I cannot tell if what the world considers ‘happiness’ is happiness or not.
All I know is that when I consider the way they go about attaining it,
I see them carried away headlong, serious and obsessed,
in a general rush,
unable to stop themselves or to change their direction.
And all the while they claim to be
just on the point of attaining happiness….
Chuang-tzu, Chinese philosopher, 4th century BC
Dawn is coming…… I step quietly from my bed, alive to the silences around me. This is the quiet time, the time of innocence and soft thoughts, the childhood of the day. Now is the moment when I must pause and lift my heart – now, before the day fragments and my consciousness shatters into a thousand pieces. For this is the moment when the senses are most alive, when a thought, a touch, a piece of music can shape the spirit and color of the day. But if I am not careful – if I rise, frantic, from my bed, full of small concerns – the mystical flow of the imagination at rest will be broken, the past and the future will rush in to claim my mind, and I will be swept up into life’s petty details and myriad obligations. Gone will be the openness that comes only to the waking heart, and with it, the chance to focus the spirit and consecrate the day.
Kent Neburn, Small Grace: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday life