Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, not being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting — whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our compassion, and we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or to put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.
Pema Chodron, Comfortable with Uncertainty
I had lunch yesterday in the coffee shop run by the Camphill Community in the lovely village of Kilcullen, County Kildare, about 25 miles south of Dublin. It was about 10 years since I was last there but I found it as inspiring and nourishing – in every sense – as before. The Camphill communities focus on creating meaningful and inclusive lives for people with intellectual disabilities and special needs, where everyone contributes at the level of their ability, and where the contribution of everyone is valued. As the Henri Nouwen quote this morning reminds us, our value resides more in what we are, even though we frequently seek it in what we do.
The apt name of the coffee shop is the Gaelic “An Tearmann” which means “Refuge” or “Sanctuary” and it raises funds that support the community living and working near Kilcullen as they work towards creating an environment for healing and development. I was struck by some words on the front of the menu, where they thanked visitors for their support in the creation of an “intentional community”. It reminded me that every moment, even lunch or a cup of coffee, can be made more intentional or conscious, and that we are challenged to reflect on the overall direction or intention of our lives, and what values our choices support.