“The fears we cannot climb become our walls.”
–Noah Ben Shea
Many years ago, when we first found out my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I was suffering from much worry and anxiety while sitting in his doctor’s office. Suddenly, I felt a deep peace descend upon me, calming my anxiety, enabling me to breathe. I took a look at my watch. Later, I found out a friend was saying some prayers for us the same moments I felt the peace in the doctor’s office. Proof to me, the palpable power of prayer, that peace beyond understanding… If we are enjoying peace, happiness, we can offer the fruits of our prayers to others. If someone is having difficulty breathing, we can think of them as we breathe peacefully. As we are all linked, this will help on some level.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:7
“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of breathing . . . I would like to offer one short poem you can recite from time to time, while breathing and smiling.
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh, “Being Peace”
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
iris bud reminds me of a candle
that the body will perish at some point
but few like to think about this
the awareness burns more brightly as one ages
as the iris of the eye opens
birth and death come as a pair
dying to certain things means birthing something new
fully living allows one to die well
the iris has to die to the bud
in order to bloom
the bloom has to die
to create seeds
so new life is possible
so it may continue in some way again
but the iris doesn’t seem to have any worries or fears
about each stage
it just seems to live happily
in whatever stage it happens to be
letting each stage unfold naturally
Reminding me of Psalm 23, that He leads me in paths of righteousness, yet even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for God is with me.
[…There’s a way of training ourselves in order not to become the victim of fear and grief — that is to look deeply into ourselves and to see that we are made of non-self elements. And when we look around ourselves, we can recognize ourselves in the non-self elements, like a father looking at his children can see himself in his children, can see his continuation in his children. So he is not attached to the idea that his body is the only thing that is him. He’s more than his body. He is inside of his body but he is also at the same [time] outside of his body in many elements. And if we have the habit of looking like that, we will not be the victim of our attachment to one form of manifestation, and we will be free. And that freedom makes happiness and peace possible.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
“Amma remembers a story. Once the colors of the world gathered together. Each one claimed, “I am the most important and beloved color.” The conversation culminated in a quarrel.
When I saw this stick next to the rippling waves, it reminded me of a dog waiting for his Master, or of someone witnessing thoughts and emotions.
just like our Faithful Friend
who watches our comings and goings
may we light up each thought with awareness
and trust that God, the Boatman,
is with us, guiding our way
Continue reading Like a Loyal Dog Waiting for His Master