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Embodied Spirit: Uncovering the Sacred in Everyday Life

October 4, 2022

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle"

Albert Einstein

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky
So it was when my life began,
So it is now I am a man,
So it will be when I grow old
Or let me die!
The child is the father of the man
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each
By Natural pietyā€¯

William Wordsworth

Hearts leaping up! Remember as children, those joyful moments of "natural piety", of wonder and awe. Unmediated by thought, effortlessly sensing our sacred connectedness with life. Can we still know this kind of wonder? Can the miracle of life be felt as we grow older?

During a recent Zoom retreat, we were asked, "how would you define sacred?" I have been reflecting on that since.

The dictionary defines sacred as related to God or something of religious purpose. While that is true, it is incomplete. Sacred moments reveal themselves in the experience of oneness, deep intimacy, and connectedness. Something is sacred when we experience sacredness. What does that really mean?

Does sacredness exist outside of our capacity to realize it? Does it exist somehow in itself? I don't know.

What I do know is that we awaken sacredness in a moment through our caring, loving attention. Sacredness is an interaction that requires a consciousness that can surrender itself to an "other", such that the two become one in that moment. As walls of separation fall, we become permeable to life, allowing potential sacredness to emerge.

When Einstein said: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle", he was pointing toward the POTENTIAL of sacredness being experienced in everyday life.

This realization is both the opportunity and the task of the awakening human being. Through this capacity, we bring love, joy, and endless, unremitting gratitude into the world.

Thankfully and surprisingly, this realization is not as far from us as it might seem. How staggering to discover how many opportunities for sacred moments I miss every day!

The key move is to pause and freshly devote (from the word "vow", or "consecrate") one's attention to something of beauty or something we can value in that moment.

When we step out of our inner dialogues and self-stories, there is always something of beauty or something of value immediately accessible. True?

Even when we cannot appreciate the outer world, our spiritual/human role of being the place where life becomes conscious of itself is enough for a sense of devotion, a sense of miracle.

Do we need to lose and then thankfully recover basic functions - seeing, hearing, feeling, breathing - to be awed by the ordinary?

Can we simply (maybe not so simple at times) practice the art of stepping back from our mental habits and self-obsession, as we welcome the rainbows and the miracles of everyday life?

So many moments, I am lost.

So many moments, I am found.

The path of the "I am" unfolds.

Beginningless and Endless...


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