Saturday, December 27, 2014

In The Crack Between The Worlds

I love these days, the time between festive gatherings and the new year. Of course the "new year" is a human construct, but these days feel like an invitation to pause, to step into shamanic dreaming, to feel the shape of what is to be carried forward and what is to be gently released and left behind. 

I love the idea of perpetual creation, that all of this world- including us- is linked to and co-created in each moment by the Mystery that is both within and around us, by the Sacred Wholeness that is both what we are and greater than the sum of all the manifestations. 

These are realities I explore in contemplation, feeling their embodiment. When I first wake up, or before I go to sleep, on the bus, or while walking through the park-  I start with three deep breaths, watching the inhale, following the exhale, noticing how my attention slows my breath and makes it feel complete. And then, I let my body lead. . . . .feeling an inner and outer unfolding with each inhale. . . . letting go into gravity with the exhale and then. . . . pausing at the end of the exhale. . . . dropping into stillness and waiting without straining, allowing the impulse to inhale to arise from deep within. 

There, in the pause at the end of the exhale I touch something, open to something that is always seeking to touch me: awareness of the crack between the worlds of spirit and matter that are not separate but simply two ways of seeing one wholeness that excludes nothing; the taste of an Infinite Love that welcomes and holds us all.

Perhaps in this inbetween place we can breathe and dance together, dreaming a new year of deepening love and life for ourselves, every other and the world  ~Oriah (c) 2014 (Photo by Karen Davis at

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gifts of the Darkness

Dear friends, have not been on line at all as a nasty little virus has had me bedbound for the last couple of weeks. This too will pass, but in the meantime, I am appreciating the "opportunity" to move slowly and have lots of time for meditation and prayer. 

As usual, news of the world is a mix of mayhem and magic, of celebration and sorrow. Human beings take my breath away with our capacity for searing cruelty (thinking of the families in Pakistan who lost loved ones during an attack on a school) & boundless compassion (thinking of the Australian #I-will-ride-with-you campaign to support Muslim members of their communities after the hostage-taking there.)

Heartache and hope often hold hands. I think of this in particular as we near the Winter Solstice here in the northern hemisphere- the time of the longest darkness. I live in a culture so enamored with the light- with movement and doing, with striving and achieving- that we often overlook or avoid the gifts of slower, darker, times. It’s not that I object to the lights and tinsel, the candle-lighting and gift-giving. It’s just that I’d like to mine the gold of going into the darkness before we rush to the reassurance of the returning light.

Because there are real gifts in darkness- deep rest, new dreaming, a sharpening of other senses that allow us to feel the present moment shape of our inner landscape. A seed left sitting on the table in a well lit room remains a seed. But a seed placed into the dark moist earth splits open and pushes new life up toward the light. What kind of seeds might you be in your life and our shared world?

May the blessings of the darkness and the gifts of the light be received fully in this season of the longest night and (on the other side of the world) the longest day. May we plant the seeds of abiding peace in our own hearts, families, and communities in the way we walk through our ordinary days, the ways we choose to be with ourselves and each other fully. ~Oriah  (Another beautiful photo from Karen Davis at and thanks for the proverb to Barbara Susan Booth.) 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Feeling My Way

I am feeling my way into a different way of writing- which of course, means a different way of living. It neither abandons nor relies upon discipline of will- mostly because, although that has worked at least to some degree in the past, reliance upon discipline is not working for the new book I am writing, probably because this book is. . . . about the things that feel like they break us and the choices possible for real healing and a kind of transformation that is both terrifying and exhilarating.

And yes, I know that is a run on sentence, and for now that is how I need to write- hand-over-handing my way through the story, letting one thing lead to another. not knowing what comes next, letting the place where it takes me be a surprise.

Of course, it has always been true that to enter the creativity journey we must surrender our illusion of control.

Recently I heard James Finley describe the divine/God/Mystery as the Infinite Love that gives itself away with every breath.

And I thought, "Ah what would it be to go to the writing from that place? What would it look like to give my heart/myself away in love with every word, every sentence, every story?"

What if we came to every task that we both want to do and resist doing this way- letting go and giving ourselves to the movement in every moment? Contemplating this I can feel how this makes real mercy and tenderness unavoidable. And don't we all- doesn't the world- need more mercy and tenderness?

It is unfolding. Seeing the writing I do as one way to give myself away in love to the world helps me to keep writing, to keep praying- until the difference between the two is indistinguishable.

Oriah (c) 2014 ( (Photo by Lee Horbachewski- which I have titled in my head "Unfolded")