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Posted By Opening the Heart

     One cannot stay on the summit forever.

     So why bother in the first place? Just this:

     What is above knows what is below-

     But what is below does not know what is above.

     One climbs and one sees-

     One descends and sees no longer.

     But one has seen!

     There is an art to conducting oneself in

     The lower regions by what one has seen higher up.

     When one can no longer see

     One can at least still remember.      Mount Analogue Rene Daumel

   There is a beautiful piece of music written by Hector Berlioz called "L'Enfance du Christ". Within it is a piece called the Departure of the Shepherds. In that poignant scene the shepherds are leaving the scene of Jesus' birth. So in this winter solstice season of reflection and turning inward, of the Dark Run, I wondered what it must have been like to walk away from a miracle. Had I ever really experienced a miracle myself? As I ask this question, writing at my grandfather's roll top desk, I look up 6 inches at pictures of my son, my daughter, my wife, and I just smile. So what really is a miracle? It is, I think, a divine descension of grace, undeserved, but, nonetheless, bestowed. Meister Eckhart, a 14th century theologian, said "Miracles seem to happen more when I pray".

   So maybe a miracle is a coincidence, seen through a spiritual perspective. Then, is a miracle something unusual and amazing that happens and we witness or experience it, or does it happen more from inside out? If we are awake, conscious, looking for the good, or miracles, we, in a true sense, create them. This view is in alignment with what the new mindfulness researchers in the field of happiness tell us.

   Let's go back to the shepherds: how could they possibly return to their ordinary lives? How could their lives not be transformed? They would see everything differently through eyes of having seen a world-changing transformation.

   At the end of an Opening the Heart workshop, we read to participants Rene Duamal's poem (above). It's a way of reminding us that the ascension of the mountain is, in and of itself, of value even when we must, inevitably, descend again from the summit. It's of value because by having taken the miracle in, we have become changed. We have changed even though the natural rhythms continue of life's openings and closings. To each living thing there is a season, an opening and a closing: the breath, the seasons, the day, the natural Life-Death-Life cycle. On December 9th I looked out my office window at my serenity garden and I saw a miracle. There it was in the 8 inch turquoise pot sitting on my garden wall: one yellow pansy. On December 10th it was gone, but I had seen and I will remember that bright flower until I plant again in April.

   With Love and Respect, JonJon

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