“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow never comes. Today is here. If you don’t know what to do, sit still and listen. You may hear something. Nobody knows. We may pull apart the petals of a rose or make chemical analysis of its perfume, but the mystic beauty of its form and odour is still a secret, locked in to where we have no keys.”
“As you love your own body, so regard everyone as equal to your own body. When the Supreme Experience supervenes, everyone’s service is revealed as one’s own service. Call it a bird, an insect, an animal or a man, call it by any name you please, one serves one’s own Self in every one of them.”
“The single observation I would offer for your consideration is that some things are beyond your control. You can lose your health to illness or accident. You can lose your wealth to all manner of unpredictable sources. What are not easily stolen from you without your cooperation are your principles and your values. They are your most important possessions and, if carefully selected and nurtured, will well serve you and your fellow man.”
Neil Armstrong, first man to step onto the moon, on this day in 1969
Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out. Breathing in, my in-breath has become deep. Breathing out, my out-breath has become slow. Breathing in, I feel calm. Breathing out, I feel at ease. I am not struggling anymore. Calm/ease. Breathing in, I smile. Breathing out, I release all my worries and anxieties. Smiles/release. Breathing in, I dwell deeply in the present moment. Breathing out, I know this is a wonderful moment. Present moment/wonderful moment.”
The James Webb Telescope just released its first images of space. The images are incredible–spanning billions of galaxies and trillions of planets. The vastness of the images border on infinite. It’s tough to comprehend and to grasp intellectually. All you can really do is feel it. Feel the awe.
Some had a weird reaction to this image: “Oh wow I’m so small and inconsequential, just some random collection of stardust deposited in the form of a meaty robot. What’s the point of living? Life is meaningless. There is no purpose.”
I had the opposite reaction: “Oh wow this is beautiful and I’m blessed to see it. It feels like I’m put here to do great things, build great relationships, change my small neck of the world and see the shifts reverberate outward like a stone dropping in a lake.”
Amidst all those trillions of solar objects, we alone sit on a planet hosting life intelligent enough to view it. How lucky can you be? Yeah, yeah, maybe there are some aliens out there. I like sci-fi as much as the next guy, but I’m not talking about possibilities and potentials. I’m talking about what we know: we’re the ones looking at this.
Besides, you are anything but insignificant. Are you insignificant in the eyes of your children? Your friends? Your husband or wife? Your girlfriend or boyfriend? Your parents? Your business associates? Your dog?
The entire premise of this thing we call life rests on the fact that things are significant. Everything we do matters. If nothing matters, then what the hell are you doing here? Why are you getting up in the morning? Why are you reading this?
Science has revealed at last What happened in the distant past Back in the beginning of time But from what the Cosmos came Back before the great big bang It’s finding more hard to describe It could be anybody’s guess So is it crazy to suggest
What if love What if love What if love is all it was?
And what if that love still sings Is still alive in everything Moving through the whole universe Rising in the light and dark Hiding in the smallest part Burning like a flame that always burns Like the atoms, like the air Invisible but everywhere
What if love What if love What if love is all it was?
What if love were the organizing force By which the beauty of the world emerged That joined the particles into molecules And living cells and redwood trees and bees and birds And what if to act on love’s behalf, to practice kindness Is the most natural thing of all Then when we feel undone Or sick because we’ve been spun Around on the wheel of despair We can just breathe it in Reach for that source again Reach out to what’s already there The mystery from whence we came Just for a song let’s give it a name
What if love What if love What if love is all it was?”
““Take off your shoes, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” ~Exodus 3:5 Go outside. Take off your shoes. Breathe sunlight through your fontanelle, the soft spot where the bones of that old story never healed. Feel honey trickle through your neurons, dripping from vertebra to vertebra. A ray of violet bathes your furrowed brow, washing away the pain, transmuting anger into joyous useful fury. Rays of golden song-bird yellow caress your throat, healing grief. Your clenched heart-bud softens in a glow of ancient forest green, and 1,000 perfectly wounded petals unfurl. Knotted thorns in your belly disentangle with a fragrant breeze, the whisper of the name of the Goddess, and you notice the rose that was already there, blossoming in silence. Now what’s this, fermenting in the cauldron of your hips? Your weary disappointment, turning to purple wine. Breathe out through the soles of your feet, or so it seems, the shattered sunbeam passing down your spine as through a prism. Didn’t you know that you were made from infinitesimal love-sparks? This is how you give birth to the rainbow. But for the surrendered, who have no choice, even light is not enough, beauty is not enough. There is a wilder, more holy secret. The arc of healing does not shower from the sky, it gushes out of the earth. Give birth to the rainbow that percolates from compost, glow of bone splinters, mushroom spores, song of the earthworm, birth to the piebald treasure of the dead, gift of darkness. Selah. For we do not exhale through these naked soles, we inhale, breathing loam, pouring our olive-brown energy upward, diastole of crystalline detritus. We gather tiny relics of our ancestors’ flesh, still warm in embered sacrifice, and fling their swirling ashes into night. They are the stars.”
“My heart welcomes all forms: It is a pasture for gazelles, a monastery for monks, a temple for pagan idols, the Ka’aba of Mecca, and the tablets of the Torah. My religion is love. Everywhere love’s caravans go, I follow.”
“The journeys of our lives are never fully charted. There come to each of us deserts to cross—barren stretches—where the green edge on the horizon may be our destination, or an oasis on our way, or a mirage that beckons only to leave us lost.
When fear grips the heart, or despair bows the head, may we bend as heart and head lead us down to touch the ground beneath our feet. May we scoop some sand into our hands and receive what the sand would teach us:
It holds the warmth of the sun when the sun has left our sight, as it holds the cool of the night when the stars have faded. Hidden among its grains are tiny seeds, at rest and waiting, dormant yet undefeated.
Desert flowers. They endure. Moistened by our tears and by the rains which come to end even the longest drought, they send down roots and they bloom.
May we believe in those seeds, and in the seeds within us. May we remember in our dry seasons that we, too, are desert flowers.”