Friday, April 18, 2014
By RYAN BRENNAN
Life is a miracle. To be alive is to have been granted the greatest, most incomprehensible gift. Each moment is an opportunity to encounter ourselves by way of the myriad manifestations of physicality and consciousness. We are spirit embodied. We are here to discern that which is essential within us and to give it voice, that is, to share. We are here to know ourselves so that we may know all others. We are here to let the miracle that is life come to fruition within us and to let it be born, with fluidity and grace, through us.
REFLECTIONS is a column written by members of Maine’s faith-based community. Opinions expressed in the column reflect the author’s view and not necessarily that of the newspaper.
When we are in touch, deeply, with the center of our beings and thus with the heart of life, we see that we do not need much, that the majority of things and endeavors with which we so often preoccupy ourselves are unnecessary and in fact lead us astray from that which is real and most crucial to our vitality.
When we are aligned with our source, all is stripped to the core. All is made, at once, much more simple and yet far more profound. We concern ourselves no more with the petty worries of our daily routines, and are wondrously opened up to the infinite beauty and richness of the present moment.
If we let it, the mystery reveals itself, and we need do nothing but rejoice. We rejoice in the fact of our being. We rejoice because we are. It is so simple. It is so inconceivably immense -- to be.
We do not need possessions, we do not need titles, we do not need accolades and praise. We need nothing but what is utterly essential for the cultivation and continuation of this pressing miracle.
That which is worth most in life is given freely. We need only receive it with gratitude. We need only be thankful for this opening and for the plentitude of its offerings.
So much in our world serves to distract us from authenticity. It at times seems impossible to undertake a single act with truth and integrity. We find ourselves in environments and social situations which degrade us and divide us and set us against ourselves. We cannot help but feel alienated, angry, lonely and lost. We cannot help but feel that something is missing. We cannot help but long for more.
That which we yearn for, however, must come only from within us. It is, in fact, already there. The miracle of existence wastes away if we are not aware of it as such. Each moment in which we do not wholly realize and appreciate the wonder of being alive is a moment tragically lost.
All is given. We need only see it. Transient joy and contentment come when we acquire a new material possession, a promotion, or an award.
True bliss arises upon the liberation of consciousness from its petty concerns, when a crack in the monotonous, daily drudge occurs and the spirit of limitless life floods eagerly, joyously in. We must seek out such stretches and feed them so that they may in turn nourish us. For life is lived only to the extent to which it is realized as being lived. We must be deeply aware of ourselves and of all that transpires around us, or else this opportunity will be missed.
Life will pass us by. Many lives, indeed, are spent without a single moment of deep awareness. One is born, one goes to school, one comes of age, one works, one marries, one has a family, one retires and one dies. One does and does and does, without ever knowing, really, that one is. Nothing is sadder than this loss, in which we all, in one way or another, take part.
Let every situation in which we find ourselves, then, be regarded as a precious chance to break free from the ordinary so as to enter into the mystery. It is up to us. It is our lives that are at stake. Let us be, deeply and fully. Let us not miss this moment. Let us not miss any moment. This is our time. Let us be present.
Ryan Brennan is a caseworker with Preble Street Resource Center in Portland.