Insights for July 2015


Hydrangea in Tuscany, 2015 Margaret Gervais


“The impulse to create begins – often terribly and fearfully – in a tunnel of silence,” Adrienne Rich asserted in her spectacular 1997 lecture Arts of the Possible. Brain Pickings

“The future has an ancient heart.” Carlo Levi.

“What do you do when you don’t know what to do about something?”

“I talk to Mr. Sugar and my friends. I make lists. I attempt to analyze the situation from the perspective of my “best self” – the one that is generous, reasonable, forgiving, loving, big hearted, and grateful. I think really hard about what I’ll wish I did a year from now. I map out the consequences of the various actions I could take, I ask myself what my motivations are, what my desires are, what my fears are, what I have to lose, and what I have to gain. I move toward the light even if it a hard direction in which to move. I trust myself. I keep the faith. I mess up sometimes.” Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, pg. 215-16, Cheryl Strayed.

“You cannot push the river
instead you will swim
You cannot move the mountain
it is there for you to climb.” 7.25.15

“Make time to rest and to play so that you arrive at your destined point refreshed and rested.” 7.25.15

“After a while, you come to appreciate that what you can offer another human being is to work on yourself to be a statement of what it is you have found in the way you live your life, and one of the things you have found or will find is the ability to appreciate what is, as it is, in equanimity and compassion and love that isn’t conditional; that is, you don’t love a person more because they are happier the way you think they should be.

What you cultivate in yourself is the garden in which they can grow, and you offer your consciousness and the spaciousness to hear it.” Ram Dass 


Where is the planet Saturn transiting in your chart?

“Saturn transits [in astrology charts] help us to confront our fears and reality, review our attitudes, and then find solutions for the sake of our ongoing stability and survival. The transiting house position shows where most of the work needs to be done.

If we don’t listen to Saturn, we lose out on this most important lesson: getting to grips with life on a pragmatic level. Over time, Saturn can help us forge ahead with greater strength and more realistic ambitions.”

“Working with Transits, an In-depth Psychological Approach,” Richard Swatton, pg. 39-40, The Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2015.

Where has the Sun progressed in your astrology chart?

“The progressed Sun represents strengthening the ego, developing tolerance, and illuminating the self in all its ambiguity.”

“The Soul’s Diary; The Artistry of Secondary Progressions,” Brian Clark, Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2015, pg. 49.

Where is the Moon progressed in your astrology chart?

“The house that the Moon is progressing through is a personal indicator of the emotional terrain for the next few years. The Moon’s progression through the houses suggests what areas in our life need emotional focus and concern.”

“The Soul’s Diary; The Artistry of Secondary Progressions,” Brian Clark, Mountain Astrologer, June/July 2015, pg. 50.


“Mindfulness creates some space in your head so you can respond, rather than react.”

“Once you’ve achieved choiceless awareness [through meditation practice], you see clearly how fleeting everything is.”

“Ask: “Is this useful?’” Joseph Goldstein

“In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the experts’, there are few.” ‪#‎meditation 7.25.15

“Wisdom grows out of our clear seeing in each moment. Seeing the arising and passing of our experience and how we relate to it. It arises through our gentle and careful inquiry into the workings of the body and mind and through an open inquiry into how this body and mind relate to the whole world around us. For insight to develop, this spirit of observation and deep questioning must be kept in the forefront. We can collect and quiet the mind, but then we must observe, examine, see its way and its laws.”

“Insight meditation is a path of discovery. It is straightforward and direct, with no frills or gimmicks. It is simple, though not easy. Although the forms vary, the genuine practice of insight meditation is this single quest: to establish a foundation of harmonious action, to collect and concentrate the mind and body, and to see the laws of life by our own true, careful, and direct observation. After understanding the way of practice and realizing that meditative life involves this whole process of awakening, there is only one thing left to do. We have to undertake it ourselves.” Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield on dealing with the difficult emotions that arise in meditation practice:

Choose one of the most frequent and difficult mind states that arise in your practice, such as irritation, fear, boredom, lust, doubt, or restlessness. For one week in your daily sitting be particularly aware each time this state arises. Watch carefully for it. Notice how it begins and what precedes it. Notice if there is a particular thought or image that triggers this state. Notice how long it lasts and when it ends. Notice what state usually follows it. Observe whether it ever arises very slightly or softly. Can you see it as just a whisper in the mind?
Continue Reading:

“In stillness find your balance in your days and ride the wave to shore.” 7.25.15


Jack Kornfield on grief:

“When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?” Ghalib
Grief is one of the heart’s natural responses to loss. When we grieve we allow ourselves to feel the truth of our pain, the measure of betrayal or tragedy in our life. By our willingness to mourn, we slowly acknowledge, integrate, and accept the truth of our losses. Sometimes the best way to let go is to grieve.
It takes courage to grieve, to honor the pain we carry. We can grieve in tears or in meditative silence, in prayer or in song. In touching the pain of recent and long-held griefs, we come face to face with our genuine human vulnerability, with helplessness and hopelessness. These are the storm clouds of the heart.
A Meditation on Grief: 


“’No.’ is golden. No is the kind of power the good witch wields. It’s the way whole, healthy, emotionally evolved people manage to have relationships with jackasses while limiting the amount of jackass in their lives.” Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, pg. 190, Cheryl Strayed.


“Sometimes those we forgive continue being the jackasses that they always were and we accept them while keeping them approximately three thousand miles away from our wedding reception.” Tiny Beautiful Things, Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, pg. 190, Cheryl Strayed.italy2015

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