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Expect Nothing!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

What a perfect lesson for this morning from a contemporary hero of mine. Hear hear! oh heart of mine!

"Live frugally on surprise.
Become a stranger to need of pity."


Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
Become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny a human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

~ Alice Walker ~
(Anything We Love Can Be Saved)

Alice Walker:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEACEFULONE 2/16/2010 2:35AM

    As always your blogs touch my soul and add peace to my life.
Many, many thank yous, dear Maha.

Comment edited on: 2/16/2010 2:36:15 AM

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PUDLECRAZY 2/9/2010 2:20AM

    Great post. Alice Walker is wonderful!

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MACGIRRL 2/5/2010 10:03PM

    So very timely here in my parka hood... (gratitude) emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 2/4/2010 2:14PM

    Thank you for sharing this. Very bold mandate, to expect nothing. Reminds me of the Sannyasi's way, the way of the renunciate. Though I can see that expecting nothing one would live in a constant state of surprised gratitude. We are so blessed.
P.S. I also love the non-attachment of the frugal mind that takes nothing for itself, lives free of story and judgements.

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/4/2010 11:16AM

    Brilliant. I just finished reading Ms. Walker's "Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart" and found myself frantically searching for a piece of paper so I could jot down lines that were too amazing to be forgotten.


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CARLI_MAE 2/4/2010 11:15AM

    Ha. I just read this one. A lesson I am grateful to have been brought up with from childhood, though I think it got lost on most of my cousins ... and they wonder why they are so unhappy. Ah, well. Then again, I do have one weakness in this department ... it is not expectation of things, money, etc., but the bewilderment I feel when people choose to act in ugly, beligerent, self-centered, crass & insensitive, unthinking, illogical ways.

Hmmmm ... I guess that's quite a bit of stuff! But if we stop expecting civility, and quietly submit to it, aren't we giving more power to it? Or would we be robbing it of its power by doing so (e.g., the pacifist's way)???

Just thinking ....

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/4/2010 11:14AM

    I love surprizes!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/4/2010 10:24AM

    So true!

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LYNNANN43 2/4/2010 8:05AM

    How very soothing for this very cold morning :D

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LISANANCY 2/4/2010 7:43AM

    emoticonPerfect for a new day emoticon

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DOKEYOKEY 2/4/2010 7:36AM

    Great! Your posts are balm for the soul. :)

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SWEETNHOT 2/4/2010 6:41AM

    Wow, very true!

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Oh my...the brilliance...the knowingness...of the great woman, Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska, takes my breath away. Listen:


WHOEVER'S found out what location
compassion (heart's imagination)
can be contacted at these days,
is herewith urged to name the place;
and sing about it in full voice,
and dance like crazy and rejoice
beneath the frail birch that appears
to be upon the verge of tears.

I TEACH silence
in all languages
through intensive examination of:
the starry sky,
the Sinanthropus' jaws,
a grasshopper's hop,
an infant's fingernails,
a snowflake.

I RESTORE lost love.
Act now! Special offer!
You lie on last year's grass
bathed in sunlight to the chin
while winds of summers past
caress your hair and seem
to lead you in a dance.
For further details, write: "Dream."

WANTED: someone to mourn
the elderly who die
alone in old folks' homes.
Applicants, don't send forms
or birth certificates.
All papers will be torn,
no receipts will be issued
at this or later dates.

FOR PROMISES made by my spouse,
who's tricked so many with his sweet
colors and fragrances and sounds -
dogs barking, guitars in the streets -
into believing that they still
might conquer loneliness and fright,
I cannot be responsible.
Mr. Day's widow, Mrs. Night.

-- Wislawa Szymborska

(Poems New and Collected 1957-1997,
trans. by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

About her:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 2/3/2010 1:45PM

    That's so powerful. I love the "I TEACH silence in all languages."
Few persons can really stand the silence, and are able to "hear" it.

