In a moment of exhaustion, my mind was too tired to keep weaving its web and my heart was too tired to keep the world at bay. In that sudden stillness, I realized that, as a patch of water when still will reveal the bottom of a lake, the blessing of the ordinary is that any moment met with stillness will reveal the whole of life that resides under everything. This is the power of presence. When fully present, we can see through all trouble and turbulence.
Through meditation, we can breathe our way back into presence. Through love, we are softened back into presence. And through suffering, we are broken back into presence. However we get there, dropping below the surface of things returns us to the heart of all being, which sustains the kinship between all things. When fully present, however briefly, we drink from the Unities and are renewed. In deep ways, poetry, music, and art in all their forms are life-sustaining because they lead us to these moments. It is our ongoing practice to enter them and drink again from life.
sweet nothings in the tree buds…
inquiry for today~ when happenstance meets reflection…..
There is a beautiful rhythm of rise and fall found in every breath we take, in the rising and setting of the sun each day, in the balance between work and Sabbath time each week, in the waxing and waning of the moon each month, the flowering and releasing of the earth through her seasons, the seasons of our lifetimes, and then larger rhythms of ancestral and cosmic time.
In the Celtic tradition, time is depicted as a wheel, as in many other indigenous traditions, always turning and moving through the cycles of seasons. These seasons reflect inner movements as well where we are invited into ritual to mark the new moments. Rituals immerse us in liminal space and time, which is time outside of time. We touch the eternal moment. Ritual creates a holy pause and connects us to the very rhythm of the world that sustains us, reminding us of the slow unfolding and ripening of things. Ritual, whether religious or otherwise, connect us to a deep source, a well of refreshment.
We don’t have to go anywhere in particular to experience sacred time. We don’t have to give up our lives in the world and run off to a monastery to be immersed in the holiness of time’s unfolding. Really what we are invited to is a shift in perspective. Think of those optical illusions where you look at a drawing and see one thing, but when you shift your gaze, you see something else entirely.
~Christine Valters Paintner