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The Capacity to Wonder

September 1, 2020

The Capacity to Wonder

By Amba Gale

Each of us has the capacity to Wonder, to be with the joy and delight of all of our senses, and observe the details of all we see, hear the life breathing joyfully underneath the surface of nature, be attentive to people and to the world all around us, to “listen with the ear of our heart,” as St. Benedict wisely counseled us.

What is it to “listen with the ear of our heart?” we might ask. It starts with noticing, then dropping, our judgements, our expectations, our righteous opinions, our identification with our internal conversation that says, “It should be some way other than the way it is.” Then we listen as though our Master were speaking to us, we listen like our life were dependent upon it, we listen for receiving wisdom from everything we touch and see. We allow ourselves to be delighted and surprised, by everything we touch and we encounter.  We are committed to that.  We live in gratitude, as we approach the world through Beginner’s Mind.

Meanwhile, here is one of my poems, along those lines.  I wrote it upon awakening, on a recent short vacation to the mountains of Oregon. A dear friend, a Benedictine monk whom I honor, had recently counseled me to “stay inspired.”

What in the ordinary world inspires you, and turns your life extraordinary?

Black Butte Morning Guidance

Allow

the soft tree tops of your body

to welcome the sun in the morning,

to dispel the worries,

to greet you with their glorious

embrace of this new day.

New, as if the sun arising from the horizon

Has just seen the earth for the very first time.

 

Allow

the cool soft morning air

to brush your face,

caressing your skin

with its welcome love.

 

Let

the sound of the wind

brushing the pines

remind you of all those other

golden mornings of splendor

you were blessed by

in other sacred places

In your life.

 

Rest

in the shadows and light brownness

of the sandy tufts of grasses

as they dance

with the breeze

 in a slow and gentle waltz.

 

Be

with the soft and silent power

of the tall ponderosas,

dark brown and golden,

ever still,

in their Presence

welcoming the day,

leading the way

to morning gladness.

Additional Posts

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August 31, 2021

Wounded Healer

In David Whyte’s book, Crossing The Unknown Sea, Brother David Steindl‑Rast says to him, “The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.” What an amazing thought to ponder. This is a story about wholeheartedness. In the heart of the forest is a wounded tree. This tree is located in the magical, mystical forest of Glenstal Abbey, in County Limerick, Ireland, and we were led there by one of the Benedictine monks, Brother Anthony, who guarded the forest with his love. The tree was a total surprise. My husband and I were journeying with Turas D’Anam, which in Irish, means “Journey of the Soul,” in…

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