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AZIMAT 2/3/2010 10:44AM

    These poems from Panhala are just so lovely. I went ahead and subscribed, too. Thanks for posting them here. A wonderful act of service.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/1/2010 9:44PM

    WANTED: All the vast intelligence that my Maha has to offer!

NEEDED: Patience to take my time!

ACCEPTANCE: To know that I cannot know it all, and never will!

GRATITUDE: For the things I do know, and the friends I meet along the way!

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SANTANDERE 2/1/2010 7:30PM

    Thanks for sharing... Ms. Szymborska is a delight emoticon


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CARLI_MAE 2/1/2010 3:30PM

    Yes indeedy, she can do that very well, Stlrzgrrl! Thank you for saving me a trip to look up Sinathropus! She also educated me in an earlier blog about this phenomenal poet. I really do believe AR gets more hrs of time per day than the rest of us. A conspiracy!!! Yes, Jes! I think it do be so ... you betcha!

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WILDHONEYPIE1 2/1/2010 12:37PM

    Thank you. emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 2/1/2010 10:35AM

    Thx to I not only know what this wonderful woman is on about... I found a poem while I was looking:

To Mr. Day's Widow

The Homo erectus Skull Peking Man
is also known as Pithecanthropus pekinensis (Sinathropus).
The original reconstruction was prepared from the fossil remains
found in the caves at Zhoukoudian.

The skull is somewhat unique--
a rare metopic suture is present.

The jaw is more massive based on males.
The skull has a large brow ridge
and a ridge of bone on the back of the skull.

Stand available.

Maha, you do delight in sending me to the far provinces, doncha'?!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2010 10:36:57 AM

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FRANCESCANAZ 2/1/2010 10:24AM


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LISANANCY 2/1/2010 10:16AM

    OK, you got me with this one had to google sinathropus jaw. Just love how I learn something everyday. Good to have you back teaching us. emoticon

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I get by with a little help from my friends....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who's there.
-- Rumi

I've been in a melt-down mode recently...not caring for myself in a loving way, feeling isolated and out-of-control. I don't like to put my stuff out there, so I've basically stuffed it, unsuccessfully trying to find my way out.

Finally I sent SOS notes to friends Noreen and Sandra and got a heart full of love and guidance back from both of these amazing friends. Sandra added this "food for thought" that has resulted in this blog:

"I'm going to be presumptuous here so just know I say this out of love. You are very good at giving motivation and inspiration to other people but when you need help -- like now -- you don't turn to your Spark Friends in your blogs. There is something cathartic about asking for help from anyone who happens upon your blog. I imagine that if you asked for help in a blog -- all kinds of people would respond -- because they love you and look to you for motivation and inspiration. Just as the monks go out to beg each morning for their rice -- not for themselves but so that those who give will be blessed in giving -- you would bless a lot of people if you reached out on SP for help."

I am blessed daily by you. Thank you for your encouragement and love.

Blessed be!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Knowing the nature of Pisces, you have probably moved to a more desirous place, therefore, I will give to you my small offering in the expectation that it will no longer be required.

Yes, it is the nature of Pisces, on occasion, to swim to the depths, far deeper than most could imagine. Sometimes it is necessary to plunge into the murky, unknown, uncharted underworld, to explore, for the purpose of expansion, the dark hidden crevices of our soul. I'm sure I have barnacles growing from such expeditions! We do this however, with full expectation that we will also, at other times soar with the angels in perfect harmony, perfect equilibrium - two fish swimming in opposite directions but always securely joined in serenity and balance.

So Maha, try to make peace with where you are, relax, and in time whatever the reason for this deep sea diving will be revealed - it always is. You know this! Reach for a better feeling thought from where you are, and from there, an even better one and a better one still and before you know it you will be frolicking in the sunlit ocean with the dolphins and whales, where you feel at peace with yourself and the universe!

emoticon emoticon emoticonMargaret xoxo

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STLRZGRRL 2/1/2010 11:01AM


Plz to use this thumb as the nose-picker appliance of SP choice...

