't lead to real heartbreak.  It's astonishing to see how human beings actually spend an enormous amount of their time and energy turning away from that possibility and trying to arrange for a life where you won't be touched and you'll be left immune by the great forces and elements of life.


       "And, of course, when you leave those forces and elements behind, you leave the very genius at the heart of what you're attempting to bring into the world, to incarnate into the world, including the incarnation of your own presence."



       By the way, I don't think David is trying to romanticize heartbreak.  As I listen, I hear an invitation to soften to heartbreak, to make room for it rather than run from it, to appreciate its teaching, to keep a sense of humor about it, and to cultivate what he calls "robust vulnerability" – a necessary courage for those who aspire to live in integrity.

Posted by: AT 10:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, April 10 2011



Inside-Out Healing


       A wonderful teacher is coming to Minnesota at the end of April.  I have experienced a ten-day retreat and a number of workshops with Richard Moss and have come away each time deeply moved and more deeply connected.  His work, his wisdom and his presence bring together the spiritual and psychological, inviting a deep integrity with self, with others and with life.


       Inside-Out Healing, his most recent book (on which the Minnesota workshop is based), offers gem after gem of uncommon wisdom, along with a practical methodology to access the power of presence in the now as a gateway to spaciousness, transformation and healing.  If you're interested in the book, the work or the workshop, please check out the website:


       While there's no way to capture the depth of Richard's wisdom with a quote or two, I'd like to share a couple passages from the end of the book – passages among many that touched and inspired me.



       "When you are no longer the doer, that is when something deeper within you begins to live through you.  This is a state of remarkable aliveness.  This is what every athlete, artist, and writer has discovered at some time in his or her career…


       "When you become a vehicle for your inner wisdom, you are witness to an inner creator, and that experience gives you faith in yourself and a sense of marvel about what is hidden within you that, given a chance, can live through you.  It also offers you profound appreciation for all those who have let their deeper

aliveness and inner genius be born through them…


       "This is really what it comes down to: risking to let yourself become radically alive.  It will help you heal.  At the very least it may soothe your body and take away pain.  Being that alive, even if only for a matter of moments, may actually cure you of illness.  But even if that doesn't happen, your heart will be overflowing with gratitude.  And there is no medicine more powerful than the energy of your own grateful heart."




Posted by: AT 12:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 04 2011

       A question arose about the authorship of the last two Weekly Wisdoms.  I did write them.  When I say things like, "this came to me in written form," I'm trying to convey a sense I often have that the material writes itself somehow – that words seem to come through me and not necessarily from me.  


       Anyway, what follows is something I did not write.  It's from the work of the late psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, David R. Hawkins, and is a compilation of quotes from his book, Truth vs. Falsehood.   The quotes are featured on a YouTube video, Pathway to Freedom and Happiness, created by LaMarAzura. 


       While the language, at times, feels foreign to me, I found the ideas interesting, thought provoking and worth sharing.



Pathway to Freedom and Happiness



       The steps out of failure, unhappiness, frustration, lack, want, anger and depression are deceptively simple.  Life is a voyage, comparable to being out at sea, in which a shift of one degree on the ship's compass will determine by the end of the trip whether or not one is hundreds of miles off course. 


       The strongest tool, which already exists within, is the spiritual will itself, which when firmly set will face and take on any obstacle.  It is this spiritual will that determines the success of the venture.  From subjective experience, as well as many years of clinical practice, spiritual education and research, it is confirmed that the spiritual will is the primordial rudder that determines, not only this lifetime, but also the course of one's consciousness over great expanses of time, classically termed karma. 


       From consciousness research, one can quickly confirm that the adoption of an attitude immediately invites in that entire field of consciousness, which then unwittingly begins to dominate the personality and thoughts.  What are considered to be "my thoughts" are merely thoughts common to that particular energy field and are not really personal at all. 


       It is well to avoid, rather than oppose, negativity and resist the temptation and illusion that one can play with it and not get burned.  The nonintegrous fields of consciousness contain seductive programs that are extremely cunning. 


       While the frantic person flails in the water and drowns, the more evolved person learns how to float.  The ultimately buoyant sea that supports spiritual progress is the overall, powerful field of consciousness. 


       It is the power of this field that precludes the possibility of even death itself.  Man has intuited and known this since the very beginning of civilization and has been aware that life cannot be extinguished, but can only change form.



Posted by: AT 09:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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