Sat Nam.

Sat Nam.

Inside of me.

 

Sat Nam.

Shining through the illusion of self.

 

Sat Nam.

The true identity.

 

Sat Nam.

The only existence that matters.

 

Sat Nam.

The divinity that lies within.

 

Truth is my identity.

The essence of all that is

like a mirror shining on the cosmos.

 

Divinity rests inside

to be discovered like

a seed as it grows.

 

Sat Nam.

Awaken my soul.

 

The call to live everything…

THE CALL TO LIVE EVERYTHING

One of the sad things today is that so many people are frightened by the wonder of their own presence. They are dying to tie themselves into a system, a role, or to an image, or to a predetermined identity that other people have actually settled on for them. This identity may be totally at variance with the wild energies that are rising inside in their souls. Many of us get very afraid and we eventually compromise.

We settle for something that is safe, rather than engaging the danger and the wildness that is in our own hearts. We should never forget that death is waiting for us. A man in Connemara said one time to a friend of mine, ‘Beidh muid sínte siar,’ a duirt sé, ‘cúig mhilliúin blain déag faoin chré’ – We’ll be lying down in the earth for about fifteen million years, and we have a short exposure. I feel that when you recognize that death is on its way, it is a great liberation because it means that you can in some way feel the call to live everything that is within you.

One of the greatest sins is the unlived life, not to allow yourself to become chief executive of the project you call your life, to have a reverence always for the immensity that is inside of you.

 

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John O’Donohue

Excerpt from WALKING ON THE PASTURES OF WONDER
John O’Donohue in conversation with John Quinn

Inishbofin / Co. Galway – 2017
Photo: © Ann Cahill

Take off the mask

Illusions of grandeur.

Momentary lapses of self-importance?

Egocentric desires run rampant.

 

Take off the mask.

 

One word breaks the crackled skin.

Not worshipped enough?

How dare they.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Anxiety, fear, defensiveness pervades like fog over the ocean.

Have your fragile assumptions been checked?

Defend that ego.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Stop the struggle.

Release yourself into the God

who created you.

Let go of your illusions of self.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Let go of the need for control.

Release yourself into the God

who birthed you.

Let go of your illusions of egocentric desires.

 

Live.

 

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” — John O’Donohue

 

 

Down, down, down…

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

The ascent up was meaningless.

 

A job making six figures.

Traveling all over the country.

Money to use lavishly.

Look at me and my title.

 

Never enough.

 

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

The ascent down is full of meaning.

 

Freefalling.

In deep confusion

at times in desperate despair.

 

Clinging to an illusionary existence.

 

What am I really here for?

What am I suppose to be doing?

 

I shed myself of false pretenses

trying to live into an authenticity that is all mine.

Only trying to do good

while getting things done.

 

Down, down, down.

Deeper I go.

I am finding myself in the freefall.

In the descent down.

 

Until I finally hit bottom.

And, I have arrived.

 

As a human, I’m just a tiny moment of consciousness, a tiny part of creation, a particle that reflects only a fragment of God’s love and beauty. And yet that’s enough. And then we return to where we started—in the heart of God. Everything in between is a school of love.  – Richard Rohr

 

 

In the darkness

Where are you in the darkness?

I am vulnerable.

I am foolish.

I am weak.

I am despised.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

You see my wounds.

You see my hurting.

You see my agony.

You see my angst.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I want to see the light.

I want to feel the light.

I want to be the light.

I want to spread the light.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I wait.

Who were you?

Cold sweats in the middle of the night.

Waking stuffing food in my face.

 

Who were you?

 

A violent crime unreported.

Twenty odd years ago.

You plumaged my soul.

 

Who were you?

You threatened me.

You left me to fight.

You took all of me.

 

Who were you?

I let no one in close.

I keep everyone at arm’s length.

They reach out, I recoil.

My heart is frozen.

 

Who were you?

 

On that night.

My soul closed.

It took me away with it.

I recall only odd fragments.

Only what my soul allows.

A blessing.

 

Who were you?

You thief?

The greatest robber of them all.

 

Shame, guilt, embarrassment.

Who were you?

 

You stole my innocence and my belonging to the heart.

Tears roll down my face.

I shake even now.

 

As I shove food in my mouth.

To close my soul once again.

To hide you deep inside.

A violent crime left unreported.

 

Who were you?

 

I am there.

Be still and know that I am there.

Waiting silently for you to awaken

to grow into your destiny.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Needing nothing else in return

just a recognition of knowing.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Discovering that all along

that illumination was just a reflection.

 

Be still and know that I am there.

Having the courage

to live in the moment of expectation.

 

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This photo was taken almost four years ago to the day.  A solitary trail run during Grad School.  Winona, Minnesota, St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.  Rivers call us to be still and reflect.  This river most likely at some point in its life empties into the Mississippi, as Winona lies on the bluffs of that mighty river.

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And, just because I am awfully sentimental.  The athletic hallway to the pool I swam in nightly after class.  Four years ago this week, I finished my final Masters Summer Residence after three years of study.