The ability to drop into the present is sometimes referred to as child-mind, because children, little ones, look at things that openly, from that degree of relaxation, from that degree of nowness. Can you remember what it was like as a child, sitting under a bush and how it smelled, going to grandmothers and how her house or garden smelled, and how her perfume smelled? Think of a child going to a museum and not having a clue that what they are seeing is a Picasso or a Renoir. Children just look with this kind of open awareness.
Pema Chodron, How to Meditate
In the traditional Christian understanding, this Saturday – between Good Friday and Easter – is the day of growth and hope hidden deep in our existence, despite all evidence to the contrary. It is a day for patience and quiet reflection. And indeed, despite all the work we do, and our best efforts, much of life remains unresolved, incomplete, frustrating and un-reconciled. We do not see all the answers or why some things are as they are. That is why days which encourage us to be silent and to wait – to get used to this in-between state – are useful. They balance the desire of the mind to know everything and to be in control.
It’s important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and progressive, but these qualities don’t necessarily nurture soul. The soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection, conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring; relatedness to the environs and to people; and any animal’s rhythm of rest and activity.
Each time we reach out with joy, each time we cast our view towards distances that have not yet been touched, we transform not only this the present moment and the one following but also alter the past within us, weave it into the pattern of our existence, and dissolve the foreign body of pain whose exact composition we ultimately do not know. Just as we do not know how much vital energy this foreign body, once it has been thus dissolved, might impart to our bloodstream!
Happiness, anxiety, joy, resentment — we have many words for the many emotions we experience in our lifetimes. But deep down, there are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt.
We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Were I able to shut, my eyes, ears, legs, hands
and walk into myself for a thousand years
perhaps I would reach – I do not know its name –
what matters most.
Anna Swir, To that which is Most Important.