January 10

The higher goal of spiritual
living is not to amass a
wealth of information, but
to face sacred moments.

Abraham Heschel


Today's Meditation:

Our world has somehow become one in which information is our new God, and the gathering of information is our new form of worship.  At least, it seems that way for many people.  Nobody wants to say "I don't know" any more, and we all have incredible sources of information at our fingertips that we just have to use--after all, we're paying for it--to find out information from somewhere else rather than learning something ourselves. 

We see many people missing out on those sacred moments because of their fixation with information.  The parent who's at a school play can't focus on his or her daughter's performance because he or she is texting with a colleague about something going on at work.  The lover who doesn't hear the pain in the partner's voice because he or she is focused on the Internet.  The long walk in the woods that never happens because the time is spent on Facebook or on a video game.

We are spirits before we are people.  At our depth, at our most authentic level, we are not limited to this body we have.  The unity that we feel inside is not just a unity with people, but with the deeper parts of those people who are with us on this planet.  Our life could be filled with truly amazing and truly inspiring spiritual moments--but only if we take the time and make the effort to stop focusing on information and start recognizing those sacred moments as they make their ways into our lives.  If we were to do this, life could become one sacred moment after another.

Our challenge, then, seems to be to recognize when we might be going overboard on the information so that we can shift our focus to those things going on in our lives that are sacred.  We can shift from reading news stories that are irrelevant to us, to asking a young person how his or her day has been.  We can turn off the computer and watch the tree in our yard sway in the breeze, and think of just how beautiful and amazing trees are.  Or we can just enjoy the silence and have a little talk with God, and actually listen for God's replies.

Sacred moments are everywhere, and they happen all the time.  In our quest to gather and maintain information, though, we make ourselves too focused on one thing to be able to see the others.

Questions to consider:

What would your definition of a "sacred moment" be?  How might you go about cultivating and enjoying those moments?

Why has our focus left the spiritual and fixated on the information that's available to us?

How might we go about reminding ourselves constantly that we're on spiritual journeys full of sacred moments?

For further thought:

One does not need to fast for days and meditate for hours at a time
to experience the sense of sublime mystery which constantly envelops us.
All one need do is to notice intelligently, if even for a brief moment,
a blossoming tree, a forest flooded with autumn colors, an infant smiling.

Simon Greenberg

More on awareness.


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