Minute Meditations

Time Speeds by Us

Time speeds by, one event falling into another. I see this now. Was I in danger of reaching the end without stopping to see what was being given? I kept looking up and another year was gone. Another holiday. Another birthday. I was living in my mind. I wasn’t really here. Now a door swings open and life is looking back at me. The roses, the trees, the birds, the stars. Everything is watching. I ask myself, where have I been? While I was lost in lists of things to do and goals to realize, where was I?

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

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Eating Is a Moral Act

Christianity is one religion that places upon us the obligation to care for the least of our sisters and brothers here on earth if we want to share the banquet the Lord of hosts has prepared in heaven for those who believe. The image of an overflowing cornucopia reminds us that eating ought to be not only an obligation but a celebration. Such a table is a sign of hospitality. When a cook prepares everything from scratch for her guests, no one doubts the efficacy of her loving care for each ingredient. Everyone leaves the table in a jovial mood, satisfied in body and soul, having been the happy recipients of another’s hospitality. We leave the table with a full stomach but, more important, our spirit feels bathed in the warmth of love.

—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit

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No Longer Lost, but Not Yet Found

A single sentence, a single word, a single awareness may turn life over, and while you may not yet be found, you are no longer lost. It is impossible to express. Your dream of the world is unmasked, creating an opening. The night, however dark, is not endless, because in that smallest opening you glimpsed light moving in the dark. It was the first real thing you have known.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

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Take Nothing for Granted

Gratefulness brings joy to my life. How could I find joy in what I take for granted? So I stop “taking for granted,” and there is no end to the surprises I find. A grateful attitude is a creative one, because, in the final analysis, opportunity is the gift within the gift of every given moment. Mostly this means opportunities to see and hear and smell and touch and taste with pleasure. But once I am in the habit of availing myself of opportunities, I will do so even in unpleasant situations creatively.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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Learn to Savor Life

We need to reawaken the art and discipline of what it means to “taste and savor.” Instead of swallowing our food almost whole, we may have to ruminate upon it as we ought to do with a favorite text. When a dish is as delightful to see as it is to eat, it ought not to embarrass us to ask for a second helping. Rather than rushing to leave the table, we may discern that slower eating is as necessary for bodily nourishment as slower reading is for spiritual enlightenment.

—from the book Table of Plenty: Good Food for Body and Spirit

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The Life Force in the Universe

There is a life force flowing through the universe, and everything exists in a single moment, forever unfolding. I open myself to the stream. I want to be emptied and purified so that the past is no longer my lens—so that it no longer colors what I see. What will it be like to look without fear or expectation, to see things with nothing in the way? Who will I be if I am not afraid, but alive? There is everything to experience, and the portal beyond the darkness to know…. I am not limited to my name. I know this now. I am more than this body. I am not defined by the story I tell or the experiences life has given me. I have experienced sorrow, but sorrow is not essentially who I am. I am the small green shoot of a flower making its way through the dark. I am the spirit experiencing what it is to be here in this form.

—from the book Stars at Night: When Darkness Unfolds as Night

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Growing in Mindfulness

Is there a method for cultivating mindfulness? Yes, there are many methods. The one I have chosen is gratefulness. Gratefulness can be practiced, cultivated, learned. And as we grow in gratefulness, we grow in mindfulness. Before I open my eyes in the morning, I remind myself that I have eyes to see, while millions of my brothers and sisters are blind—most of them on account of conditions that could be improved if our human family would come to its senses and spend its resources reasonably, equitably. If I open my eyes with this thought, chances are that I will be more grateful for the gift of sight and more alert to the needs of those who lack that gift.

—from the book The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life

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