Angeles Arrien 1940 ~ 2014

Cultural anthropologist, author, educator, mischief maker and core faculty at Metta Institute ….Angeles often spoke of the four rivers in each of our experiences: Inspiration, Surprise, Challenge and Love. Good questions to ask at the close of each day

“River of INSPIRATION: The River of Inspiration lights the creative fire, which is known by indigenous cultures as the fire that does not need wood.
• Who or what inspired me today?

River of SURPRISE: The River of Surprise is about flexibility and resilience in response to whatever may come our way. The Inuit people say that there are two plans to every day: my plan and the Mystery’s plan. Surprise shows us where we are still flexible or not flexible.
• How did I handle surprise today?

River of CHALLENGE: The River of Challenge is an invitation to grow and to stretch, to reach beyond the knowable, to observe when we feel challenged and let it be a source of strength. Accepting challenge allows our creative muscle to be developed.
• Who or what challenged me today?

River of LOVE: The River of Love is simply an examination of the things that have great meaning in our lives, which can give you a strong sense of gratitude and connection to others.
• What did I learn about love today? ”

Copyright Angeles Arrien



Frank Ostaseski is the founder of the Metta Institute and cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project and author of The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully.

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Death is not waiting for us at the end of a long road. Death is always with us, in the marrow of every passing moment. She is the secret teacher hiding in plain sight, helping us to discover what matters most.

Life and death are a package deal. They cannot be pulled apart and we cannot truly live unless we are aware of death. The Five Invitations is an exhilarating meditation on the meaning of life and how maintaining an ever-present consciousness of death can bring us closer to our truest selves.


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