Sunday, 14 August 2011

Recognising the Sacred.

Our world is scared of sacred. Naming it is unacceptable. Imagine taking ‘sacred’ into the vocabulary of a corporate business meeting, into brokering a major financial deal, into a discussion of medical diagnoses with a team of Harvard physicians, or into a pub with members of a rugby team.

As a planet, we are sad and heavy, filled with fear and rage. We easily speak of violence, retribution, war, famine, sexual abuse, corruption, factory farming, pesticides, crime, inequality, judgment, shame, swindling and greed. So we should. It must all be named, there is no turning away from the truth of what we have created.
Yet when a pink and white rosebud peaks out at the start of spring, can we find a small space in our hearts to stop and recognize its delicacy?

We have such a need for protection that it has become difficult to let in tenderness and sweetness. To do so means to also feel the pain that is overwhelming us all. But if we don’t, we die. Probably physically, since we’ve been on a careless, adrenaline-filled roller coaster ride of destruction for so long. Certainly we die emotionally and spiritually though. It takes such intensity to access our emotions these days; only passionate love affairs, traumatic world events, and personal tragedy will do. The intensity of life inures us to the fragile appreciation of silence, to the scent of wild sage, to the touch of a toddler’s soft hand on our cheeks.

Sacred is quiet. It takes stillness to connect with it. It requires patience, slow breathing and watchfulness. We catch the sacred the way a lynx catches a bird; softly, with focus and perseverance.
Bringing the sacred back into our hearts through recognizing one tiny moment of it at a time is the start of shifting our trajectory from destruction and chaos back to peace, love, joy and equanimity. And we can only do it for ourselves, by ourselves, bit by bit. Yet each moment that we do so is transformative.

Sometimes it takes real horror to awaken us to our need for a change of consciousness. Turning our attention towards sweetness nourishes our hearts enough that we can find space within them to care for one another.

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