Friday, December 1, 2017

The Time of Miracles


I woke up this morning.

What more can one ask for?

The light came to the sky, as it has done without fail ever day of my long life.

Isn’t that enough? Why do we make so much fuss about long-lasting oil and virgin births?

I sat in the same posture with the same rhythmic breathing as someone named Buddha did 2500 years ago. Isn’t that extraordinary?

I lit a match to light my incense. And wondered who made that incense and how? Who made the match and how did they make it? And how does it work? And who figured that out?

If we truly paid attention, we would spend our days in constant amazement, in awe of the miracle of each and every moment, each and every creation.  How does oatmeal cook? Why do some sounds feel like music and some sights feel like art? How did Bach do what he did? I mean, really.

Some say that human beings were created for one purpose only—to notice and praise the miracle of creation. And to participate in that process of creation, making matches, masterworks by Monet or Mozart, machines that allow people thousands of miles away to read these words. To be born a human being is in itself a great accomplishment, full of remarkable promise and possibility.

And what do we do? We grumble, we whine, we complain, we want more and more of the things we don’t need. We use our hands to hurt and harm, use our minds to create whole systems of hate, use our hearts to shut down feeling. And then sit back with unbearable hubris and keep excusing ourselves from wasting our promise.

You see how I’ve fallen into whining and complaining? My clever mind is justifying it, insisting that this is complaint with purpose and that’s partly true. But you see how it has distracted me from the witness of the next miracle.

So the calendar has turned to December, a month that includes Buddha’s Enlightenment Day (December 8), Hanukkah (December 12-20), Rumi’s Wedding Night (December 17), the turn of the light at the Winter Solstice (December 21), Jesus Christ’s birthday (December 25th), New Year’s Eve (December 31). A month dedicated to the miraculous as some see it. But again, isn’t each and every day, and each and every moment in every day, an invitation to partake of the miracle of mere existence?

I think so. And you?

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