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Growing in Place with Mark Nepo — The Gift of Deepening

Are You Diving into the Depths of Your Being?

The deepest place on Earth is not a physical place, but the stillness we enter at the bottom of our pain, at the bottom of our fear and worry. The stillness we enter there opens us to a spacious state of being that some call joy. When we put down our dreams and maps of memory, precious as they are, we can feel the pulse of life. Then all we could ask for is softly between us, when too tired to deny that there’s nowhere else to go. These moments of unfiltered depth are brief. We may only experience a handful of such openings in a lifetime. But like the strong chorus of stars that watch over us, we can navigate our way through the dark by following them. I’m thinking of the time we met in our grief after losing my father and your mother. We found ourselves sitting on the edge of our sorrow like a cliff we couldn’t leave or jump from. I’m thinking of the time we felt complete for no reason after falling in the grass with our dog and the light softened all we were carrying. It is these visitations to the deepest place on Earth that make life bearable, that draw who we are more fully into the world, that help us grow softer and stronger at the same time. No one can will these moments to open. No one can find them in the same place twice. And no one can live without them. —From Things That Join the Sea and the Sky

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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