I have been in love with mornings all my life. However, after reading Mark Nepo’s meditation from The Book of Awakening this morning, I feel like I finally know why. In his eloquent, real, accessible, and inspiring way, Mark translates into deep truth the sacred presence of morning and how with it, we begin again with an opportunity to shed the shadows of what was and open to what is — like dawn.
Read and re-read with me his entry entitled “The Truth about Morning”:
“There is a vastness that quiets the soul. But sometimes we are so squarely in the midst of life’s forces that we can’t see what we’re a part of.”
The truth about morning is that it is the small light of the beginning breaking through, again and again. It is a wisdom so large and clear, one which carries us through our lives so quietly and completely that we seldom see it.
Day after day, we are covered with the dust and grit of what we go through. It tends to weigh us down, and then we think and scheme and problem solve. Then we worry if it will all really work, and if it is the right thing to do. It all makes us dark and cluttered.
But despite our stubbornness of concern, we tire and must turn what has happened over to the hammock of night. This is a good thing. For no matter how unfinished we seem, the letting go into sleep is nothing short of a quiet miracle.
This letting go into sleep is an innate, reflexive form of meditation, no different than a fly rubbing its face or a doe licking its fawn. Sooner or later, without discipline or devotion, despite our resolutions and mistakes, we each must sleep. We must surrender to the quieting of all intent and regret, so that the small light of the beginning can rise in us, again and again.
There is no escaping this profound simplicity: what happens covers us like dirt. It covers our hearts and minds, till, at the shore we call exhaustion, we slip into the waters of sleep in a daily sort of baptism, so we can begin again.
So whenever you feel urgent or overwhelmed, whenever you feel pressed to figure things out or to rethink the unthinkable … rest … so that the endless beginning – which some call the voice of God – might break through what has happened. And you will wake feeling like dawn.
- This is a bedtime meditation. Breathe slowly, and bring to mind one intention you had today as well as one regret.
- Breathe evenly, and let your breath blow the intention and regret far enough away that you can see them clearly.
- Center yourself, and realize that though these thoughts and feelings come through you, they are not who you are.
- Leave these thoughts and feelings outside of you, and use each breath to bring you closer and closer to the letting go of sleep.