I used to always turn to the books that surround me at the Center for solace, advice, and instruction. And books are great helps. But now I also can browse the Internet to find gems of insight for my Commonplace Book. Here are a few recent ones from both sources on how to live in our times.
Posted by Frederic Brussat on February 8, 2017
My heart is a marvelous fist-size pumping organ whose chief duty is to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the cells and organs of my body. It labors tirelessly beating approximately 800,000 - 140,000 times a day. This astonishing feat adds up to 42 million heartbeats a year.
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 25, 2017
I love the way my Commonplace Book shares processes and goals with collage art. The latter involves composing a work of art by pasting on a single surface various materials not normally associated with one another, such as newspaper clippings, parts of photographs, theater tickets, and fragments of an envelope. The result is a new whole.
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 18, 2017
On my Twitter feed I've posted many quotes about the spiritual practice of love. Here are some of my favorites, which caress the intimacies, delights, and pleasures of lovers. I dedicate them to my soulmate, Mary Ann.
"Two persons love in one another the future good which they aid one another to unfold."
— Margaret Fuller
"Nothing in life is as good as the marriage of true minds between man and woman. As good? It is life itself."
— Pearl Buck
I love the language in this next one, which in its own unique ways opens the heart.
"Gadzooks! What a big chunk of God is to be found by looking into the face of someone you love."
— Lorna Landvik
Listening to the song "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack always enables me to tap into the elation I felt seeing Mary Ann for the first time! Memory joggers are wonderful, but so is seeing a person anew every day.
"We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person."
— Somerset Maugham in Being Present by David Kundtz
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 10, 2017
We continue to work on The Reverence Project, identifying many passageways into the understanding and practice of respect and awe. Recently, I came across a copy of Creation Spirituality magazine, from the summer of 1995, in which M. C. Richards wrote about awe. The author of Centering, she was a poet, potter, teacher, and mystic.
"Awe is more than a perception, it is a feeling. It is personal. It starts with our own breath. It makes mystics of us."
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 5, 2017
The French writer Francis Rene de Chauterbriand had it right when he said: "There is nothing beautiful, sweet or great in life that is not mysterious."
I savor the manifold mysteries of a rainbow from horizon to horizon, the feelings of happiness in a place I find to be sacred, the voice of an ancestor in my ears, or the unconditional love of my cats. There is beauty in being awash in the mystery of being. Can you feel it too?
Posted by Frederic Brussat on January 3, 2017
A Commonplace Book is an annotated personal anthology. The curator gathers material that strikes his or her fancy: excerpts from books, quotes, poems, lines from movies, lyrics from songs, newspaper observations, bits and pieces from yesteryear, proverbs, prayers, photographs, video clips, cartoons and jokes, or everyday experiences. The compiler of the Commonplace Book is then challenged to offer commentary on this content, lending it a personal touch. The end result can be a diary, a spur to the memory, a way of collecting ideas, a tool for self-analysis, an improvisational form of life review, an archive of creative practices, and a spiritual workshop.
About This Blog
A Commonplace Book is an annotated personal anthology. The curator gathers material that strikes his or her fancy – quotes, movie lines, lyrics, proverbs, jokes, personal experiences, etc. – often adding a commentary. The result can be a diary, a life review, an archive of practices, and a spiritual workshop. More