GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection
#34 — February 1, 2015
When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!
— Rabbi Harold Kushner
Greetings, Inspired Seeker!
In the bleak mid-winter — such as we are experiencing here in the North East — it can be a challenge to see the holiness in everyday life as the Rabbi suggests. Perhaps that is because the only thing I can see at the moment is my breath as I breathe in the winter frost of a 9° morning and then exhale! Stuck in my humanness, once again. Fixated, if I am truthful. And not fully present. Except to the cold. Focus!
Could this be the Year of Being Fully Present? And, might the expression of Full Presence be to see my life as a prayer? Period. With no separation. Simply as a life choice — as a way of being — rather than a few moments set aside in a special or “holy” place. For, if the world is creation, is it not all holy and extraordinary? And isn’t my life really the prayer? Just a thought. Or two.
Christian mystic Julian of Norwich is quoted as saying, “This is everything that is.” What a perfectly lovely thought that is, for it opens us up to recognizing that creation is contained in each moment. And, as we walk through those moments, we are the prayer. It is not what we do; it is the essence of our being. “To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer” are words spoken by Gandhi that encourage us to be fully in the moment, recognize a need and step into it. The action, our action, is the prayer. Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” And, when we pray, are we not engaging in an act of love?
It seems to me that if we can be fully present in this world and know in our bones that our whole life is a prayer, some of our choices might change. Our gratitude levels might rise. Our compassion might expand and we just might begin to see the holiness in everyday life that the Rabbi sees. We might even be able to see the world through the breath we exhale on a 9° day, fully understanding that this is everything there is. And it is good.
Monthly Affirmation: I am fully present and my life is a prayer. And all will be well.
The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington serves people of all traditions in the spiritual journeys they embark upon. Give her a call at 215 260 1611 or email her at GraceMatters@TheSpaceForGrace.com and she will be happy to walk with you as you choose your path.