Friday, May 11, 2012

Soul guides us to open to beauty and to respond

Kathy Ford shares a quote from Thomas Moore's book, Care of the Soul in her post yesterday, "Soul’s Great Talent" that includes Moore's view:
“An appreciation for beauty is simply an openness to the power of things to stir the soul.  If we can be affected by beauty, then soul is alive and well in us, because the soul’s great talent is for being affected. The word passion means basically “to be affected”, and passion is the essential energy of the soul."
He continues with a reference to poet Rainer Marie Rilke's The Sonnets to Orpheus:
"The poet Rilke describes this passive power in the imagery of the flower’s structure, when he calls it a “muscle of infinite reception.”  We don’t often think of the capacity to be affected as strength and as the work of a powerful muscle, and yet for the soul, as for the flower, this is the toughest work and its main role in our lives.”
Ford mentions gardening friends and includes photographs of her own flowers in her post.

Rilke's verse:
Flower-muscle, that opens the anemone’s
meadow-morning bit by bit,
until into her lap the polyphonic
light of the loud skies pours down,

muscle of infinite reception
tensed in the still star of the blossom,
sometimes so overmanned with abundance
that the sunset’s beckoning to rest

is scarcely able to give back to you
the wide-sprung petal-edges:
you, resolve and strength of how many worlds!

We, with our violence, are longer-lasting.
But when, in which one of all lives,
are we at last open and receivers?

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Make a change: work is not apart from the sacred

A LiveJournal blogger writes about Thomas Moore's book Care of the Soul and her attempts to carve out time during mornings to attend to her soul:
"I found myself nodding when Moore wrote, 'Care of the soul is a continuous process that concerns itself not so much with 'fixing' a central flaw as with attending to the small details of daily life, as well as to major decisions and changes.' Those small details are the ones I struggle with the most. It’s easy enough for me to scrub down my kitchen once a week, but so much harder to keep it clean, to load the dishwasher and wipe down the counters before bed so that I can wake to a clean palette for my morning smoothie and coffee. I want to learn to cultivate beauty in my life, for beauty nourishes the soul. And I want to spend another series of mornings re-reading this book — I feel like I’ve only begun to glimpse the lessons it can teach me."
She mentions that her husband, an MBA student at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, refers to Moore's book in his blog post about spirituality in the workplace. After describing a conversation Moore had with a client recounted in Care of the Soul, the blogger writes:
 "Walking through the world with a sense of purpose and reverence is something I aspire to. But how could you bring that into some of the jobs I've had? There's nothing divine about accounts payable. That's the problem with inviting our soul into our work — it makes us notice, really notice, the impact of our actions. We all have more power than we realize in our daily lives — power to brighten or dim the world around us. Choosing to be spiritually present in our work might mean finally acknowledging the many little or big ways we each contribute to harming each other and the world around us. And maybe, just maybe, it would mean making a change."


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Moore: "A life work is a multicolored, tattered quilt"

Jason McCarty, "... psychotherapist interested in philosophy, psychology, religion, culture, art and music...", shares his career confusions yesterday and today in "Jack No Master" and "Building a Work Life | the dark(stuck)ness is a beginning". The first post refers to Thomas Moore's book, A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You were Born to Do and the second to David Whyte's book,  The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self & Relationship. McCarty shares a quote from A Life at Work that resonates with his current concerns. Moore writes:

“A life work is a multicolored, tattered quilt. It is not a simple, monochromatic, one-size-fits-all template that you simply adjust to. It may have gaps and holes and incomplete sections. It may not even feel like a life work, especially when you are in the middle of it. There may come a time when you can look back and see the sense in all the parts and glimpse a true life work, but even then it may be full of holes made by a long history of struggles.”

McCarty's response? "Wow. That is me. But I don’t want to wait for the glimpse, I want to see now."

In the other post, McCarty includes two poems by Rainer Maria Rilke that Whyte shares in The Three Marriages. McCarty states, "I have been writing about this feeling I’ve had recently where I feel farther away from any clarity then ever before. What it looks like to move forward has never been so unclear, and yet I feel like I am in something. I feel far away. But Whyte is helping me to see that this feeling of far away is telling me something. I think it is possibly telling me both of the possibilities he offers: that I have forgotten where I am going (maybe never knew) and that I am at the beginning."


We are all called to be healers according to Moore

Today Wise Way Tribe offers reflections in "Jesus as Healer" by Elena who is rereading Thomas Moore's book, Writing in the Sand: Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels. She shares a passage in which Moore touches on the roles of the Buddha and the Christ that includes:
"Jesus does not teach how to be virtuous, how to be saved, or how to be a good church member. He says nothing about memorizing dogma or following a strict set of moral rules. Instead, he continually demonstrates how to be in this world as a healer."
Elena responds, "I find this perspective so inspiring. Moving away from judgment, rules and regulations, to focus on healing and becoming whole. Also, in my current reading of the Gospel of Mark, I’m realizing for the first time how concerned Jesus was about feeding people."

Elena also mentions learning about different religious traditions: "I think my study of Buddhism and Taoism has deeply informed my understanding of Jesus and what he was all about. I think for me the Good News makes much more sense when approached from these directions, rather than the hellfire preacher or rigidly structured, Pope-dictated way." This is an approach also advocated by Moore.