Tag Archives: peace of being

A Wendell Berry Kind of Day

It may be that when we no longer know what to do

we have come to our real work

and that when we no longer know

which way to go we

have begun our real journey.

Wendell Berry, Standing by Words

When despair for the world grows in me

 and I wake in the night at the least sound

 in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

 I go and lie down where the wood drake

 rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

 I come into the peace of wild things

 who do not tax their lives with forethought

 of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

 And I feel above me the day-blind stars

 waiting with their light. For a time

 I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

“The Peace of Wild Things,” Wendell Berry

On days when words fail, awash in my heart’s overflow, I go to “rest in the grace of the world.” What better compass than the “presence of still water?”

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

When Courtesy Is Left Behind

Life is not so short but

that there is always time

enough for courtesy.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I found this quotation in my morning email. After yesterday’s post regarding my experience at the neurosurgeon’s office, I appreciate the coincidence or is it synchronicity?

And here’s a bit more, I think.

The working title of one of the essays I’m writing is “Love in a Time of Hate.” Admittedly, it’s challenging and not because I believe much of life is a Zen koan, although it just may be.

The issue is Emerson’s point, courtesy—a reverence for life that is increasingly rare. I would be hard put to find a more apt quotation for my online experience so far today.

As a wise friend observed, the face of all this snark is frustration. We are turning on one another rather than looking for a sliver of light in what is a great darkness. And it’s exhausting, especially when hate seems so strong.

That stops me in the writing of my essay but I’m determined to finish it because I know hate does not exist without love, truly. Hate is merely love buried but love is resilient. Its heart does not stop beating until ours does.

And it’s complex this love-hate that is so integral to being human. One does not exist without the other because like light and dark, they are halves of a whole. And when we understand that, we will not fear hate or hide our love.

It’s reverence for life that will get us there, I think, for courtesy clears any air, albeit momentarily. It changes the pace and sometimes, that’s all that’s necessary, even if the solution is to walk away. Courtesy allows us the integrity to do so.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Every Day is a Protest

To have peace, you can begin

by walking peacefully.

Everything depends on your steps.

(Thich Nhat Hanh)

I miss writing a weekly letter to my mother for many reasons. When I wrote to her, I walked peacefully. How much or how little I wrote were the colors of her world.

I like to think we both appreciated that world as a place where we could sit and pause, away from the reality that marked our everyday lives.

In our bubble, the unexpected played a lesser role for it was only revealed as an afterward and never in the now.  Such is the life of a bubble, brief but shiny.

pine1

 

I have lived in more than one bubble. And I am not alone in this. Like so many, I walked away from the everyday, seeking peace where it never is. In ignorance, I trampled on the life I have.

Yet, time has not yet run out but it grows short for all of us. Our planet is out of balance, tipping one way and then the other. The unexpected comes in daily doses.

Every day seems a protest because it is. A wake-up call to walk peacefully, to remember everything depends upon our steps.

Everything.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Seat With Our Name on It

We are homeless until we sit down in the “seat of self,” the center of consciousness within us all (Michael Singer). Each one of us has such a seat with our name on it.

So often, I seek in the world what is only available within me. Oh, the miles I have traveled; the stories I have created.

Footprints 1013When we sit within, we cease wandering. Glennon Doyle Melton says when our ”still, small voice” manages to drown out the “fear voices” is when we stop betraying ourselves and find our way home “to truth and to love.”

Who does not know the voices of fear? They are nothing if not loud, sometimes voluminous as well. In the focus of stillness, they shrink and cease.

Singer’s “seat of self” creates an observer’s distance— a safety zone of being—from which to witness the great mystery that is the world. In awareness, we accept the world as it is, not as we would prefer it.

In no longer judging, we stop betraying ourselves as well. We accept who we are and who we are not. We come into the peace of being. We don’t have to go anywhere to find it.

We are home, looking through the life lens of equanimity. Oh, the stories we will see.

But do not ask me where I am going,

As I travel in this limitless world,

Where every step I take is my home.

Dogen

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.