Jan Frazier has just recorded the final section of her second book, The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is. The recording is available for free listening/downloading on the audio page of her website. The total listening time is two hours. Titled “The Solitary Traveler, With No Place to Go,” this portion of the book contains nine chapters, which can be listened to one at a time.
How surprising it was, one Christmas not too many years ago, to feel myself moved in a new way by the sacred music of the season. I’d always loved the music-as-music; Handel’s Messiah was in my bones, so that I barely needed a score to sing it each December. What hit me that one time (and every year since) – like a tender, overwhelming wave – was the force with which Jesus “registered” in my heart, my body. [Read more…]
“What is real?” Or, “What am I?” These are two ways into the heart of the matter, the essential thing – the thing a human life is, at bottom, about. The thing all earnest seeking means to uncover, to come to rest in. [Read more…]
Conscious awareness is often confused with vigilance, an enforced self-observation having the goal of catching oneself at something “unspiritual,” so a correction can be made. Growing ever more aware of mental (and emotional) trouble-making, some seekers adopt this kind of vigilance, supposing it’s a good thing. There’s an intention to be less judgmental and resisting, to be alert to the starting up of a story in the head. To exert control over the inner life. [Read more…]
It’s a rich thing to contemplate: what it’s like to no longer identify with body, history, opinions, thoughts – and yet to still be a person. To live a life, love people, do things. Be in the world, engaged, without being blown about by its inevitable rough weather. It’s instructive to reflect on what it is to be physical, mortal, sensory, experiencing pleasure and pain, without feeling you are your body. Or your work, your relationships, your upbringing, gifts, imperfections.
I used to be a little crazy. I don’t know how my poor heart managed to hold up as long as it did. Even if I frequently appeared sane, from somebody else’s unknowing perspective, I was truly crazy inside. Running at high gear in there, always in a hurry: worried, regretful, hell-bent on one thing or another, my mind going over and over (and over) a thing, repeating the loop traveled ninety seconds before, as if anything new might come of the manipulation of reality. [Read more…]
I once lived (or tried to) in ongoing disregard of the fact of radical uncertainty, of brevity. Every single thing being brief, in flux, each apparently substantial thing falling apart even as it was establishing itself. [Read more…]
What has changed, when awakening occurs? What’s essentially different from how it was before? [Read more…]
What happens within seems to move outward and to also happen “out there,” with other people, with one’s surroundings. The more inner allowing occurs — feeling what’s there to be felt, letting the light of awareness freely penetrate the whole of the interior, without walling off, without recoiling or timidity or the attempt to change anything — the more readily the heart extends itself, without judgment or self-protection, toward others. [Read more…]
“It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.” There is surely something to what Madeleine L’Engle says, how when devastation comes along in a life (which it will, and probably more than once), it does have a way of separating the truly mattering things from over-emphasized trivia. A radical undermining makes vivid the things with enduring authenticity, not subject to whim, or even to a major tremor. [Read more…]