There is a Japanese philosophy called “wabi sabi”, which is about accepting and embracing that which is imperfect or flawed. Most of you have probably seen kintsugi pottery, where gold is used to fill cracks that appear in a piece of pottery—a bowl, cup, vase. One person who wrote about this said that kintsugi is how one can acknowledge the fact that the pottery object earned those cracks through the process of living and that filling the cracks with gold honors the fact of that experience.
As I begin this practice in conscious living, it’s 5 degrees outside with a sparkling blue sky and strong wind. I find that I am deeply grateful to be indoors, to have heat, and have no reason to go outdoors on this very cold day. What this brings to mind are all the people who don’t have this choice because they work in jobs that serve the rest of us—in the post office, trash collection, the local Starbuck’s and other businesses, fire fighters and other emergency personnel, bus drivers, subway operators, cab drivers. The list goes on and on and, as I think about them, I am filled with gratitude. I also feel concern for them, as it’s a day when it’s not really safe to be outside.
What this brings to mind is the importance of gratitude. It’s a response that not only nurtures one’s own well-being, but it also orients awareness to the contributions of so many participants in our daily lives. Those contributors may be people, they may be other-than-human companions, they may be offerings from nature—food, water, fresh air.
As I write this, I’m eating a pear. What an amazing gift! I often find myself mystified as to how Nature draws on a dynamic creativity that generates all the amazing life forms on this planet. Ecology at times leaves me speechless with its complexity and fundamental collaborative/cooperative underpinnings, so my gratitude, including amazement, often orients itself to the dynamic creativity and intelligence of this planet’s eco-systems.Read More “906th Week: Gratitude“
I had an experience recently where a colleague brought to my attention that three years’ worth of postings to one of my websites had never actually shown up for the pubic. I mentioned last week that I post a daily inspirational quotation and photograph to the Devadana Sanctuary Facebook page, and I also post it to the Devadana Sanctuary website. What I discovered is that the posts to the website were incorrectly programmed by me and never appeared… Read More “690th Week: Meeting Challenges”
A post on Facebook had a picture of Mr. Rogers describing what creates success and there were three sentences all ending in “kindness”. This got me to thinking, yet again, of the importance of kindness as a primary stance in moving through daily life. In the present state of our collective interpersonal life, adding in more kindness seems an important and useful antidote (at least in all the small ways kindness can make a tangible difference).
Thinking about kindness also got me to thinking about the relationship between heart intelligence and perception and kindness, as it feels to me that kindness arises and emerges from the heart. I recently read an article about what is now considered by science as the real possibility of a “heart brain”. Stories of people who have received heart transplants attest to the fact that the heart is more than merely a physical pump.Read More “771st Week: Kindness, Kindness, Kindness”
One of the practices I’ve taken on even more actively these days is imagining that I am an open and always-available channel for the energy of universal love to flow through me as I move around in the course of my daily life activities. When I use the word “love”, I’m not referring to the personal kind but, instead, to my sense that the most potent healing energy in the universe is Love with a capital “L”.
It seems to me that this particular kind of “subtle activism” can be an addition to whatever else I, or we, may do to help heal our distressed world, our human family, and all our other earth kin. Imagining the energy of love flowing through me throughout the day doesn’t ask anything of me other than to bring my awareness to the process as often as I choose to do so. And, I feel somewhat confident in saying that choosing to be a channel for the healing quality of love probably doesn’t have a downside when we don’t personalize it…when we realize that we are, indeed, simply open channels for this universal energy to flow through us and into our world.
For years, I’ve had a practice of blessing everything around me. This particular practice became much more an ongoing part of my life when I went through seminary and was ordained as an Interfaith (now called Interspiritual) Minister back in 2003. In recent years, I’ve found that taking classes with David Spangler through his Lorian Association has helped me focus even more fully on these ways of moving through the world.Read More “786th Week: The Gift of Transmitting Love”