Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mantra




Live this day.  Don’t live in the past.  Regret for the past is a waste of spirit.  The future is a season unborn.  Don’t stare off into the east hoping for a better day tomorrow.  This moment is now.  It is all we have.

Live this day.  The rain has come after a mild winter and a long drought.  It flows through canyons and stream beds that were dry only yesterday.  Things change.  Impermanence.  Suffering.  These are the companions accompanying us on our journey.  Embrace them.

Live this day.  Listen to the music and the silence.  Dance, even when you are the only one who hears the drumbeats in the distance.  Speak only when you can improve the silence.  The way that can be spoken is not the way.  Bear witness.

Live this day.  We are all dying from the moment we are born.  All stories move to their inevitable conclusions.  In every death, a resurrection.  In every cross, a redemption.  Open the church of your heart.  See infinity in the eyes of the other.  The story is eternal; we are only chapters in the greater narrative.

Live this day.  The sky always loves you no matter what you’ve done.  There is no greater sin than to have never lived.  A boat longing for the sea, yet afraid.  Don’t let life be too strong for you; it takes life to love life.  This is the distance we must travel, and in the end, we finish as we were born, naked and alone.

Live this day.  On cold and windy mornings it sometimes seems as if our hearts might burst.  Those who have gone never truly leave us. The stone rests at the bottom of the river of life.  Its metallic taste flavors every drop of water.  The river is everywhere at once; at the source, in the rushes and where a million drops fall into the greater sea to become one with the force of completion.  So we must live within the paradox—separate as part of a greater whole.  The river runs.

Live this day.  There is no past, there is no future.  There is just this moment.  Become a wise child, a holy sinner, a loving stranger.  We are all travelers in a foreign country.  This world does not belong to us.  We are only passing through this existence.

Live this day.  To be a teacher, you must forget everything and remember what it is like to be shrouded in darkness.  Remember the absence.  See every child as one who will spend 75 years being born and then die content having fought hard to come into this world only to slip away on a whisper of a last breath.  To live is to rage against the moon.  To live is to feel every life as your own.  To be a teacher means to see with the eyes of a child and relish every chance to learn, realizing that wisdom is the only treasure you’ll carry with you into the next life.

Live this day, in the wind and rain and stars.  In spring, summer, fall, and winter.  And when you pass, we will all say that even though you’ve gone, your journey goes on in blessed memory, in another place and time, another dimension, where you take the wings of dawn to live another day.

Thank you:      Walon Green
                        Mahatma Gandhi
                        Lao Tzu
                        Edgar Lee Masters
                        Hermann Hesse
                        Book of Psalms


2 comments:

Scott Presnall said...

Beautiful thoughts, Paul. Thanks; they're needed today.

Paul L. Martin said...

Thank you, Scott. Hope all is well.