Illness as Companion

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We never value or even see some things in our lives until we are just about to lose them.
This is particularly true of health.  When we are in good health,
we are so busy in the world that we never even notice how well we are.
Illness comes and challenges everything about us.  It unmasks all pretension.
When you are really ill, you cannot mask it.

Illness also tests the inner fiber and luminosity of your soul.
It is very difficult to take illness well.
Yet it seems that if we treat our illness as something external
that has singled us out, and we battle and resist it,
the illness will refuse to leave.
On the other hand, we must not identify ourselves with our illness.
A visit to a hospital often shows that very ill people are more alive
to life’s possibilities than the medical verdict would ever allow or imagine.

When we learn to see our illness as a companion or friend,
it really does change the way the illness is present.
The illness changes from a horrible intruder to a companion
who has something to teach us.  When we see what we have to learn
from an illness, then often the illness can gather itself and begin to depart…
Sometimes, when you see a thing as the enemy,
you only reinforce its presence and power over you…
Held openly, as a friend, this bit of unknown aliveness
may take you on an amazing journey to places you may have never anticipated.
Such attention enriches and deepens gentleness and presence.


Mysteries, Yes

Poem by

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood

Shakti: Tiny Desk Concert

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A reunion of the seminal Indian / European jazz fusion band for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert


Poem by

My mother is three years younger than Nakba

Hand of War

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From the series of Palestinian poets

My desperate and sad prayer

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I pray for Israel, I pray for Palestine

Galoba (The Prayer)

Video with

Trio Mandili is a Georgian vocal group, here they perform a piece entitled "The Prayer"

The Ant, the Grasshopper, and the Antidote to the Cult of More

Article by

A Lovely Vintage Illustrated Poem About the Meaning and Measure of Enough

Moon in the Haiku Tradition

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In Japan, there is a long tradition of admiring a full moon

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