April 26


Today's quotation:

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 our breathing.  We don't need to go to China to enjoy the blue sky.  We don't have to travel into the future to enjoy our breathing.  We can be in touch with these things right now.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Today's Meditation:

"Each second of our lives can be like this."  Can it really be true that we can fill every single moment of our lives with wonder and appreciation for the beautiful things in our lives?  Is it possible for us to live our lives in a perpetual state of gratitude and appreciation?  To be honest, I believe it is.  What's the secret of reaching that point?  Lots and lots of effort, I think, in order to cast off our ideas of how we think things should be and accept things for the way that they are.  Only then will we see the beauty in everything and everyone around us.

When we do reach that point, we'll start to see just how sacred is the life that surrounds us all the time, just how beautiful everything around us is.  Emerson wrote once that we start to think that life would be great if we just lived in some exotic place like Venice, so we pack our bags and sell our stuff and move to Venice.  When we get there, though, we find that Venice is very nice, but we're still the person we were before we left, and life is very much the same for us no matter how exotic our surroundings.  How we see the world is more important than what our surroundings look like.

Enjoyment and appreciation are matters of choice.  "Wherever we are, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine."  Wherever we are, and whenever we're there.  It's pretty simple, yet so hard to put into practice.  It takes work, and it takes constant effort.  It takes opening our minds and our hearts to the possibility of seeing--truly seeing--our surroundings and all that they hold.

Why should we have to go somewhere else to be happy, when there's so much right where we are that could make us so, if only we were to allow it all to make us happy?

Questions to consider:

Which is more beautiful--a clear blue sky where you live, or a clear blue sky where someone else lives?

What might make us think that things in other places are preferable to things where we are?

What kind of effort can we make to help ourselves to see more beauty, and to see it more deeply when we do see it?

For further thought:

I live now and only now, and I will do what I want to do this moment and not what I decided was best for me yesterday.

Hugh Prather

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