Thought for the day, Wednesday 2nd March

BLESSING THE DUST by Jan Richardson,

“All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.
This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.”

Thought for the day, Sunday 27th February

Listening is Peace by Alfred Lamotte,

“Listening is peace.
Listen to the most distant sound you can hear.
A seal barking from a wild rocky island across the water.
Now the rustle of a nest-building robin
in the bush by your window.
Listen to the bells of the red winged black bird
in the rushes by the stream,
and the silence between them.
Now you can hear the stream.
You can hear the moon in daylight.
Listening is peace.
Cast the blessing
of gratitude
across vast spaces
just by listening, which is prayer.
And as if it were a song,
listen to your breath, flowing in,
flowing out.
The stars will teach you your name.
And you will hear the ancient story
of the present moment,
filled with the clamor of
shields and spears,
the clash of wings,
the bronze promise of heavy-laden ships
on the blue horizon,
the flaring and dying out of suns,
in the atoms your body.
Cast the blessing of gratitude
across vast spaces
just by listening.
Listening is peace.”

Thought for the day, Friday 25th February

“O humans, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me,
I shall forgive you for what you have done,
and I shall not mind.
O humans, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky
and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me,
I would forgive you.
O humans, were you to come to Me
with sins nearly as great as the earth,
and were you then to face Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great.”

Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him], quoted in Perennial Wisdom for the Spiritually Independent by Rami Shapiro

Thought for the day, Thursday 24th February

“At dawn, I meditate in my heart on the truth of the radiant inner Self.
This true Self is Pure Being, Awareness, and Joy, the transcendent goal of the great sages.
The eternal witness of the waking, dream and deep sleep states.
I am more than my body, mind and emotions, I am that undivided Spirit.
At dawn, I worship the true Self that is beyond the reach of mind and speech,
By whose grace, speech is even made possible,
This Self is described in the scriptures as “Not this, Not this”.
It is called the God of the Gods, It is unborn, undying, one with the All.
At dawn, I salute the true Self that is beyond all darkness, brilliant as the sun,
The infinite, eternal reality, the highest.
On whom this whole universe of infinite forms is superimposed.
It is like a snake on a rope. The snake seems so real, but when you pick it up, it’s just a rope.
This world is ever-changing, fleeting, but this eternal Light is real and everlasting.”
Adi Shankara [8th century Hindu philosopher]

Thought for the day, Tuesday 22nd February

“Ten years ago—feeling lost in my work, the world’s madness, the challenges of aging, and the wilds of my own mind—I spent a week in solitude and silence, hoping to be found.

I rented a small cabin with a wood-burning stove out in Wisconsin’s deep-frozen winter woods. For a week I did little more than hike, stare into the fire, read and write, nap, and make simple meals. It sounds lovely and in many ways it was. But the week was laced with deep loneliness.

Late in the week, on one of my hikes, I had the experience I tried to capture in this poem—a sense of “being found,” not by someone or something else, but by the mystery within me.

Wherever they come from, few words we can hear are better than “Welcome Home.” In a world where so many feel lost, few missions are more meaningful than extending that welcome to each other on every level of our lives.

“Welcome Home” by Parker J. Palmer

Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
setting sun—streaming through bare-boned
trees—falls upon my face, fierce and full of life.

Breathing easier now, in and out with the earth,
I suddenly feel accepted—feel myself stand
easy, strong, deep-rooted as the trees,
while time and all these troubles disappear.

And when (who knows how long?) I trudge
on down the trail and find my ancient burdens
returning, I stop once more to say No to them—
not here, not now, not ever again—reclaiming
the welcome home the woods have given me.”

Parker J Palmer