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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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Retreat Poem

There is an end to every beginning

The steep and shear tops of mountains

Become the fertile loam of the valleys

The delicate and the robust meet at their ends


So it is that every end, in its emptiness,

Becomes the seed of the future.

Light travels in a vacuum,

And is clouded by mass.

Absence is the only real precursor to



Give me not the Certainty of

Knowledge, nor the Fervency of Faith.

Trap me not in the Snares of Security.

Shake my hand, but do it from within your sleeve ...


I do not want to know my Maker

But rather lie down in sleep beside him (or her)

My soul does not reach to the heavens;

It's a button-hole

And the world, life, is the button.


And as I fly once more over the snow-covered hills

As the night sky encompasses me, and I, warmly, it

The Earth, a nugget of iron, similar to my hemoglobin,

Protects me. I shield it with my heart.

Snow, it does not chill my bones. Stones and running water

Are streams of love and white hope-drops.


It's the end of the world,

Life has just begun ...


I pray we may all

Come to that infinitesimal point of disappearance:


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Divine Blessings

El Angel is the name of a waterfall in the lush rainforest of Costa Rica. It is located near the two Cafh spiritual communities in that country. I had seen pictures that showed its beauty and heard the astounding descriptions of those lucky enough to have seen it. So when I had the great privilege of visiting those communities, I looked forward to the journey into the rainforest that led to El Angel. The walk through the pristine rainforest is not only breathtaking but also powerful; I could feel the energy of nature surrounding me. The culmination of the journey was reaching the falls. I sat on a rock in the river, watching the fall of water with its irresistible beauty and purity. The minutes passed, but I didn’t notice; that moment was full of Divine presence. . . As I contemplated the waterfall, all I could think of was the divine blessings we receive, incessantly. Some we notice or understand better than others, yet the Divine keeps pouring blessings on us. Since then, I haven’t returned to El Angel, I don’t even know how the waterfall looks nowadays. But the experience remains as vivid as ever. I find that I can take that same journey within, through the forest of my inner self, till I’m able to reach my heart, the place where all blessings cascade like a waterfall . . . and be truly aware of them.

Recent Comments
Diane; I share your feelings. I also feel it is privilege to live in a spiritual community. I started living in community in 1968!
Saturday, 05 January 2013 2:02 PM
Lourdes D
Diane, you are right, waterfalls are breath taking experiences. I felt united with nature and all souls.
Saturday, 05 January 2013 2:02 PM
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Making the World a Better Place


We are constantly receiving the news that more marriages break up than stay together, that domestic violence is rampant, that many children don’t talk to their parents, that people fight over inheritances and war over religion, that differences between countries end in tragedy, and so forth.

To me this shows that relationship is a vital area in human development right now. If we don’t learn to learn to work together to live and solve problems, we can end up destroying ourselves just by being together.

In a spiritual community, working on relationship is always present for all of us. We have different ideas, ways of working and approaching a situation. So I have a continuous opportunity to develop the ability to work in a team, to come to consensus, to respect the opinions and ideas of others, and to moderate my desire to prevail so that I can harmonize with the group.

For example, after a community meeting one of my companions approached me to tell me that I interrupted and spoke in a demanding way. My subsequent thought process went something like this: “That can’t be! I’m kind. I will give her a piece of my mind!” “Maybe she’s right. Let me review. Maybe what I said was hard for her. We can talk.” “Actually, I did interrupt. I’ll be more careful going forward.” I’ve changed a little bit. It’s uncomfortable to some extent since my personal way has been challenged but I’ve been made more aware and more open. I open to the discomfort and don’t let it govern me—I let the joy of doing what is really good for the world govern.

From this awareness I see that the combination of community life and my yearning to make the world a better place IS a good match. I find myself daily able to work on myself to unite with my companions in so many situations, to develop the possibility of harmony in humankind. This is the work of expanding my consciousness and making the world a better place.

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Jeanne I like the way you share your experiences. Have a happy New Year full of spiritual blessings.
Saturday, 05 January 2013 2:02 PM
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More on heroes and our mission in life

In my previous blog, Mission Impossible, I shared some of my ideas about one’s mission in life and what it is to be a hero.

