When Joseph Campbell described the journey of transformation, he wrote of coming through the dark cave into a new springtime of life. The important dimension he included is that when people come out of pain into newness of life, they always bring an ‘elixir’ or a gift with them. This gift is meant not just for themselves, but for the transformation of the world. Gifts are meant to be given. Gifts are offered freely. The healthier I am psychologically and spiritually, the freer I will be in offering my gifts to others
One way we need to work with the mind these days is to notice the beauty in the ordinary moments of each day…
I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.
R.S. Thomas, The Bright Field
An unusual St Patrick’s Day when people are fearful, and gatherings are not allowed, in church or in the pub. We need to find resources and blessings within and then extend those blessings to all who are afraid and especially those most vulnerable at this time.
When the canvas frays in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words
of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life.
John O’Donohue, Beannacht
Beannachtai na Féile Padraig oraibh go léir: The blessings of Saint Patrick’s Day to you all.
These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence. Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We complain a lot about the ever-changing weather in Ireland; this week alone storms and snow, cold and fog…
Every day, priests minutely examine the Teachings
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by
The wind and rain, the snow and moon.
If your mind isn’t clouded
by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
Wumen Huikai, 1183 -1260