beingblog:

“Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill — more of each than you have — inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity.”

~Wendell Berry from Sabbaths

Photo by Sara Biljana / Flickr, cc by 2.0

Hear more poems by Wendell Berry in The Poetry of Creatures

(Reblogged from beingblog)

"Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes."

As noted by Rachel Star in my previous reblog post, Maggie Kuhn is credited with saying, “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”

In Googling Maggie I discovered that her actual words were probably more like, “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind — even if your voice shakes.”

There is an interesting, if subtle, distinction between the mis-quote and the actual quote. Both contain the idea of speaking courageously, but the difference between “truth” and “mind” is important.

Speaking your mind is about communicating from your authentic core. Speaking the truth implies that there is an objective truth, and you know what it is. The first is not as pompous as the second.

And humility is an important part of courage. Courage without humility is bravado.

rachelstarlive:

I just posted a quote, “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” I’ve never heard it before but that is beautiful. And as I do with all quotes I looked up who said it and read up on this. Ms. Maggie Kuhn said that (pictured above). And does she not just look like a spit fire!?! She is my new hero!
Her Wikipedia entry says this in the first paragraph:
She also dedicated her life to fighting for human rights, social and economic justice, global peace, integration, and an understanding of mental health issues. For decades she combined her activism with caring for her disabled mother and a brother who suffered from mental illness.

Wow, that is something that we should all hope to have written about us one day. This is a lady who fought for peace even in old age, never giving up. Really amazing and inspiring. She is getting added to my list of heros that I hope to be like. 
Thank you Maggie for your work.

rachelstarlive:

I just posted a quote, “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” I’ve never heard it before but that is beautiful. And as I do with all quotes I looked up who said it and read up on this. Ms. Maggie Kuhn said that (pictured above). And does she not just look like a spit fire!?! She is my new hero!

Her Wikipedia entry says this in the first paragraph:

She also dedicated her life to fighting for human rights, social and economic justice, global peace, integration, and an understanding of mental health issues. For decades she combined her activism with caring for her disabled mother and a brother who suffered from mental illness.


Wow, that is something that we should all hope to have written about us one day. This is a lady who fought for peace even in old age, never giving up. Really amazing and inspiring. She is getting added to my list of heros that I hope to be like. 

Thank you Maggie for your work.

(Reblogged from rachelstarlive)

Peter Merel’s “interpolation” of Dao De Jing 33

Who understands the world is learned;
Who understands the self is enlightened.
Who conquers the world has strength;
Who conquers the self has harmony.

(Reblogged from kto-to-chto-to)

Ninebark and Three Threads


This is one of my favorite native shrubs, Pacific Ninebark. It produces large numbers of globe-like clusters of little white flowers. It grows almost exclusively beside streams and lakes where it can keep it’s toes cool.

I identified it on a solo camping trip to the north Island. I was sitting by myself in a lawn chair in a grassy glade beside Anutz Lake eating a bowl of Puritan Irish Stew (one of the official manly man foods for men). I had seen this beautiful shrub a lot, and I decided it was time I knew it’s name. I looked it up in swollen (from riding in my first backpack which was NOT waterproof) and well thumbed copy of Plants of Coastal British Columbia and was surprised when I read the name. I had been taught to identify this shrub in my first year Botany class back at Selkirk College in 1979. I remember our instructor comparing it to Mock Orange. Unlike Mock Orange which grows all over the place, Ninebark is fairly particular about a spot by the water. A rare-ish plant in the Kootenay’s here it proliferates. Even at the tender age of 18 I knew my place was by water too. How on earth could I have forgotten this soul mate?

I thought about that question over the next few months. I was, after all a Ninebark. How did I forget my own name?

Finding myself is a theme I guess. Maybe if at 18 I had embraced my inner Ninebark, I would have had an easier life. But probably not. Life is hard, even for the most privileged, the most sheltered, the most careful and least adventurous of us. Life is hard.

Three similar but culturally diverse ideas have been building a fabric in my life it seems. A fabric like Kevlar which I hope will stop some of the anxiety bullets that seem to pierce my existing armor, that thing I call my metaphorical skin.

Kanjaku, Ataraxia, and Sabi. I have written two books on Wabi Sabi. So here I am going to be gather information on Kanjaku and Ataraxia and their larger context — the world views or philosophies which created them.

Kanjaku means tranquility, if one word must be chosen. It is a Japanese word I discovered in Peipei Qiu’s book, Basho and the Dao. I wrote a post about it here: The Definition of Kanjaku. Ataraxia mean tranquility, if one word must be chosen. It is a greek word I discovered while researching Kanjaku. My next post will be about Ataraxia which is really A state of freedom from disturbance of mind.

Whereas Epicurus represented the pole of complete individualism, Zeno and the Stoics preached an absolute universalism. Equally insistent on self-control and the renunciation of desire, they derived their ethical doctrines from [hu]man’s sense of moral obligation rather than from a rationalistic caculation of pains and pleasures.

Judged by intellectual standards, much of their teaching appears naive, confused, and contradictory, possibly because none of their writings has survived and we know them only from secondhand accounts. The core of their doctrine was an intuition about the oneness of the universe, religious rather than philosophical in quality, which they never wholly succeeded in rationalizing.

This element of mysticism made stoicism the most vital and the most longlived of all the Hellenistic philosophies.

Gods and Men: The Origins of Western Culture, Henry Bamford Parkes. First Published in 1960 by Routlege & Kegan Paul Ltd. Pg. 300 - 301

The Hellenistic Era was populated by several dominant schools: The Stoics, The Epicureans,the Skeptics, the Cynics, the Platonists, and the lesser known Eclectics, Peripatetics (Aristotle’s followers), and the Cyrenaics (ultra-hedonists). The Stoics, Epicureans, and Eclectics are all of interest for the person pursuing the Imperturbable mind, but my investigation will begin with the Stoics.