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Posted By Opening the Heart

   So, as I understand it, Moses was at the top of the mountain for a long time. Can you imagine hanging with the Major Dude for that long? He must have had every bad karma and inclination to badness just burned out of him, wouldn't you think? Anyway, I guess the shephard was up there too long for the flock and the crowds below started to lose the vision. Doubt crept in on little camel feet. They started partying and pretty soon they naturally went to the ancient bad habit of golden calf building. Well, when Moses finally came down and saw the goings on, he was, excuse the term,, "pissed as a New York cabdriver", and he smashed the tablets to the ground right then and there and he turned around and started his march back up to the top. So, what's my point?... I always wondered about those first broken tablets. What was written on them? Was it the same ten commandments? What happened to those broken holy pieces with God's word written on them?

   The scene I imagine is George and Marge on vacation taking a hike up Mount Sinai and George looks down and calls out to Marge: "Hey Marge! Have a look at this. It looks like very old pieces of stone with maybe some writing on them." "George, all these rocks are the same. Come and see this beautiful view from here." And George's attention passes to a natural scene of wonder.

   And it makes me think, what other holy things do we pass over every day? In some Eastern traditions, it's called seeing with "Beginner's Eyes"- seeing things as if for the first time. It really is a practice of gratitude and I believe it can start anywhere you are. Don't move, don't go to a beautiful place, just close your eyes, go inside and breathe. The breath is a holy thing. Nothing in life happens without the breath. Watch as it comes in and fills the lungs and become aware of exactly when the inbreath changes to the outbreath, all the way to the end, and, again, becomes the inbreath.

   Now try using your eyes to settle on whatever is around you, something you may have seen a thousand times before. This time see it for the first time. See every detail of it so that if you closed your eyes, you could describe it to every perfect detail. Change your attention to the sense of smell. Maybe you need to approach something that has an aroma. A flower in your garden will do. Smell it as if for the first time. Let all of your awareness take it in.

   Go for a short walk and feel the miracle of legs moving your body. An appreciation of the mundane by bringing full attention to it is a kind of prayer of gratitude. Don't miss a thing. Take it all in. Pay attention. Meister Eckhart, a 14th century German mystic, said that "Coincidences happen more when I pray". When we pay attention- really pay attention- in the moment, we are, as the poet, Rumi, says "bowing down to kiss the ground".

   So what are the takeaways here? Keep the faith Sweet One- don't go building golden calves; look for the holy in the Everyday and make it a sacred practice; pay attention as well as you can to every moment you are given the gift of breath.

   With Love and Respect, Jon