May 29     

Today's quotation:

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

Today's Meditation:

Life is mysterious, but we keep wanting to rob it of its mystery instead of enjoying it.  We want to name, to categorize, to define, to put everything into little boxes that we understand completely rather than accept the fact that there are many things that we do not and cannot know, things that simply can't be understood.  I see this every time I look into another person's eyes and recognize the spark of life, for example-- and I wonder just how it got there and where that spark is going.  I honestly don't care about an answer.  Just seeing that life and appreciating its mystery is enough for me.

I love the mysteries in life.  I could list tons of them, but that would take too long.  Rather, I simply like to appreciate them when I come across them and allow them to be without trying to explain them.  When we're able to accept mystery without a need for explanation, then we're on the road to living our lives fully, to accepting life for what it is and letting it be just what it is without trying to control it.

Some mysteries were meant to be solved, it seems.  I'm very glad that people discovered how things like bacteria and viruses work, and how to deal with them so our illnesses don't kill us.  But other mysteries, like why the sunset can make me stop in my tracks and why another person's smile can make me smile, I don't want to know about-- I don't need to know about them.  I like them just as they are.

In a world full of people trying to explain everything to everyone else, it's nice to allow mystery its space, to let it be what it is.  And once we start seeing mystery and recognizing it for what it is, we start to realize the sublime beauty of all that's around us all the time.  We start to realize that everything can't be explained away, and this fact gives us a deeper appreciation for and acceptance of life as it is rather than trying to turn life into what we think it should be.

Questions to consider:

What are some things that are truly mysterious to you?

Do we really need to explain everything?  Why do we so often try to do so?

How might we get better at recognizing--and appreciating--mystery when we come across it?

For further thought:

Most of us encounter a great deal more Mystery than we are willing to experience.  Sometimes knowing life requires us to suspend disbelief, to recognize that all our hard-won knowledge may only be provisional and the world may be quite different than we believe it to be.  This can be very stressful, even frightening.  But if we are not willing to wonder, we may have to hang up the phone on life.

Rachel Naomi Remen

more on mystery



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