Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the Gift of my Creator’s Thought and Art within me …
— Thomas Merton from A Grateful Heart
All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things. In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence. Continue reading “Advent Day 24: Joy Is Within Our Reach …”
From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see.
Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason it’s important is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe. When we discover the Buddha that we are, we realize that everything and everyone is Buddha. We discover that everything is awake, and everyone is awake. Everything is equally precious and whole and good, and everyone is equally precious and whole and good. When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe. We’re not just talking about our individual liberation, but how to help the community we live in, how to help our families, our country, and the whole continent, not to mention the world and the galaxy and as far as we want to go. Continue reading “Advent Day 17: Awakening To Your Heart …”
He told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over,
so that nothing may be lost.”
It is part of the miracle: how Jesus, with such intention, cares for the fragments following the feast. He sees the abundance that persists, the feast that remains within the fragments. We might think the marvel of the story is that there is enough for everyone. And yet for Jesus, enough does not seem to be enough. There is more: a meal that depends on paying attention to what has been left behind, on turning toward what has been tossed aside.
Call it the persistence of wonder, or the stubbornness of the miraculous: how Christ casts his circle around the fragments, will not loose his hold on what is broken and in pieces. How he gathers them up: a sign of the wholeness he can see; a foretaste of the banquet to come.
Blessing the Fragments
Cup your hands together,
and you will see the shape
this blessing wants to take.
Basket, bowl, vessel:
it cannot help but
hold itself open
what comes. Continue reading “Blessing the Fragments …”
Return to the darkness, return
this longest night of wonder
Return to the dream, return
this holy night to ponder
Deep in the night, listen
Continue reading “Born of a Star (Advent/Winter Solstice) …”
Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.
— Gordon Hempton from One Square Inch of Silence
Continue reading “Silence Is The Presence Of Everything …”
Everything is so inseparably united. As soon as we begin to describe a flower or a tree or a storm or an Indian or a chipmunk, up jumps the whole heaven and earth and God Himself in one inseparable glory.
— John Muir from My First Summer in the Sierra
Learn to see God in all manifestation, in all people, through all events. The ordinary person sees only the lump of matter. Not so with the awakened soul. He sees in all things the Divine Mind at work molding out into expression what it feels itself to be of life, of color, of form and beauty. There are some illusioned ones who claim that what we see is all false, and that the so-called material universe is an unreality. What a mistake! What we see is the body of God, full, free, complete, whole. Continue reading “See the Good In All Things (Spring Meditation) …”
For the laughter of the children,
For my own life breath,
For the abundance of food on this table,
For the ones who prepared this sumptuous feast, Continue reading “Cultivating Gratitude (Thanksgiving Prayers) …”