A steady center

In these days it can be just small things, like the song of a bird….

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.

Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.

Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path – but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.

William Stafford, Cutting Loose

Start over, each moment

The gift of remembering and binding time creates the illusion that the past stands to the present as agent to act, mover to moved.

Living thus from the past, with echoes taking the lead, we are not truly here, and are always a bit late to the feast

Alan Watts

Practicing happiness

More from Thich Nhat Hanh: we need to consciously practice joy in these Covid-19 times

We may think of joy as something that happens spontaneously. Few people realize that it needs to be cultivated and practiced in order to grow. Mindfulness is the continuous practice of deeply touching every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly present with your body and your mind, to bring harmony to your intentions and actions, and to be in harmony with those around you. We don’t need to make a separate time for this outside of our daily activities.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Our work for this month

As Sylvia Boorstein frequently reminds us, the moment in which the mind acknowledges ‘This isn’t what I wanted, but it’s what I got’ is the point at which suffering disappears. We are here now, the future is always  uncertain. Our practice is to stay grounded and be open to what arises in awareness

The practice of mindfulness is very simple.

You stop, you breathe, and you still your mind.

You come home to yourself so that you can enjoy the here and now in every moment

Thich Nhat Hahn, Silence

The preciousness of life

Move through life living from one moment to the other, wholly absorbed in the present, carrying with you so little from the past that your spirit could pass through the eye of a needle; as little distracted by the worries of the future as the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. You will be attached to no person or thing, for you will have developed a taste for the symphony of life. And you will love life alone with the passionate attachment of your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole mind and all your strength. You will find yourself traveling unencumbered and free as a bird in the sky, always living in the Eternal Now. And you will have found in your heart the answer to the question, “Master, what is it that I must do to get Eternal life?”
Anthony de Mello s.j., The Way to Love

Notice the treasure before your eyes

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