Our days are full of jagged edges and jangling moments. But most of us have quiet routines that inform our lives. We rise each morning and greet our day in the same fashion. A first cup of coffee, a glance at the paper, a certain way we bathe and prepare for our entry into the day- these do not change. They are the rituals by which we shape our days. But we do not value them as rituals. To us they are ordinary- sometimes comforting, sometimes mind-deadening- activities that give a familiar sameness to our life. We see them as routines, not as paths to awareness. My time in a monastery taught me otherwise. They were present to nuance, aware of the space around events. A cup of tea, a meal partaken, a moment shared with another- all commanded their absolute focus. With the memory of the monks alive in my heart, I lift my morning cup of coffee toward the dawn. It is not a grand gesture, surely not the equal of great acts of piety or spiritual perfection. But in doing so I call myself to awareness. With this simple gesture of acknowledgment, I raise this common act from routine to ritual, and invest my day with an attitude of praise……Kent Nerburn
we have a sweet rainbow leading to spirit…to our source….if we could only pause for a few seconds just to know gratitude….just by consecrating the ordinary……let us chase a rainbow instead of the future….let us not be haunted by the insignificance we bring to living….
If we are to understand the paradox of contemplation-and-action, we must attend to what Thomas Merton called ‘the hidden wholeness’ that lies beneath the broken surface of our lives. Until we know the hidden wholeness we will live in a world of dualisms, of forced but false choices between being and doing that result in action that is mere frenzy or contemplation that is mere escape. To be fully alive is to act. But action is more than movement; it is movement that involves expression, discovery, re-formation of ourselves and our world. I understand action to be any way that we can co-create reality with other beings and with the Spirit. To be fully alive is to contemplate. I understand contemplation to be any way that we can unveil the illusions that masquerade as reality and reveal the reality behind the masks. Contemplation happens any time that we catch the magician deceiving us and we get a glimpse of the truth behind the trick. It is easy to see that contemplation-and-action are not apart from each other but are parts of each other…..Parker J. Palmer