little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Archive for the tag “peace”

The Truth about Morning

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.
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“…can only come from Love…”

Even though I saw Carrie Newcomer in concert well over a month ago, I woke up with an unforgettable tune of hers in my head and heart: I Heard an Owl.

Give a listen when/if you have a chance and follow along with her moving lyrics. Methinks it’s an anthem for today and everyday.

I Heard an Owl

I heard an owl call last night
Homeless and confused
I stood naked and bewildered
By the evil people do.

Up upon a hill there is a terrible sign
That tells the story of what darkness waits
When we leave the light behind.

Don’t tell me hate is ever right or God’s will
These are the wheels we put in motion ourselves
The whole world weeps and is weeping still
Though shaken I still believe
the best of what we all can be
The only peace this world will know
Can only come from love.

I am a voice that’s calling out
Across the great divide
I am only just one person
That feels they have to try
And questions fall like trees or dust
Rise like prayers above
But the only word is “Courage”
And the only answer “Love.”

So don’t tell me hate is ever right or God’s will
These are the wheels we put in motion ourselves
The whole world weeps and is weeping still
Though shaken I still believe
the best of what we all can be
The only peace this world will know
Can only come from love.

Light every candle that you can
For we need some light to see
In these times of deepest loss,
Treat each other tenderly
The arms of God will gather in
Each sparrow that falls
And makes no separation
Just fiercely loves us all.

So don’t tell me hate is ever right or God’s will
These are the wheels we put in motion ourselves
The whole world weeps and is weeping still
Though we’re shaken I still believe
the best of what we all can be
And the only peace this world will know
Can only come from Love.

Kindness

 

This. This poem. To heal wounds. To hold hands.

For hope. For humanity. For today and each day that may come.

 

Kindness

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

 

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

 

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,

only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

 

From Words Under the Words: Selected Poems.

Copyright © 1995 by Naomi Shihab Nye.

 

Peace and kindness to you, dear reader, whoever and wherever you are.

Miracle

AdventMoon

Photo captured while on a mid-December “moon walk”…

 

Night falls.

Moon rises.

And beneath this miracle

whose ingredients are

star

and dust,

light

and darkness,

life

and death,

joy

and pain,

we go on

singing —

the low notes,

the high notes —

into the rest

of our days.

 

p.s. Thank You

for the miracle

it is

to see,

to feel,

to wonder,

to write,

to love,

to remember.

Amen.

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