Yesterday gave me blueberry picking in the morning, and an afternoon hike in a local preservation land trust. The photos are a sample of the spiritual interlude that I shared with a friend — berry picking, good conversation, and a hike whose end was a breathtaking view of the Maine woodlands. (Her hand is in the final photo, holding lichen.)
I was surprised to learn that folks don’t know that I’ve been embedding audios in these posts for the past few months; so let me clarify.
Instead of writing my entries, I’ve been sending my weekly posts out with audio embeds. If you see a link that says “MP3,” that means you can click the link in the email and it will take you to an audio player. If you click the “MP3” on the site, you listen directly from the audio player on the site.
These MP3’s contain a recorded entry, and there is either a brief meditation at the end of the entry, or the meditation is posted separately.
The MP3 audios have taught me a lot about recording. If you listen to them, I would appreciate any feedback you have. Thank you.
“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence.”
“You buy expensive, flashy cars, and you waste a lot of time in the mirror changing clothes. It becomes like what happened to Prince and Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. You create this mask — it’s called persona, like Batman and Bruce Wayne — that is draining to maintain. That’s why I made a change to drop that and become a person rather than a personality.”
“Howard Thurman (1900–1981), a mystic who sought to make peace between religions and founded the first major interracial, interfaith church in the United States, urged people to “listen for the sound of the genuine.” Read these excerpts from one of Thurman’s talks several times to fully appreciate it:
There is something in everyone of you that waits, listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself and if you can not hear it, you will never find whatever it is for which you are searching and if you hear it and then do not follow it, it was better that you had never been born. . . .
Sometimes there is so much traffic going on in your minds, so many different kinds of signals . . . and you are buffeted by these and in the midst of all of this you have got to find out what your name is. Who are you? . . .
Now there is something in everybody that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in other people. . . . I must wait and listen for the sound of the genuine in you. . . .
Now if I hear the sound of the genuine in me and if you hear the sound of the genuine in you it is possible for me to go down in me and come up in you. So that when I look at myself through your eyes having made that pilgrimage, I see in me what you see in me and the wall that separates and divides will disappear and we will become one because the sound of the genuine makes the same music. 
. . .  Howard Thurman, “The Sound of the Genuine,” Baccalaureate Address, Spelman College (May 4, 1980). Text edited by Jo Moore Stewart, Spelman Messenger, vol. 96, no. 4 (Summer 1980), 14-15. Digital version available at http://digitalcommons.auctr.edu/scmessenger/546/.”
from “A Year With Rumi: Daily Readings” by Coleman Banks, Harper Collins Publishers