From Sorrow to Triumph: Making Every Moment of Life Sacred

Before Zen, mountains were mountains and trees were trees. During Zen, mountains were thrones of the spirits and trees were the voices of wisdom. After Zen, mountains were mountains and trees were trees.

~OLD BUDDHIST PROVERB

No matter where we are along our journey, we are in a moment of the ceremony of life. As the proverb above suggests, as we mature spiritually, we realize that what we once regarded as mundane is actually the very most beautiful thing in the world. Indeed, that such sacred beauty is normal and that it comprises the daily stuff of our lives is the simple and profound nature of things that we get to exist in every day. Letting life be the meaning of life itself is what it means to live life as ceremony, for in that sacred undoing, every moment is revolutionary and evolutionary.

[How to Save the World on Your Way to the Bathroom]

The portrait of this ceremonial life is imbued with the knowing that every moment is either teaching us something or offering itself up for our enjoyment. And somehow, without knowing why, we know that this way of living is the deep drink of life. In this way, the sacred offering of life becomes more and more apparent and more and more clear. It comes to life right before our very eyes, and what we realize is it was always there. Perhaps we missed it before, but not again.Ceremony-Called-Life_CVR

Whatever happens is a part of our lives, and by virtue of that simple qualification, it is good. It is fine, it is enough, it simply is. Moments of triumph are just as precious as getting lost on the road, for both are precisely what get us home in the right moment. It can be too easy to miss in a world where our orientation is so far removed from the sacredness of every moment, and yet it is definitive: every moment is an opportunity, an invitation home.

Every moment offers itself to us as a blank canvas, and upon it we have the pristine privilege to project whatever we are holding inside. Aware of this, we remain sharp and more sharp to gift ourselves the life we know is possible: we project from our heart the simple present love of our being. When there is a vision that arrives in divine ways or as a surprise within our heart, we project and share that too. And we trust in life to take us where we need to be even when we cannot see the way or recognize the steps. We tune back in relentlessly again and again to make sure we are seeing ourselves and our lives the way God is.

[What Happens to the Brain During Meditation?]

We meditate. We meditate every day until life itself becomes the meditation. We recognize the gift of the cherry blossoms to be a reminder from God of the impermanence of all things, for after two weeks, they are gone. We watch the seasons cycle and come and go and the snake shed his skin; we watch the phase of the moon change. We watch the stars fall and the clouds collide into storms, and miraculously still, we watch a new day be born in clearness and sunshine and calm.

In moments of darkness, confusion, and destitution, we give ourselves over. We enter into the divine give-up for life to take us, to forget it all and to die, to be demolished, to be turned into dust and reborn. And we beat on. Reborn after tragedy, we drink a Cherry Coke and watch the beaten flag wave in the wind. Ragged and worn it is, but it is upon the pole again and waving. It is ready once more.

A new dawn heralds, life begins anew, spring comes, and you cry upon the grass the tears of heaven, thrown into a gratitude beyond you, blown open into the mystery of this life, at her heels merciless and kissing the ground. Now, again, a newness in your steps. “Thank you, Earth, for holding these feet as they walk. Thank you for having me,” you say in silence. Your whole being vibrates at the frequency of the sun itself and the brilliant light of universe untold—the universes untold of your heart. And your curiosity, humility, and love of it all lead the way.

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

Silence is born unto you. A home in the high mountains of Tibet still does not feel right, for your heart still comes alive at the sound of the city streets. And so, alone in your home, comfortable with a good book, interruption comes. The phone rings. It is a trivial matter, and you are upset, but you laugh. You laugh silently at yourself for your humanity. You laugh with your humanity itself. You laugh at the absurdity of it all. “What can I do,” you say, “but be me? What more can I do? What more can I give?”

On and on it goes. You explore your brilliance through another day. Or your sorrow. Or your enchantment. And in the twilight of the days of null, you watch, you wait, you listen. Within your inner gaze, you laugh with, wait—who is that? Yourself? God? You laugh with the cosmic presence at the marvel that life ever came to be, that here you are, sitting amongst it, knowing less than you ever did, and infinitely richer. And you begin.

 

 


Adapted from A Ceremony Called Life: When Your Morning Coffee Is as Sacred as Holy Water by Tehya Sky. Copyright © 2016 by Tehya Sky. To be published in July 2016 by Sounds True.

{Image credit: Pixabay}

 

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