January 2014 (Vol. XXVII, No. 1)

Welcome to the unfolding of a new year! At this turning of the season, we look back with gratitude on the past and peer hopefully into the future. Outside, shortened days and wintry chill seem to suspend time as nature burrows in to wait. Snow has cast its icy aura over barren trees silhouetted against a soundless, white landscape. And yet beneath the ice, the seeds of spring are waiting to be born anew. Perhaps we too need to slow our heart rates, burrow down within our souls, and gather near the warmth and light to discover the timelessness of grace. Let the gift of winter be the practice of being fully present to each sacred moment as we wait to see what will be born anew within our hearts.

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In each hour there is the power of a now

They are not long,
These days to be,
But a taste of eternity.
Yet in each day,
In each hour,
There is the power
Of a Now
That stretches timeless
In its core
And knows eternity
Be not more.

~ from FROM THE CENTER by Robert J. Hope

In the great silence of this moment

I abandon all that I think I am, all that I hope to be, all that I believe I possess. I let go of the past, I withdraw my grasping hand from the future, and in the great silence of this moment, I alertly rest my soul.

~ from DEEP IS THE HUNGER by Howard Thurman
Deep Is the Hunger
By Howard Thurman

For a child all time is by and large NOW time

For a child, time as the great circus parade of past, present, and future, cause and effect, has scarcely started yet and means little because for a child all time is by and large NOW time and apparently endless. What child, while summer is happening, bothers to think much that summer will end? What child, when snow is on the ground, stops to remember that not long ago the ground was snowless? It is by content rather than its duration that a child knows time, by its quality rather than its quantity — happy and sad times.

~ from THE SACRED JOURNEY by Frederick Buechner

So what is yet to be may somehow birth in me

I live in unfamiliar places:
The unknowing of empty spaces
Between what was and what is yet to be.
It is the hardest earthly place for me
To dwell within, pause, absolutely still.
Knowing only God and love can fill
The wanting, one drop at a time.

It's only through the heart's abiding
That Wisdom might be found hiding
In the shadows of such Sacred Pause.
I offer up what was to mourn in empty spaces,
Let go of worn embraces
So what is yet to be
May somehow birth in me.

~ Pam Breau in PRESENCE, Vol. 10, No 3

The perfect vehicle for our spiritual growth

In this well ordered universe, the perfect vehicle for our spiritual growth and unfoldment is exactly our present situation.

~ Sevakra

Help us to live in the eternal moment

As spring and summer follow
autumn and winter,
so our lives have their seasons.
Help us to live in the eternal moment,
awaiting your perfect timing
in all things.

~ from #105 in PSALMS FOR PRAYING

The rest we take between two deep breaths

Life may be brimming over with experiences, but somewhere, deep inside, all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go. And sometimes the most important thing in the whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inward in prayer for five short minutes.

~ from AN INTERRUPTED LIFE by Etty Hillesum

Beginning to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is

In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts... It's essential during the day ... to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.

~ Pema Chodron

Read the Eternities

Read not the Times,
read the Eternities.

~ Henry David Thoreau
Walden
By Henry David Thoreau

There has never been a time when you and I have not existed

There has never been a time
when you and I have not existed...
There will never be a time
when we will cease to be.

~ from the BHAGAVAD GITA
The Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Edition
By Eknath Easwaran

when each instant is sacred

when each day
is sacred
when each hour
is sacred
when each instant
is sacred

earth and you
space and you
bearing the sacred
through time
you'll reach
the fields of light.

~ Guillevic, Breton

Re-finding the beginning of time

Follow anything in its act of being — a snowflake falling, ice melting, a loved one waking — and we are ushered into the ongoing moment of the beginning, the quiet instant from which each breath starts. What makes this moment so crucial is that it continually releases the freshness of living. The key to finding this moment and all its freshness, again and again, is slowing down. When we find ourselves stalled in our very serious and ambitious plans, we are often being asked to re-find the beginning of time.

~ from THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by Mark Nepo

Time is not at all what it seems

Time is not at all what it seems. It does not flow in only one direction, and the future exists simultaneously with the past.

~ Albert Einstein
The World As I See It
By Albert Einstein

Every second belongs to eternity

What a treasure this life is!
Every second belongs to eternity.

~ St. Therese of Lisieux, Collected Letters #96

Make me, O Lord, at last, a simple thing

Make me, O Lord, at last, a simple thing
Time cannot overwhelm.
Once I transcended time
A bud broke to a rose.
And I rose from a last diminishing.

~ from "In Evening Air" (abridged) in THE COLLECTED POEMS OF THEODORE ROETHKE, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles