January 29

If we could see the
miracle of a single flower
clearly, our whole life
would change.

the Buddha


Today's Meditation:

How often do I look at miraculous things like flowers without even seeing them, much less seeing the miracle of a flower clearly?  It's so easy to be caught up in our own little worlds that the objects that surround us--and that are there to astonish us, if we'd only look--somehow become invisible, and we don't even see them at all.  And that's a shame.

Flowers really are miracles, even the tiny, intricate ones.  They're especially miraculous when we consider their source--all of the flowers that we see come from seeds, tiny things that we would wipe off our pants leg if we saw them there, things that in no way seem capable of holding the origin of bushes and plants and flowers.  The important thing, though, is not the miracle that a flower is, but our ability to see and appreciate that miracle.

It really isn't that hard to do.  It takes slowing down.  It takes calming our minds so that we can actually stop and look around to see what's around us at any given time.  It takes fixing our attention on something that we normally don't look at with more than a passing glance, and noticing just what it is, just what it consists of, just how amazing it is.

And why would we take the time to do such a thing?  Well, as the Buddha told us so long ago, if we're able to do so, then our whole lives will change.  Then we'll be able to live with appreciation and a sense of wonder.  We won't be fooled by the people who want us to believe what they believe and buy what they're selling.  We'll see ourselves as part of a wondrous world that's full of miracles, and we'll dedicate ourselves to discovering and appreciating those miracles instead of trying to turn our lives into a contest to see who can collect the most material things before we die. 

Questions to consider:

Look around yourself right now--how many things can be considered truly miraculous, if you take the time to think about them?

Why do we tend not to see things as miraculous as we grow older? 

Why are kids more likely to see things as miracles?  When do we lose that ability that's so important to them? 

For further thought:

The moment one gives close attention
to anything, even a blade of grass,
it becomes a mysterious, awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller


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