In your honor, today, I will pick my nose 12 times in the general direction of L'il Rock...

Comment edited on: 2/1/2010 11:02:10 AM

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MEDDYPEDDY 2/1/2010 2:23AM

    You know what? This happens to me when I am the "good guy" for a moment too long. If I help and motivate people and I help and motivate people and I help and motivate people... and they put me in a pedestal (which is NOT a comfortable place really, a sofa is far better!) and I kind of start thinking that I need to be on that pedestal and I would be a blessing to the world being there so I better become perfect and wise and show no cracks in my beautiful soul...

Come on - pick your nose and fart away!

As foreigner I am not sure if the above mirrors the love I really feel for you, when I look at your page and your pictures, I think you are marvellous and a true rolemodel! Keep on being whatever you are, it is SO useful!

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VALERIEMAHA 1/31/2010 7:17PM

    Getting smushed to bits in a group hug is feelin' MIGHTY GOOD!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/1/2010 10:21:21 AM

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CARLI_MAE 1/31/2010 7:06PM

    Goodness ... I don't go online for a day or three and look what happens.

Well, see ... looka all these folks wanting to smush you to bits in a group hug! What would I do if you sang out of tune, would I stand up and walk out on you? ... Nope, I'd give you an ear and I'd lend you a song and hope you weren't too out of key!

Yeah, you'll get by with a little help ... or as they say down thar ,,, HEP ! fwum yo fwends.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/31/2010 5:53PM

    Dear friend and teacher,
I'm so glad you're offline taking care of yourself.
Baba-ji says, "You have to be your own best friend first."
The rhythm of compassion requires a giving and a receiving, like an exhalation and an inhalation. We thrive when we have compassion for ourselves as well as for others. You are so giving. Glad you are taking time to inhale.
May you have compassion for yourself. May you be kind to the 'soft animal of the body' that Mary Oliver describes so well.
May you be at ease.
Chanting the Great Healing Mantra for you today.

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NORLANA 1/31/2010 3:28PM

    HEY!! Get your self together cause we need YOU to lead the conga line!!! xoxoxo LOLOLOLOLOL!! WoooHoooooo!!! Here we go girl!!!

Comment edited on: 1/31/2010 3:30:13 PM

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/31/2010 3:24PM

    Awww... Maha! I am grateful for you each and every day! I truly do look forward to your continued awakenings! I am sorry to hear you were feeling low, and send the biggest virtual hug for taking the time to share and be honest not only with yourself, but with us too! And a prayer for the balance in your life that you so desire.

I've been a bit of a roller coaster myself, but keep coming out stronger on the other side! I too recently blogged about this and Adversity! I found these to be extremely helpful:

"Difficulties are opportunities for growth. If you try to avoid all trials, you are simply arresting your development!"

"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."
~James 1:2-3

Blessed Be Maha!

You are truly the BEST!
Love Yah! emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 1/31/2010 2:39PM


You are amazing and the love and kindness and joy and goodness that you send out in the universe, you are deserving to receive in return a hundred fold. It is ever said that giving is better than receiving, and certainly giving is easier. I know I must remind myself to let others have the satisfaction of giving as well.

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own. ~Ben Sweetland



Comment edited on: 1/31/2010 2:41:05 PM

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FRANCESCANAZ 1/31/2010 2:13PM

    Maha, Maha, le amo a Maha mucho. Ella es una vela brillante cuando mas se necisitan. Estoy aqui para ti tambien amiga preciosa.
emoticon Paz,

Comment edited on: 1/31/2010 2:14:14 PM

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LYNNANN43 1/31/2010 11:47AM

You are SUCH an inspiration to me! You make me think in ways I've never thought before. I'm getting back into yoga and think of you every time.

We are all there for you. Just let us know what you need. If you need me, I'll find a way to get there for you!

emoticon emoticon

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PEACEFULONE 1/31/2010 11:23AM

    Dearest Maha, You are loved and esteemed more than words can say! You are the brightest guiding star! Sending you light, love, and peace this day and always! Elaine
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 1/31/2010 10:41AM


This is SUPPOS'TA be OUR chance to be grateful for YOU!!!!!


e tough!


