branchingoutWe go within.

We branch out.

Within and outside ourselves.

I’ve been attending Zen meditation on Wednesday nights, where last week a Buddhist monk shared a lovely spring reading from Dogen, a Japanese Buddhist priest, writer, poet, philosopher, who lived from 1200-1253.  Our meditation leader encouraged those of us in attendance to branch out in our lives.

When we meditate we go within.

And like nature does in springtime, there is also wisdom in branching out.

Might we, she asked, try new things, be brave, show compassion as we share our gifts, experiences, wisdom and insights with the world?

When we do, we witness the flowering and unfolding of each petal we contain.

In sharing and branching out, we’ll eventually bear fruit.

After you sit,


I love the simple reminder in this sentence.

We may sit on the meditation cushion. We may dig deep for the divine within ourselves. We may reach for the light of inspiration.

These are all good and worthwhile pursuits.

But after the “sitting” – the sweeping (service/sharing/teaching/helping) is essential for our soul’s growth as well.

Similarly, there’s a passage somewhere in the New Testament that reminds us not to hide our light under a basket. Lift that basket. Don’t keep what you’ve been given to yourself. Shine and share your light.

Branch out.

Do you remember, if you’re familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, that she was searching and yearning for an experience with the Divine while in the ashram, meditating, contemplating, praying….never truly experiencing what she was looking for so tenaciously?

And then, while serving one day at the back of the ashram, unexpectedly, she had a profound spiritual experience.

There were two things at work there. One – she released her tight hold, want and pursuit of it and, two – she forgot herself while “sweeping.” She got up from her sitting on the cushion and swept.

We go within.

We branch out.

With it being early spring right now, I think of this every time I pass a flowering, budding branch.

Release fear. Branch out. Open your petals and share.

You will enjoy the fruits, whatever they might be.


April 3, 2016 10 Comments BAlbright Love , , , , , ,