beingblog

Recently, I moved from Harvard to a place near Toronto called Daybreak. That is, from an institution for the best and brightest to a community where mentally handicapped people and their assistants try to live together in the spirit of the Beatitudes. In my house, 10 of us form a family. Gradually, I’m forgetting who is handicapped and who is not. We are simply John, Bill, Trevor, Raymond, Rose, Steve, Jane, Naomi, Henri, and Adam.

I want to tell you Adam’s story. After a month of working with Adam, something started to happen to me that had never happened before. This severely handicapped young man, whom outsiders sometimes describe with very hurtful words, started to become my dearest companion. As I carried him into his bath and made waves to let the water run fast around him and told him all sorts of stories, I knew that two friends were communicating far beyond the realm of thought.

Before this, I had come to believe that what makes us human is our mind. But Adam keeps showing me that what makes us human is our heart, the center of our being where God has hidden trust, hope, and love. Whoever sees in Adam merely a burden to society misses the sacred mystery that Adam is fully capable of receiving and giving love. He is fully human—not half human, not nearly human, but fully, completely human because he is all heart. The longer I stay with Adam, the more clearly I see him as a gentle teacher, teaching me what no book or professor ever could.

Once, when Adam’s parents came for a visit I asked, ‘Tell me, during all the years you had Adam in your house, what did he give you?’ His father smiled and said without hesitation, ‘He brought us peace.’ I know he is right. After months of being with Adam, I am discovering within myself an inner quiet that I did not know before. Adam is one of the most broken persons among us, but without doubt our strongest bond. Because of Adam there is always someone home. Because of Adam there is a quiet rhythm in the house. Because of Adam there are moments of silence. Because of Adam there are always words of affection and tenderness. Because of Adam there is patience and endurance. Because of Adam there are smiles and tears visible to all. Because of Adam there is always time and space for forgiveness and healing. Yes, because of Adam there is peace among us.

Henri Nouwen, quoted in this show on the L’Arche community. (via beingblog)
freshphotons
freshphotons:

The hydrodynamics of water strider locomotion. ”Dipolar vortices in the wake of the adult water strider. Images captured from a side view indicate their hemispherical form. The ambient texture results from Marangoni convection in the suspending fluid prompted by thymol blue on its surface. The starburst pattern results from the chunk of thymol blue evident at its centre reducing the local surface tension, thus driving surface divergence that sweeps away the dyed surface layer. The fluid is illuminated from below; consequently, the light-seeking water strider is drawn to the starbursts.” John Bush.

freshphotons:

The hydrodynamics of water strider locomotion. ”Dipolar vortices in the wake of the adult water strider. Images captured from a side view indicate their hemispherical form. The ambient texture results from Marangoni convection in the suspending fluid prompted by thymol blue on its surface. The starburst pattern results from the chunk of thymol blue evident at its centre reducing the local surface tension, thus driving surface divergence that sweeps away the dyed surface layer. The fluid is illuminated from below; consequently, the light-seeking water strider is drawn to the starbursts.” John Bush.

soulcomposting
beingblog:

Stunning visualization of tikkun olam from German artist Anselm Kiefer. Sent to us from a listener, reminded by our show on Kabbalah. Here is a beautiful telling of tikkun olam by Rachel Naomi Remen: 

In the beginning there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident, and the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light, and they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.
Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It’s a very important story for our times. And this task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world.

(via the St. Louis Art Museum)

beingblog:

Stunning visualization of tikkun olam from German artist Anselm Kiefer. Sent to us from a listener, reminded by our show on Kabbalah. Here is a beautiful telling of tikkun olam by Rachel Naomi Remen: 

In the beginning there was only the holy darkness, the Ein Sof, the source of life. And then, in the course of history, at a moment in time, this world, the world of a thousand, thousand things, emerged from the heart of the holy darkness as a great ray of light. And then, perhaps because this is a Jewish story, there was an accident, and the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. And the wholeness of the world, the light of the world was scattered into a thousand, thousand fragments of light, and they fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden until this very day.

Now, according to my grandfather, the whole human race is a response to this accident. We are here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people, to lift it up and make it visible once again and thereby to restore the innate wholeness of the world. It’s a very important story for our times. And this task is called tikkun olam in Hebrew. It’s the restoration of the world.

(via the St. Louis Art Museum)

beingblog

beingblog:

There are a few moments from behind the glass that stop us dead in our tracks — times during an interview when a wise voice creates a new opportunity to hear something differently. To challenge a conceit. To envelop the listener in the womb of silent storytelling and place one in a position of listening profundity.

Vincent Harding was one of those men. He’ll be missed, and this story will stay with me till the end of my days.

freshphotons
ilovecharts:

You are Made of Chemically-Rich Galaxy-Gut Atoms.

“The very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centres of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. We are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson

This week, Maggie illustrates a quote from Paul Graham.

ilovecharts:

You are Made of Chemically-Rich Galaxy-Gut Atoms.

“The very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centres of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. We are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

This week, Maggie illustrates a quote from Paul Graham.

beingblog
The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life…the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and despair. But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not. Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds, and join in the general dance.

Thomas Merton, from New Seeds of Contemplation

Picked up this killer quotation from a comment on our Facebook page. People are amazing.

(via beingblog)

Excellent