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Reading & Meditation (Oneness) Rev. Teresa 3/14/21 text

Reading & Meditation by Rev. Teresa 3/14/2021

We all have moments of appreciating what we see or taste or smell - just as it is. We relax and out of nowhere we accept our experience without wanting anything to be more or less or different. We feel that everything, at least for the moment, is complete.

When our mind is open and fresh, we see beauty everywhere, including within ourselves. There’s a sense of savoring the uniqueness of each moment. Things have never been just the way they are now. Nor will they ever be just this way again. We’re in tune with the transience of the world, with its poignancy and its profound richness.

The idea of appreciating things just as they are is simple and accessible, but it’s also very profound. It’s the key to feeling warm and loving toward others and toward ourselves. This ability to open, to experience things freshly, is always present in our mind. We may not sense it at all times, but it is waiting in the background. The question then is how to uncover this ability, how to contact it, how to nurture it. How can we learn to spend more and more of our time in this state of mind? How can we develop trust in the completeness of ‘just as it is’?

The first step is to realize the importance of how we choose to orient our minds. We may find that we’re habitually focused on incompleteness. We have thoughts such as “I am unworthy, I am lacking, the world is nothing but problems.” With this outlook, we will see imperfection wherever we look and always feel dissatisfied.

To begin healing this negative orientation, one simple approach is to practice noting whatever we appreciate. We can take note of even the most ordinary things, such as the way the light hits someone’s face or reflects off the side of a building. It could be the taste of your ordinary lunch with its various shades of sweet, salty, sour or bitter. It could be a piece of music or a painting or the way someone moves. It could be a voice you hear. Maybe a stranger has just opened her mouth and you discover to your surprise that she has a beautiful accent. To appreciate people and things in this way doesn’t take a big effort, but it warms our hearts and makes us feel connected to the world. It’s a lot more pleasant than collecting grievances from morning till night, which can easily happen if we just let ourselves go with the momentum of our habits.

We can also make a point of appreciating all that we have. In my case, now that I’m in my eighties, I could be complaining about my physical pain, my wrinkles, my dental problems - all kinds of things come to mind. And sometimes I do complain! But if my practice is appreciation, I can think about how I’m still able to go for long walks. My older sister, who used to be a big hiker, has arthritic feet and can no longer walk far. She has a good spirit, so she doesn’t complain. But her arthritis makes me realize, every time I go for a walk, how grateful I am for my legs and feet and hips. How wonderful that they all work, and I can be refreshed and invigorated by my walks, rather than end up in so much pain that I don’t want to do it anymore.

We can lose these abilities at any time. But I still have my eyesight and, even though it’s not what it used to be, and I need reading glasses, I can still experience all the colors of the rainbow. I can see the changing of the seasons, the wetness on leaves, the wind blowing the trees. And my hearing is still pretty good. One of my friends has lost most of his hearing, to the point where hearing aids don’t really help. One day he put his hand on mine and said, “I would give anything just to be able to sit and listen to the birds.” And I thought, I can listen to the birds. I really need to bring that ability into focus and appreciate not while I have it.

Pema Chodron, Welcoming the Unwelcome, Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World, pp 42 – 44

Meditation – Oneness

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

God is in me, God is as me, God is all around me.

I am floating in an ocean of God.

My physical body contains salt just like the ocean.

The blood in my body is like a private ocean inside me, pulsing life.

God is in me, God is as me, God is all around me.

I am one with the ocean of God.

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

When I look into the third eye in my forehead, I sometimes see the blue of the ocean.

When I am quiet, with my eyes closed in meditation,

I sometimes feel the pulsing energy of the ocean waves inside me.

I am floating in an ocean of God.

God is in me, God is as me, God is all around me.

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

I am never separate from God.

God is as close as my heartbeat.

God is as close as my breath.

God is in me, God is as me, God is all around me.

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

I am a drop of water in an ocean of God.

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