Dear Friends ~ In meditative arts retreats that involve knitting or felting or other hand crafts, we often begin with a reflection on the gift of our hands, followed by a hand washing and massage ritual that each one gives to another. The human hand is a complex and wondrous feat of engineering design, combining the strength and power of a rock climber with the intricate dexterity of a pianist or watchmaker. The densest cluster of nerve endings in the entire body grace our fingertips, allowing us to feel the whisper touch of a butterfly, read Braille, or take the pulse of another's beating heart. Hands work clay, knead dough, transfer healing energy, clench, open, caress, beckon, communicate, wipe away tears, hold and let go. Hands help define us as human. They are the instruments of touch that connect us with one another. From the baby's first curious exploration of hands— "what strangers are these?" —to the elder's reckoning with gnarled, arthritic hands, our hands can teach us a great deal if we but let them. What stories would your hands tell? What memories do they hold? Can they invite you into a simple daily meditation on mindfulness, gratitude and wonder?
I dimly perceive that whilst everything around me is ever changing, ever dying, there is underlying all that change a living power that is changeless, that holds all together, that creates, dissolves, and re-creates. . . . in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.