1. There’s a moving scene in “How to Cook Your Life” where Zen teacher & chef Edward Espe Brown speaks about sincerity. He says “Sincerity is the quality where you let your imperfections show.” Indeed, when we look at the origin of the word; ‘sin’ means without and ‘cere’ means wax. So even though we may be banged up and blemished by life, we allow ourselves to be seen without polish.

Sincere Teapots, by Toko-pa Turner

2. The effusive perfume of wild hyacinths.

3. The sound of Craig‘s flute winding up the stairs into the good rafters of our house, like a memory of truth.

4. A man running after his hat in a storm.

5. The passion of Sufi music, with its quickening tablas and seductively climbing oud.

6. A magical little cafe & gallery called Kizmet, tucked away in the deep south end of our island, which took my breath away for its lived-in beauty; the kind of beauty that can only come from living slowly into relationship with something.

Kizmet Cafe, by Toko-pa Turner

7. A beautiful passage in David Whyte’s The Three Marriages where he speaks of the welcoming face. He describes how, through the discipline of kindness, a face becomes welcoming, then bringing “things running toward him, especially the part of the world that might be shy and innocent; might be reluctant to trust itself to the world.”

8. Showing up with tenderness for the expanding and contracting ways of the heart. Instead of armouring against the unknown, allowing our vulnerability to encounter the edges of life. This is what David Whyte calls “the good kind of peril.”

9. My friend Catherine speaks of the flurry of insights that come like snowflakes by the thousands, which melt on her mittens when she tries to capture them.

10. How a friendship can make us rich! With its gifts of tenderness, generosity of presence, new forms and languages to elevate our experiences, the extra muscle for to carry our important pieces.

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