Happy New Year to you, Happy Birthday to me.
It seems like the wisdom is all around at this wonderful moment. Here are five gifts I’ve received to share with you all. Enjoy!
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Mary is about to turn 97. She is frail and hearing can be difficult for her. She can be forgetful. One morning a few weeks ago, in the middle of a conversation about something else, she suddenly says, “I’ve lived too long. I’m bored. All I want now is my deep rest.” Then, just as quickly as she’d left the earlier conversation, she returned to it. This week I found the courage to continue that minute of openness and asked her what she thought death might hold. Were hopes or fears involved. She looked at me somewhat quizzically. “No!” A slight pause, then: “No one knows what happens after we die. If I don’t know what’s next, how can I worry about it? Have you seen my reading glasses? I can’t find them anywhere.”
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And this from Charles Upton in last Spring’s issue of Parabola,
If we see no purpose in suffering, how can we maintain our courage in the face of the hardships of life? Nothing is left for us then but to make a religion, as well as an industry, out of our need to deny reality. But if we are able, by the Grace of God, to come to a true sense of the ultimate goal of human life–self-transcendence, and the God-given duty to stand as a sign and mirror of the Deity in this world–then our suffering will be transformed from a misfortune into a teacher, from a degradation into an ennoblement, from an incitement to hatred and self-hatred and despair into a great power in the service of love (p.79)* * *
Just for today, I will not worry. (I will trust in the Divine Plan of the Universe)Just for today, I will not be angry. (If I do, I will take responsibility for being angry and not project it on others)Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings. (I will be grateful for what I have and for who I am)Just for today, I will do my work honestly. (I will be with whatever I do and make it the most important thing in this moment)Just for today, I will be kind to every living thing. (I am part of an interconnected whole, kindness to anything is kindness to me)Just for today, I will honor parents and ancestors. (I will hold the lineage of my ancestors in my heart so that it may heal)* * *
From my buddy Bill, posted on Facebook after our failing to connect two days in a row for dinner–the responsibility for both failures resting squarely with me–and without knowledge that on the third day (today, in a few hours in fact)–I was/am scheduled to leave for a four-day silent retreat:
Relaxing into a bodily felt sense of and as this moment, beyond the busyness of our minds is meditation, whether we are sitting, talking or dancing and while we may never fully grok it with our minds; we can feel the truth of it, in and as our bones.Who and what we are right now is all we need and nothing is missing. The objective to meditate in order to change ourselves, get beyond our suffering, our body or our world in order to understand or be at peace, at some point in future because our mind story says we need to, is a wrong view and wrong practice. We probably will do this a lot (most do) before just relaxing into and as the simplicity of bodily-based being in this moment, beyond our compulsive attachment to the mind story.
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And, using the newest set of tools from Picasa, a snap:
As I said up top, ENJOY!