Can You Love More?

I was in a meeting once in which a woman began to tell this interesting story.  She was part of a group that was planning an event for their religious organization.  Every time it was her turn to speak and report her findings to the group, another woman would take over and do her part.  She became annoyed and finally decided to report this behavior to the main leader and overseer of the project.  After she voiced her complaint, the project manager asked, “Are you ready to hear this?”  The woman, a little apprehensive, said, “Yes.”  The manager asked, “Can you love more?”

Perhaps the woman who was overstepping had a fear of being overshadowed, a lack of self-worth, or a need to be validated, seen and heard. The manager was telling the woman that by remaining silent and just loving more, this would give the other  time to grow and learn her own lessons.

This story has stayed with me over the years.  How often do we find ourselves in a similar situation, one that causes us to react, lash out, or put another “in their place.”

Little annoyances and irritations can arise on a daily basis.  Why is that person taking so long with the bank teller as we wait and wait our turn?  And look, that woman has at least 40 coupons for the cashier to go through at the checkout line in the grocery store.  Does every traffic light really have  to turn red when I’m in a hurry?

When we are in those and many other situations, we can say to ourselves: “I am in this moment, right here, right now.  I will never have this moment again.  I can love more right now.”

When we are “in love,” a state of Being that is so pure and selfless,  we find we are in love with the people in line at the bank, the grocery store, the people in all of the cars at the traffic light.  This state of love makes room for us to see, to know, to just be.  And like the lady in the first story, we find we have nothing prove, and nothing to lose.

A woman from another country once told me this about her husband.  He was so well known for his love, patience and wisdom, that people in their village would come to him to settle disputes and arguments.  She said, “He is the only person I have ever known who can mend two hearts and never leave a seam.”  Love leaves behind no scars, only new growth.

So we all might ask at this point, “How does one evolve into such a state of love?”   For myself, in my morning contemplations, I say, “Show me how to love more.”  Then without fail opportunities arise.  And when we don’t get it right, life always gives us another chance.  Love never gives up on us, and we can’t give up on love.  It is our true and natural state.  We’ve just forgotten.

I also remind myself of this story.  Years ago I heard an interview on the radio with a monk who lived in Chicago.  The interviewer asked, “How can you live a contemplative life in the midst of such a busy city?”  The monk replied, “I don’t bring contemplation into my life.  I bring my life into my contemplation.”

May great love find its way to you today.











Life is But a Dream

Remember this song from childhood?

“Row row row your boat, gently down the stream.  Merrily merrily merrily merrily, life is but a dream.”

So, we are again talking about the metaphor of water.  This time we are in our little boats, navigating our way through the waters of life.  Sometimes its smooth sailing. But sometimes the waters are turbulent, and life tosses us about, leaving us bruised and battered. Or we may be wiser and stronger.  It all depends on how sea-worthy we are.

I have found that the dream world can be a treasure chest of information and insight into our daily lives.  I have met with departed loved ones and eased my grief, for I see how they live on, just in another dimension that is only a dream to us.  I have been shown future events in my life that helped me watch and prepare.  I’ve met people in my dreams before meeting them in waking life.  In the dream state, problems with relationships can been healed, physical healings can occur, and great adventures can be had.

Dreams provide a link to our inner and outer worlds, and can bring realizations that would startle the waking consciousness.  Some are symbolic and require contemplative interpretation.  Others are direct and real experiences.  All in all, dreams teach us much about ourselves and life.

Yesterday morning I had a dream that showed me the importance of being “sea-worthy” in the storms of life.  In the dream, I awoke and went for a walk in my neighborhood.  I was startled to see that houses had roofs torn off, and some houses were demolished.  I had no awareness that a storm had passed in the night.  I stopped and spoke with a woman whose home was damaged.  “I didn’t even hear anything,” I told her.  My home was secure and undamaged.  I interpreted this dream to mean that when we do a daily spiritual practice of prayer, meditation, or contemplation, that we are building a “safe house” that can withstand the storms of life.

If indeed we do experience such a traumatic event as those in the symbolic dream, we have the inner strength to rebuild our lives. A traumatic event is sometimes called a spiritual wakeup call, and can be a turning point for growth and change.  A daily spiritual practice is the key to receiving inner guidance through our connection with Spirit.  Contemplation  can help us make the connection and get the most of this lifetime.   We  can choose to wake up our sleeping consciousness to  greater awareness, and navigate the dream of life with wonder and great interest.

While there are a lot of books on dreams, one of the leading authorities on the subject  is Harold Klemp, and his book The Art of Spiritual Dreaming is a great manual to begin a study of one’s own dream worlds.

Happy sailing.










Catching Water

Catching Water

The title for this blog came from a story a friend told me about her grandmother.  Her grandparents and their children lived on the side of a mountain in rural Tennessee.  Their home was without electricity or running water, so every day her grandmother gathered the water for her family from a stream–a process she called catching water.

When my friend was a little girl and visited her grandparents, her grandmother would take her up the hill, then leave her at a certain point while she went further up.  My friend never knew exactly what her grandmother did at the top of the hill, but when she came back down, the water was flowing and they filled their jugs. 

Love–The Water of Life

As I listened to this story, my imagination filled with the wonderful images, and I saw the spiritual metaphor in the story.  This every day event was one of the many chores needed for survival for the family, but for the little girl, it became a memorable life lesson and years later opened the door for a spiritual healing.

Water is often a symbol of Spirit and how it flows and sustains life.  We can’t live without water, nor can we live without love.

True Contemplation

It is important for mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, to take a few minutes each day to “catch water,” to refill our reservoirs with love and purpose.  Some do this by listening to quiet music, allowing the music to carry their thoughts and imaginings beyond the boundaries of everyday life.  Some read sacred or inspirational writings to open their consciousness to lofty ideals and hope for change.  Some benefit from a walk in nature or even in town, where one can observe and reflect on the miracle of life around us.

Listening Deeply

I personally enjoy spending some time each morning in quiet contemplation, which I call my spiritual exercise.  I look inwardly for an inner light and subtle inner sound that over the years have provided the healing, guidance and strength to keep moving forward in life with wonder and gratitude.

Out of those contemplations over the years have come hundreds of letters to students, co-workers, and friends, journals of insights, dreams, and realizations, and so far, one book.  Some of those writings will make their way here into this blog.

True contemplation is listening and looking deeply.  In doing so, we come to know ourselves, and then life can begin anew.

An Invitation to Heal

I invite you to climb the hill with me.  Bring your jug….

Let’s catch water.