Sunday, November 1, 2009

In November, We Receive

As we move from October — Release, to November — Receive, let us focus on everyday inspirations and let us be receptive to gifts, however they may appear to us.

In the act of daily living, it can be difficult to observe the surrounding abundance — to gracefully and consciously receive the blessings that have been given to us. In life’s daily grind, we often forget to realize our wealth, be it monetary or spiritual or are not as appreciative of our friendships, family, and communities as we would like. Often, we forget to recognize the warmth of the sunshine, the soothing quality of the rain, the magic of the fall foliage. This November, traditionally a time of gratitude, let us be inspired by the magnitude of the earth’s bounty, the plethora of the harvest. Let us celebrate the ancient traditions of harvest moons and gatherings in joyous thanksgiving — let us graciously and knowingly receive the gifts that have been bestowed upon our lives.

Margaret Hoff

Receive Help

Receiving help, gifts, or wisdom can often be difficult — sometimes it is not easy to admit our needs. In October, as we released what we did not need, we created a space within our souls and now we have room enough to receive the blessings around us.


You always belonged here.
You were theirs, certain as a rock.
I’m the one who worries
if I fit in with the furniture
and the landscape.

                        But I “follow too much
the devices and desires of my own heart.”

Already the curves in the road
are familiar to me, and the mountain
in all kinds of light,
treating all people the same.
And when I come over the hill,
I see the house, with its generous
and firm proportions, smoke
rising gaily from the chimney.
I feel my life start up again,

like a cutting when it grows
the first pale and tentative
root hair in a glass of water.

Jane Kenyon

May Our Ears Be Open

Each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and to give back.
Dag Hammarskjold

God, may our ears be open to little birds who are the secret of living, may we take time to see flowers and people for the beauty they are, may we make room in our lives for one another.
Richard F. Boeke

When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.
Anthony Robbins

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Receive Inspiration


Daylight, full of small dancing particles
and the one great turning, our souls
are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?

Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273


You’re song,
a wished-for song.

Go through the ear to the center,
where sky is, where wind, where
silent knowing.

Put seeds and cover them.
Blades will sprout
where you do your work.

Jelaluddin Rumi, 1207-1273

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth. Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you – The music from the strings no one touches. . .

Receive Daily Blessings

The Traveling Onion

It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an object of worship - why I haven't been able to figure out. From Egypt the onion entered Greece and on to Italy, thence onto all of Europe.
- Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

Naomi Shihab Nye

Receive Healing Through Giving

Healing The Mare

Just days after the vet came,
after the steroids that took
the fire out of the festering
sores—out of the flesh that in
the heat took the stings too
seriously and swelled into great
welts, wore thin and wept, calling
more loudly out to the green-
headed flies—I bath you
and see your coat returning,
your deep force surfacing in a
new layer of hide: black wax
alive against weather and flies.

But this morning, misshapen
still, you look like an effigy,
something rudely made, something
made to be buffeted, or like
an old comforter—are they both
one in the end? So both a child

and a mother, with my sponge and
my bucket, I come to anoint, to
anneal the still weeping, to croon
to you baby poor baby for the sake
of the song, to polish you up,
for the sake of the touch, to a shine.
As I soothe you I surprise wounds
of my own this long time unmothered.
As you stand, scathed and scabbed,
with your head up, I swab. As you
press, I lean into my own loving
touch, for which no wound
is too ugly.

Linda McCarriston

Be Open to Receive Wisdom

Axe Handles

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
the pattern is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with-”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It's in Lu Ji's Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”-in the
Preface: “In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.-”
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.
Gary Snyder