Comment edited on: 1/31/2010 10:42:11 AM

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VALERIEMAHA 1/31/2010 10:36AM

    Thank you, thank you from the bottom and top and sides of my heart!

I just finished meditation practice and preparing myself a nutritious, healthy brekkie...and come to THIS! This heart-opening showing of love and support from my dear friends.

I'm not going to reply individually, because today is about taking baby-steps toward better self-care, but please KNOW that your reaching out to me in this time of need is MAJOR today...and EVERY day!

Bowing in gratitude and love,

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WATERMELLEN 1/31/2010 10:29AM

    Such collective wisdom right here for the asking AND for the receiving!

It's a gift to let others give back: so give it to us!! Please!!

And then: receive it.

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MISS_VIV 1/31/2010 10:15AM

    I hope you know you can always turn west to find a lot of love and support, BIG BEAR HUGS and dry hankies. You are teaching us every day and stretching your loving arms around us. We are here wrapping our arms around you in love. Now, if you can. Get those books cracked open and do what you have to do today. Right after a few deep cleansing/warming breaths.

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KAT573 1/31/2010 9:57AM

    We all need both to give and to receive, because it helps us to be more wholly balanced in the world, and thus, more complete! I am glad that Sandra and Norlana could offer you the gift of giving!

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LISANANCY 1/31/2010 9:46AM

    Oh, what a horrible thought that one of my dear friends needed some help and I didn't know about it! I would reach out my arms and hug you. I wouldn't let that demon of doubt anywhere near you. I would stay with you until your flame burned brightly again. Don't you feel the connection, how poor of us just to take your love and not make sure that you know how much we appreciate all the work you do to keep us moving in the right direction. This awful event just does prove how much we are connected and how much we really depend on each other. emoticon

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MAZZYR 1/31/2010 9:42AM

    Ditto, Sandra is right!!

Thank you for guiding me towards a Loving-Kindness practice, dear Maha. Today I guide you back.

-May you recognize your feelings with mindfulness and acceptance.
-May you embrace these feelings and treat yourself and your feelings with compassion.

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GINABUG 1/31/2010 9:38AM

    I would feel SO VERY left out not to be included in the "Maha -- Love!" Sandra is right. Ask for the gift of love and the gift is in the giving. Thank you for the gift of allowing me to send you love, peace, balance, energy, and a whole lot of huggy mushy stuff today!

I love and adore you, Maha! Be the kindness you give to others. Give it to yourself. Allow us to give it to you as well. Ahhhhhhhh, how doesn't that feel better? I know it does for me!

Blessings and much love,


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SLASALLE 1/31/2010 9:37AM

    Maha, my dear friend - I am SO HAPPY that you stepped out of your "mode" and reached out. Try to remember, life is about giving AND receiving. Sandra is right! Letting others give to you, as you have given so freely of yourself to so many, gives them great pleasure AND provides much-needed support for you also! I see nothing but a win-win here.

We are all on a journey. Nobody is perfect. We all have good days and bad days. But the true joy in life, in my humble opinion, is the sharing of that journey with others who care, others of like mind - and the sharing includes the good, the bad and the ugly ... for each is part of life.

Much love to you, oh woman of amazing heart and soul ...

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NORLANA 1/31/2010 9:23AM

    Take excellent care of you today! Mwah!! emoticon

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STLRZGRRL 1/31/2010 9:22AM

    AND let ME be blessed by saying: SANDRA IS RIGHT!!!!

You are such a pillar to so many of us... and what do we know about pillars, Maha? Pillars crumble...

I know your heart is large enough to let all of us in... so move over... you're about to get a LOT of company...


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Snow in the mid-south

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The screened porch to the right goes into *my* side of the cabana. My office/living space looks out through the porch to the outdoors, where little creatures gather to feed. Hope my Dolphin baby is OK -- she's not used to having snow piled on top of her! Yeah, I definitely live out in the country!

