Sightless among wonders

A prayer, this time from the Hebrew tradition, encouraging us to embrace each moment and the “ordinary blessings” of this day:

Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. Lord, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns, unconsumed. And we, clay touched by God, will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder, “How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it.”

Jewish Sabbath Prayer

Being content with the ordinary

The breath is not something that we create or imagine; it is a natural process of our bodies that continues as long as life lasts, whether we concentrate on it or not. So it is an object that is always present; we can turn to it at any time. We don’t have to have any qualifications to watch our breath. We do not even need to be particularly intelligent — all we have to do is to be content with, and aware of, one inhalation and exhalation.

Wisdom does not come from studying great theories and philosophies, but from observing the ordinary.

Ajahn Sumedho, Now is the Knowing

We know and do not know

Our minds are often very intent on knowing the outcome, on fixing things down into this or that:

Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what’s hidden.

Study them,
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know,
and then not.

Rumi,  Story Water

The weather forecast

In Ireland we love talking about the weather, especially over a Bank Holiday weekend, as if Nature should have known to provided sunshine for our few days. Sometimes it can be a way of avoiding conversations with a real connection, but it can be a way of working with something which is always changing, in a country that has four seasons in an hour.

I never read weather forecasts. As soon as I read one, tomorrow is clouded for me, even if it is sunshine that’s predicted. A part of me is making plans, or second-guessing the heavens; a part of me is saying, “I should be able to get in a second walk tomorrow, though by Sunday night it’s going to be cold again.” When it turns out different, as it often will, all my thinking is in vain. 

It isn’t that weather forecasts mess with my mind. It’s that the mind is so ready to mess with everything it touches — to make theories around it, to draw fanciful conclusions from it, to play distorting games of projection and miscalculation — that even the elements are not safe from it. It has a supreme gift, I’ve found, for complicating the simple and muddying what could and should be transparent. It can take the tiniest detail and turn it into a drama or a universe of needless speculation. Most times I dread a coming moment, the moment never comes. It’s not the world that I need to change, I see, but the mayhem that my overactive mind makes of the world.

Pico Iyer, The Folly of the Weather Forecast


Sunday Quote: Seeing what is important

A quiet Sunday in a long weekend, with some gone away or starting holidays. When we stop running we come to see what really matters

What in your life is Calling you,
When all the noise is silenced,
The meetings adjourned..
The lists laid aside,
And the Wild Iris blooms
By itself
In the dark forest…
What still pulls on your Soul?