This blog grows from seeds planted by poet Mark Nepo, when he called Mary Ann and me "wisdom keepers" who are curating and interpreting the wisdom of humankind. After 50 years of reviewing and collecting spiritual resources, we have created at Spirituality & Practice a "wisdom archive" which now consists of more than 40,000 pages of content.
During this time, we have focused mainly on long forms of spirituality, like books and feature-length films. But all along we have also been interested in short forms of spirituality: proverbs, slogans, clichés, graffiti scribbles; quotes from spiritual teachers; Buddhist gathas; 12-step slogans; Zen koans; Tibetan Buddhist pith sayings and mind-training slogans; Celtic blessings; movie lines and music lyrics; and the countless new forms of communication emerging from today's social media, such as inspirational memes. Many of the most popular prayers over the centuries, too, have been pithy, even a single sentence.
There is a long tradition of keeping wisdom brief. Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" was only 266 words long. Philosopher George Santayana once said: "To be brief is almost a condition of being inspired." Brevity is also balm for those of us who have short attention spans, are easily distracted, and suffer from information overload. Fortunately, within all the spiritual traditions, short and sweet wisdom abounds.
In this blog, I will take up the quest for those small seeds of spiritual wisdom, which can be found everywhere if we keep our eyes and ears open. To begin, in a weekly post I will give seven examples for your daily reflection, drawing from a variety of sources.
If you are wondering about the word "sweet" in the blog's title, here I'm using a secondary definition of the word. All the wisdom will not be sweet in the sense of not being bitter or salty or sour; I will not avoid wisdom that is difficult and reminds us of the suffering in life. But the wisdom will be sweet in the sense of being fresh, not rancid or stale. I hope you will find it refreshing.