Friday, August 23, 2013

What is a waste of time?

Every day I look at Facebook, which usually means finding out what someone did today, what they're thinking about,  clicking a more or less interesting link, or looking at photos. I don't post anything myself. I look at Twitter and The New York Times. I play Bejeweled Blitz (a one minute game.) I don't spend all day doing these things, but do I want to be doing them at all? Sometimes there is a rare gem, like Saunders' speech the other day. 

I'm not going to agonize about it. For the moment I'm just, as Rilke says, "living the question."

Had a good chat with my dad today.

Ordered some Dutch and Finnish licorice online. Laura is a fan, too. 

Three-month retreat in Spain, 2009


  1. Looking something else up (as so often happens!) I found this poem that seems to fit here. Enjoy!

    The Invitation

    by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

    It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
    I want to know what you ache for, and
    if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

    It doesn't interest me how old you are.
    I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
    for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
    I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
    if you have been opened by life's betrayals or
    have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!

    I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
    without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
    if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be
    careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true.
    I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
    if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.

    I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every
    day, and if you can source your life from God's presence.

    I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
    and still stand on the edge of a lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes"!

    It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
    weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

    It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

    It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
    I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
    and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

    By Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Invitation

  2. I am just saying Hi as I feel like I am an occasional visitor at the back of your blog room. I pop in on you from time to time cos I was getting to know you through Shabda and then you moved. Your blog speaks to me as an OM, but also talks a language I began to learn as a volunteer Buddhist chaplain on an oncology ward, and a language I have had to learn in being with friends with cancer and latterly my Mom whom I had the loving privilege to accompany through her last ten weeks. Being in the room with you, your room feels a bit like home. Yet it's also a lot different, but that's the gift of (your) effective communication. I'd like to thank you for this gift and for enriching this wonderful Order and Community. And for being in the world.
    Mahasiddhi xx

    PS I have always enjoyed the Oriah Mountain Dreamer poem too. Lovely name as well!!

  3. Thank you so much for writing Suvanna - it means alot. And every time I have the courage to visit your blog I learn something. The irony is - that your blog is a gift. Something I would want to share with many. Huh and no gift for you in all of this - that sucks. The unconditionality of life. I'm hoping I will get to see you in November when I am in town. Will write closer to the time. Meanwhile --- I hold you preciously in my heart. Radiating metta and karuna to every part of your body. May you be filled with peace. love Vimalasara