And THEN there's my little Honda Civic baby, so covered that she's almost unrecognizable!

I know...I KNOW! This is nothin' you northern folks say.

But to be honest with you, I'd REALLY rather be in Maui or Marin about now!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANTANDERE 1/31/2010 11:04AM

    I love where you live! I know it's hard to get things done in that kind of weather, but it looks like FUN...

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DEUSMACHINA 1/30/2010 9:42PM

    Yeah! Trace is right! Come to Canberra. It's hot. Never wet. Never cold (well, not by American standards, anyway). Deep blue skies and water restrictions. What more could you want?

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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/30/2010 8:45PM

    Wishing you warm and snug, my friend.

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    Oh, this reminds me of when I lived in Placerville. I DO miss that part of it! Always amazed to see how just a couple of inches makes the world so silent and beautiful...Thanks for sharing.

Should I tell you our sky is deep blue with huge billowy white clouds? Roses are now pruned. Weeds are pulled, and some tulips are FINALLY in pots outside!

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STLRZGRRL 1/30/2010 6:37PM

    Ya, ya, ya... beautiful... unless you have to go out in it...

Begging the question, "Why AREN'T we in Maui now?"

Beejay says we can come to Canberra... I don't think she realizes that I am NOT kidding...

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GENKI_WARRIOR 1/30/2010 6:24PM

lol a friend and i were talking about the difference between northern and southern winter weather; and why life often shuts down here--we get ice, and they get more snow; ice + driving = no ma'am!

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BECOMINGONE 1/30/2010 1:55PM

    You have to admit -- it's beautiful! My buddha is almost covered in snow ... I love it


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SHEENADEE 1/30/2010 1:21PM

    Sorry about the unwanted snow you got. I'm a bit north of you and we apparently dodged this latest snow storm. Plenty cold here though, barely to 20 F the past couple days; but no snow. I hope you warm up and it melts soon.

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_VALEO_ 1/30/2010 12:56PM

    Love your cottage nestling in the nature.
We've been having snow for days, and I feel like Siphysus--snow shoveling again and again.

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Fear & thinking of ourselves as merely physical creatures...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Before *signing off* to begin my day of study, I post this reminder to myself, hoping it will offer some guidance to others on the Path as well.

May it be so!

-- Thich Nhat Hanh, reminding us to step into the world of love

On this path, effort never goes to waste, and there is no failure. Even a little effort toward spiritual awareness will protect you from the greatest fear.
-- Bhagavad Gita

To be truly secure, we must begin to find a source of security within ourselves. Even the bravest among us have many fears. Behind the attachment to money or possessions, for example, you will always find the fear of loss. Attachment to prestige brings the nagging fear of what others think of us. The thirst for power feeds the fear that others may be stronger. Every self-centered desire brings the fear that we may not get what we desire.

One could make a Sears catalog of these fears, but all stem from one fatal superstition: thinking of ourselves as merely physical creatures, separate from the rest of life. As our sense of oneness with the rest of life deepens, we step out of the world of fear to live in the world of love.
-- Sri Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STLRZGRRL 1/30/2010 6:33PM

    Fear of losing things falls away in comparison to the loss of people who are important to you...

when you lose the people who are important to you, you don't have to fear losing them any more.

I'm not afraid of very much these days... which makes me nearly unbearable to have around.

Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 7:16:12 PM

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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2010 6:17PM

    An inspiring blog. Thank you. Fear of loss? we cannot lose if we are one with the rest of life.

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_VALEO_ 1/30/2010 12:47PM

    Every word is so true. We have to let go our fears to live in harmony with us, and with each other.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/30/2010 11:42AM


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LISANANCY 1/30/2010 10:15AM

    I like this. Great way to start my day. I am feeling a little anxious about Dh's glaucoma operation. I am positive we have a good doctor. Just the wait that gets a little long, so you blog today was helpful. Study hard, get smart emoticon

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