Let me add more . . . . Sometimes along the journey of life I fall asleep and forget where I was going. Then, by the time I realize this, I can only say, “I’m stuck”. But to see this and tell myself so is my first step towards getting back on track. If I look deep, deep within myself and at my ideals, the yearning for something high and unique, takes me back home to the source of my life and the best in myself. It is like the phoenix born from the ashes, the hero resurrecting the deep longing of the heart that sometimes becomes forgotten but never dies.

To fulfill one’s highest yearnings is not easy. The hero who has to fight the unbeatable many times would like to just forget who he/she is, what he/she has to do. But there is no way to ignore my mission. It knocks at my door continuously. It haunts my sleep. It buzzes in my brain. It does not leave me alone until I give myself entirely to what I was born to do.

So when I am at a loss in life, I tell myself: “Don’t give up! Get up, look around you and get ready to battle for the best in you and all of humankind. Do something for someone else and don’t wait for rewards. Give freely, with no strings attached.” Is this simple for me to do? No. But who wants what’s easy and the emptiness that goes hand in hand with it? To reach meaning and fulfillment is not a scratch on the surface and it is a continuous challenge. My happiness is in the effort and in knowing that I am not alone. You and many others are with me on this journey. So, for the sake of all humankind, let’s not stop!

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Mission Impossible

When I see an actor jumping from a plane, bouncing off a building, fighting ten bad guys at once, and doing the unbelievable, I laugh and say to myself: “…only in the movies!” But then I look at it from another angle: What is someone like Tom Cruise really saying with all that jumping, falling and then… surprise... he is still alive?! His message is that of the hero: “It doesn’t matter what happens to me, the outcome of the mission is what matters, and I matter only because I am the instrument that carries it out.”

Living with a mission is living meaningfully and with a purpose. The awareness of the mission makes me go ahead even when I am tired; it makes me forget that I am sad or sick. It makes me forget myself and think of others and feel more deeply the beauty of life, of everything that is good and worthwhile.

But the mission does not need to be Mission Impossible. It might be as simple (but not always easy) as doing what I always do: my work at school with the children, smiling at others, not losing patience, cleaning, cooking, making an extra effort or consoling someone. The Mission is to do the best I can do, at every moment. But the sense of mission becomes even stronger in difficult moments. It is then that I tell myself: I must go on. I can’t bury myself in my room with my tears or give up, because there is something important I have to do: my mission. I have to get up, overcome the obstacles, and keep on going.

There is a beautiful Cafh prayer which always reminds me of the mission to be fulfilled, the difficulties to overcome, how to go on, and it always makes me feel stronger. It goes like this: “From the beginning to the end there are obstacles, the seeker knows obstacles until the end. The obstacle knows him well. Rise up seeker, life is struggle after struggle! This is known even by the greatest angels.” Then I tell myself, if even the greatest beings have to overcome difficulties, why should it be different for me?

To fulfill my Mission, I must overcome the obstacles that arise. I am Mission Impossible, the hero, the unbelievable one when, in my small place and in my life, as little and simple as it may seem, I rise above my difficulties with a strength from within that says: “I will never be conquered; I will overcome. I will keep on trying until the day I die.”

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Everyone's life should have a focus because this gives you a direction or mission to fulfill. Great article.
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 6:06 PM
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About Community Life

Upon waking, the beating of my heart elicits from deep within a prayer of thanks to the Divine for the miracle of being alive. During the meditation, being alive combines with the blessing of having a purpose in life, of knowing what I have come to do on earth.

As the day goes on, with its demands and rewards, my heart beats in unison with the rest of the Community. In a moment of silence, I reflect upon the meaning of our Community life. Community is a word used to describe a group of interacting people who live in close proximity, sharing common values.  There are many “communities” in our human societies, among which some are spiritual communities, like ours.  We interact and we share common values, yes, but this definition is not enough to describe what the Spiritual Community means to me.

The daily obligations engage my attention again until the end of work time. As I begin study time, I try another train of thought. The word "community" is derived from the Latin communitas, where cum means "with/together" and munus means "gift". The “gift of living together” is a better approximation but, again, I fall short…how could I express it more accurately?

At the end of the day, now recollected and grateful for all my blessings, I listen to the beating of my heart, and in it I find the answer. The spiritual bond that unites us is hard to describe, it seems subjective; however, it is powerful and ever present. Without this spiritual life that permeates everything we do, think and feel, our Community would not exist. Spiritual life is at the heart of the Community, it pumps life into it, nurturing it, transforming it. Spiritual life unites us beyond human bonds.

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