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Cafh Communities USA Blog

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I joined a Community of Cafh in Santa Rosa de Calamuchita, Córdoba, Argentina, in 1969, when I was 24 years old. Intense years of search had led me to look for my place in life, that ideal place that had to be somewhere, out there. I found it in Community, but soon I learned that it was not enough to find a place outside myself, that I had to work hard within, to know myself and to become able to fulfill my responsibilities in life. Time has gone by quickly since then, yet the memory of my first days of Community life is clear and fresh. The trip has been intense and fruitful. I’m still finding and learning.

The Ages of Life

Famous quotes about old age:

        The secret of old age resides in mind over matter: if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

But …

Respect old age; it is your future … hopefully.

Do not regret growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.

Old age only occurs when regrets steal the place of dreams.

         Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young.                   

 

Discussing the prospect of aging in our Community, we naturally addressed those indispensable and practical aspects required by the impending weakening of mind and body.

But once those details have been dealt with, a wide and far-reaching space opens up for living life’s last years, full of meaning, rich in experience, and suffused by what we could call “a continuous non-stop expansion of consciousness”.

In each of our life ages, all the others are present.  Maturity was the future of a child growing up; the elderly carry in mind and body not only memories, but also the physical and mental results of past experience.

A fruitful dialogue between generations is always a good thing to have: the young hear about life from the lips of those who’ve lived a great deal; the old renew their knowledge from the freshness of those who’re just now discovering what’s what.

And then, for all, there’s death… When one brings to the experience of passing a deep interest in its mystery and a joy in inner freedom, those feelings are a gift full of life.  That’s quite an heirloom to bequeath those who’ve been left here, still walking this world’s paths. 

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A jump into space

On October 14th 2012, Felix Baumgartner jumped to earth from an altitude of 24 miles, breaking the speed of sound (Mach 1.24) during free fall.

He said after his successful landing: "Let me tell you - when I was standing there on top of the world, you become so humble. You don't think about breaking records anymore, you don't think about gaining scientific data…”

Starting a life of renunciation feels – as I have experienced it (and still do) – very much the same. Naturally, the similarities between the two may not seem very great. But the inner space one confronts from the very moment of a vocational decision feels as vast and deep as outer space. The field ahead is of numberless possibilities and the speed … well, it’s one’s life.

Answering the question, “How am I going to live?” is one more choice that I will make every day; it includes the integrity and plenitude of all that I’ll do. I may not feel the thrill and excitement of a free jump from 25 miles above earth, but the feeling of living with meaning and moving in a space of continuous spiritual unfolding is a permanent one.

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Joy of the Mountain – A day in the Community

Mother, Mother,

Divine Mother of the Universe…

One finds at the root of the mountain

That joy, that joy, that indescribable joy

Raising as another sun from the horizon

Behind the golden canopies of other giant trees,

And thought, mind waves cascading down the slope

Majestic graceful mist and light

Ethereal veil of the early morning.

When my eyes open at six AM

And a day of hard work lies ahead,

Long silence, mono-tone prayer,

And solitude

Mountaineer of the spirit I ponder the mountain:

DO I REMEMBER WHY I AM HERE?

          It is because of the slope; today I’ll try the hardest side.

          It is because of the summit, the magic one

          That slowly rises within

As the adoration hours slide

Under these determined feet.

Mental energy,

Vital strength facing all the impossibilities of life,

And a love that overflows far beyond

The reaches of one’s arms

Stretched in blessing for all souls

When I remember why I am here

The somber shadows of depression flee:

Let’s go forth, let’s make the mountain true

And as the day goes by

The dream materializes from a golden mist

The Temple is no longer a vision, or a building,

It is all there is.

I stand in the joyful mountaintop of the daily chores

          Ready for whatever,

Let’s see what will come next.

          In prayer, silence, offering of life.

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