Present Moment (After Thich Nhat Hanh)

Spirit of Life,
Great immensity of love
in which we live and move and have our being:

Now is the time of great winds dipping into the trees
and stirring them into life;
of fast-moving clouds and sudden showers
of snow and rain;
of squirrels coming back to the ground.

Now is the early spring.

How we long for flowers and green leaves.
How we long for fragrance and color.
How we long to shed layers of coats and scarves
and feel the warm sun on our skin.
But nothing we can do will hurry the season—
life happens on its own time.

So let us let go of our longing for the future.
Let us come into the present moment.
Let us be aware of our breath.

Breathing in, let us calm our bodies.
Breathing out, let us smile.
Breathing in, we calm our bodies.
Breathing out, we smile.

With awareness of our breath
we awaken to this moment
and the beauty all around us.

Blessed be.

(With thanks to Thich Nhat Hanh.)

When Great Storms Come

Spirit of Life, source of all change:

Heavy rain has been falling for many weeks now
and great winds have been blowing.
Roots can’t hold in the saturated ground,
and giant trees are falling,
crushing houses, cars, and power lines.
Streams and rivers are flooding,
roads and bridges collapsing,
dams and levees failing.

It feels like the end of the world.

Spirit of Life,
when great storms come
and break apart everything we know,
and we are more afraid than we have ever been,
help us remember to breathe:
to feel the good oxygen enter our lungs
and the carbon dioxide exit.

Breathing in, we breathe in love.
Breathing out, we release our fear.
Breathing in, we breathe in love.
Breathing out, we release our fear.

Help us remember that whatever happens
You are always with us,
always within us and all around us.
You are the love that will not let us go:
the love that will not let us go.

Blessed be.

Photo by Carol White

Deepening Cold and Frantic Motion

Spirit of Life, Source and Sustainer of all,

The water of lakes now begins to freeze
around the edges.
Snow showers fall in great veils
between sky and horizon.
Snowflakes swirl madly,
tossed in currents of freezing air.
People rush from place to place
in a frenzy of holiday preparations.

In this time of deepening cold and frantic motion,
let us take a moment now and then to be still.
Let us find our calm center.
Let us take a breath, into our belly,
and let it out.
And another, in, and out.
And one more, in, and out.

As we find that calm center
let us become aware of our hearts,
these hearts that can feel so much:
love, joy, sorrow, pain, anger, fear. Love.

May our hearts be warmed
by each other’s presence.
May our hearts be strengthened
by this good company.
May love abound here,
and may we share this abundance of love
with all whom we meet.

Spirit of life and of love,
we thank you for our lives.

Blessed be.