Circles of Trust

with thanks to beth who first posted this on her website…



It has always been scary
To step into the circle of firelight,
To show up in the company of strangers,
To ask for entrance or to offer it.
Our hearts race –Will we have the courage to see each other?
Will we have the courage to see the world?
The risks we take in the twenty-first century
Are based on risks human beings took Thousands of years ago.
We are not different from our ancestors, They are still here, coded inside us.
They are, I believe, Cheering us on.

–Christina Baldwin

One always learns one’s mystery at the price of once’s innocence. –Richard Rohr  “Everything Belongs”

Pulling out the chair Beneath your mind And watching you fall upon God — There is nothing else for Hafiz to do That is any fun in this world!
-Shams-ud-din Mohammed Hafiz    Muslin mystic ( 1320-89)

 Is there anything that i can do to make myself enlightened?
As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.
Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?
To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.
–Zen master to his disciple

Murders are easy to understand.  But this:  that one can contain death,  the whole of death,  even before life has begun,  can hold it to one’s heart gently,  and not refuse to go on living,  this is inexpressible.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

[above excerpts from Richard Rohr’s “Everything Belongs–The Gift of Contemplative Prayer”]

On Teaching:

Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher.

-Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Our inner world has a reality and a power that can keep us from being victims of circumstance and compel us to take responsibility for our own lives.

-Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Education is the attempt to “lead out” from within the self a core of wisdom that has the power to resist falsehood and live in the light of truth, not by external norms but by reasoned and reflective self-determination.

-Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach

Authority is granted to people who are perceived as authoring their own words, their own actions, their own lives, rather than playing a scripted role at great remove from their own hearts.When teachers depend on the coercive powers of law or technique, they have no authority at all.

-Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach

* Thanks to Parker Palmer and the people who work with such dedication to bring us into Circles of Trust.** Parker Palmer:


It seems to me that each  of us belongs to the world in a very particular way, and that we learn  slowly to live out that way of belonging as a faith that can be stronger  than any religious dogma. I do not think this is a selfish road; I  believe that this is the only authentic way we can give of our self and  our gifts to others. This is how we learn to be generous. And it is also  how we learn the magnificence and difficulty of living a courageous  life.

—David Whyte

Everything that happens to you is your teacher…the secret is to learn to sit at the feet of your own life and be taught by it.

—Polly Berends