A monk asks, "Is there anything more miraculous than the wonders of nature?" The master replies, "Yes, your awareness of the wonders of nature." -- Angelus Silesius
Can you feel a clutter within you that disrupts your pure awareness?

Most of us can if we slow a bit and start asking that question. I invite you to take a breath and sit with that question a moment. See what arises for you.

Behind that clutter - the stacks and stacks of noise and debris - there often lies a rich and meaning-laden world that can be a comfort, anchor, guide and a grounding.

Normally we humans default to low input - we look through the lens of a lens of a lens... it is one of the common human dilemmas... and there is the potential of not seeing each moment infused with meaning, communication and newness.

Grieving people can fall deeply into an agonizing cacophony of distance and disassociation with their surroundings. Pain can cause us to seize up and do what I call "cocooning". Perhaps you are like me? When someone dies, we may find ourselves thrust into a foreign and treacherous land. This is the last place that we want to be, we often seek a deep and dark cave to retreat into.

I, personally, found many of the deaths that I experienced to have this effect of seizing up. There was a difference when my beloved Brian died, though. There was a familiar stinging grey fog over everything, but with a new level of excruciating foreign-ness because I lost my soul mate and life partner.

But what was strange - after years of spiritual practice...

... I found - this confusing terrain that was clouded with fog and daggers would get punched through over and over by unexplainable beauty. Beauty of nature, sound, the kindness of people... textures, sensations, cadences... I thought something was wrong about these sensations at first... but slowly I began to allow them to arrive and instinctively held out my bleeding pain and allow these moments of beauty to wash over the pain to cleanse and nourish me.

And the more I did this, the more it seemed to bear fruit.

Can we dare to believe:  

"The hurt you embrace becomes joy. Call it to your arms where it can change." - Rumi

On Facebook, we have a private group called the EVOLVING BONDS PHOTO PROJECT. We have 12 participants who are very interesting people - and we have a little room for more. I am giving them their first assignment this Sunday morning. They will be looking to how the assignment manifests in their lives this week in an organic way. There are no "right" or "wrong" ways to participate.

Their assignment is called: Unexpected Embraces. 

Think about joining us... there is still time.