Wisdom realizes that tit-for-tat invites escalation. Even worse at a soul level, when you ‘do unto them’ as was done unto you, you risk becoming just like them. (91)
When we listen empathetically, we take what we hear into our imagination, heart, body, and soul. When what we hear from another is beyond our own experience and even our comprehension, the task and opportunity is to become ‘bigger’ and be able to hold what we are hearing and feeling. (114)
Isn't this lovely? How being present and listening can expand and hold, not respond or fix but simply hold. Sometimes being a parent is hardest when all we can do is hold. And that is all it becomes the older they grow, endlessly listening and holding (and hoping and praying).
Women’s sexual independence is threatening to individual men and to the patriarchy, with the strongest epithets and punishments directed toward unsanctioned sex. Even in a cultural climate such as ours, a single woman who enjoys her sexuality with more than one person knows to keep it hidden in order to avoid condemnation and jealousy. (172)
Imagine that your body is a temple. The center of the temple is inside your chest, and in the center of this space, there is a glowing fire upon a round hearth. Sense the light and warmth that emanates from this glow raditating out to fill your wole body with warm inner light. Place your hands over this place. Then, with each intake of breath, breathe in peace. Hold your breath fora moment and be still. And then slowly exhale. Breathe in peace, and hold, breathe out peace. And in the Stillness, Hestia is present. (63)I thought this sounded like a lovely meditation. I have a hard time with guided meditations when I cannot listen to them. This one is short enough that I think I could enjoy the experience in spite of my easily distracted state of mind.
The Places That Scare You
The ordinariness of our good fortune can make it hard to catch. (62)
Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. (63)
Whenever someone asked a certain Zen master how he was, he would always answer, ‘I’m okay.’ Finally one of his students said ‘Roshi, how can you always be okay? Don’t you ever have a bad day?’ The Zen master answered, ‘Sure I do. On bad days, I’m okay. On good days, I’m okay.’ (69)
Whenever anyone asks me or my mother, "How are you?" our immediate (knee-jerk) reaction is, "I'm fine." And this is true. On some level we are "fine." Larry calls it the "Cima Fine" meaning that we are not really fine and if you want to know how we really are, you have to dig. I honestly believe that the fine is the deeper level and when you "probe" you'r merely getting the surface complaints, the circumstances that are here today and may be gone tomorrow. At our core, we're fine, more than fine.
Forgiveness . . . cannot be forced. When we are brave enough to open our hearts to ourselves, however, forgiveness will emerge. (82)