A morning thanksgiving

 

I give thanks for arriving

Safely in a new dawn,

For the gifts of eyes

To see the world,

The gift of mind

To feel at home

In my life.

The waves of possibility

Breaking on the shore of dawn,

The harvest of the past

That awaits my hunger,

And all the furtherings

This new day will bring.

John O Donohue

More than our fears

In Ireland,  Summer is officially over at the end of August, and, as if to acknowledge this, yesterday began foggy and grey. Typically,  however, the rest of the day turned out better than most of the Summer. The fog passed through, the sun came out. Today, we are told to expect heavy rain.  Small upsets or bigger storms…the sky can hold whatever passes through it.

It is essential to understand that an emotion is merely something that arises, remains and then goes away. A storm comes, it stays a while, and then it moves away. At the critical moment remember you are much more than your emotions. This is a simple thing that everyone knows, but you may need to be reminded of it: you are more than your emotions.

Thich Nhat Hahn, Healing Pain and Dressing Wounds

A new month: Living fully, without regrets

File:Tully Cross thatched cottage.jpg

John O’Donohue told a story once about an occasion when he was still a priest and was sitting at the bedside of a dying man, offering his comfort and his presence. The man turned to him and said, with a great sense of calm, that he had no regrets, because he had taken a great big bite out of life.

It would be a significant thing if we could say that, not just at the end of life, but at the end of each day.

 Most people think they will regret foolish actions more than foolish inactions. But studies show that nine out of ten people are wrong. Indeed, in the long run, people of every walk of life seem to regret not having done things much more than they regret things they did.

Dan Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness

photo Linda Buckley

The way to fulfillment

This weekend, thousands of pilgrims will climb Croagh Patrick, a mountain which was considered sacred as far back as 3000 years BC and associated with St Patrick from the time he fasted there. Ireland today is bombarded today with lots of examples of what will lead to a happy life, such as wearing certain types of clothes, such and such a diet, success in achieving goals, quick-fix self-help slogans and imitating celebrities. However, in the wisdom developed in Celtic spirituality around the time of Patrick –  over 1500 years ago –  a fulfilled life had three elements: being close to nature, having concern for those less fortunate and being grateful.  Let’s see which will lead to greater contentment….

Let me bless almighty God, whose power extends over sea and land, whose angels watch over all.

       Let me do my daily work, gathering seaweed, catching fishgiving food to the poor.

Let me say my daily prayers, sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet, always thanking God.

Delightful it is to live on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell, serving the King of kings.

The Prayer of St. Columba, 521-597 A.D. 

photo: kanchelskis