January 5     

Today's quotation:

The great lesson from the true mystics is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends, and family, in one's backyard.

Abraham H. Maslow

Today's Meditation:

I've lost many opportunities to fully enjoy days or moments because I've been blind to the beauty and the sacredness of the ordinary.  The world around us truly is holy, from the very next person that we run into to the flowers and trees and even the weeds.  The home that I live in has been constructed with love and caring, as have all the elements of that home, by many, many people who were making their livings by making houses and parts of houses.  And each of those thousands of people is a unique, holy creation of life, just as I am.

It's very easy to ignore the ordinary, for it seems so straightforward.  After all, we've seen it before, many times.  Those daisies in the garden?  They bloom every year, so what's the big deal?  But that's exactly where we go wrong--the daisies that are blooming there now aren't the same as those that were there last year, or the year before.  They're unique creations themselves, and until we learn the lesson that by noticing them, we can see their true sacredness, we won't notice them.

So what's so important about noticing the sacred in the everyday?  Simply that if we don't do so, we're unaware of the riches of our lives.  We're like the man who's doing well, who has enough to eat and pay the bills, but who doesn't remember that there are thousands of dollars hidden away in one of his closets.  Once he remembers and finds the money, he feels much richer and he sees his life differently.  The beauty and sacredness all around us are like that money that's hidden away--it's ours to admire and enjoy, but if we neglect it, it might as well be hidden away in a closet somewhere.

The sacred makes us better than rich.  The smile of a child, the warm west wind, the falling snow or rain, the majesty of thunder and lightning, the miracles of our cars taking us where we want to go, the food that has made it thousands of miles to be on our tables.  It's there.  Always.

Questions to consider:

What are some of the sacred things in your life?

Is sacredness reserved for saints and priests and pastors?  Why do we tend to feel that they somehow have better access to the sacred?

Just how rich are we, with all that the world has to offer us every day of our lives?  How rich are we if we refuse to notice or receive its sacred, everyday gifts?
For further thought:

There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.

Thich Nhat Hanh



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