I know wonderful peace from my front porch after supper.
The day–the work day–is done. I am slowing down; I enjoy the outside world slowing down around me.
The air has more weight than at 6:45 this morning as the sky lightened. The light now softens. Sounds, even of the few cars passing right in front of my house, fade into the distance.
Birds have quieted. The wind has stilled to barely a breeze, resting from its full day’s huffing and puffing. Clouds brush the sky with the pale yellow of the sinking sun’s light.
Peace is everywhere. It cloaks the ground. It fills the sky. It embraces every tree. It tents each house. It cools my yes and whispers to my heart. Peace fills my being.
the blessing of these moments
slows everything down
to the stillness from which we know
that you are Peace.
You grace the drift from day to nighttime
with the blushing peace of evening:
pinking sky shyly kisses earth goodnight.
It feels a flannel shirt, a gift of what’s gone by,
and promising to be again tomorrow.
Thank you, GOD, for evening’s front porch peace.
And so it is. Amen. Amen.
In: Beauty, Happiness, Home, Peace, Peacefulness, Prayer, Work · Tagged with: Peace, Prayer, praying, spiritual simplicity, thanksgiving
Let’s not confuse gratitude with ‘thank you’. That was Expressing Peace #57. This is the gratitude that happens every day, involves you and another, and wants to be expressed.
Gratitude is the quality of “being
I’m taking as given that gratitude is good: a good experience to have, a good emotion to feel, and a good situation to be in. With that in mind, I suggest the good has 2 parts: good that we feel gratitude and good that we express it.
I suggest that 10% of the good is feeling and 90% of the good is expressing gratitude. I could be wrong; it might be 1% feeling and 99% expressing.
Remember a recent time when someone did something that made you happy or relieved or secure or refreshed or anything pleasant? Did you feel good when you felt gratitude? Perhaps you think you felt gratitude because you felt good. Possible and if so there was probably a second feel good because feeling gratitude makes you feel good.
Gratitude is proven to protect us from stress, anxiety, negativity, and depression. And if feeling gratitude does that, consider how much more expressing your gratitude can do. William Arthur Ward, author of Fountains of Faith, said: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
You might think of keeping a Gratitude Journal. Invite yourself to jot down 3-5 occurrences each day for which you are grateful.
Share your gratitude. Whether you refer to your Gratitude Journal or not, build the commitment to thank someone sincerely every day for whatever they have provided you.
Be grateful to yourself. You perform actions, you say words, you experience thoughts and feelings that make you feel good. All your gratitude is not dependent on someone else or something else. Much of it starts with you. Expand that 10% feel good to 100% by expressing thanks to yourself.
What does this have to do with peace? It’s woven throughout gratitude. The peace from whoever or whatever lets you feel good. The peace from expressing that, i.e., giving someone the present you’ve already wrapped. The peace from knowing the connection with another.
And all that peace for sure points us to Peace.
Good Friend, GOD,
I love saying to another for helping me,
I love saying to the sun for rising,
I love saying to my legs for running,
my lungs for breathing,
my eyes for seeing,
I love knowing all this comes from you and saying,
My connection with this human life is such a special gift
it warrants thanks to everyone and everything and everytime
and everyplace over and again.
And thanks to you, Good Friend, for helping me stay mindful
that there cannot be too many “Thank you’s”.
And so it is.
In: Commitment, Happiness, Inner Peace, Peace, Prayer · Tagged with: Peace, Prayer, praying, spiritual simplicity
Usually when we begin to pray or meditate, we invite ourselves to silence.
That probably means we silence what we can: our spoken voice, the little voice in our mind, the physical distractions that we have the power to turn off. Only those things. Certainly we cannot control the ever-increasing barrage of sounds in the physical world around us.
Silence is an environment for peace. For some types of personal peace, silence may be prerequisite. Silence contributes to peace of mind, to inner peace, to peacefulness.
And, truth be known, silence is harder and harder to find. That is a shame because research shows that incessant noise around us
- Accelerates heart rate,
- Constricts the blood vessels,
- Elevates blood pressure,
- Interrupts sleep (which causes a “laundry list of ailments”.
What do we do? How do we immerse in silence and not just be silent ourselves?
We can visit Gordon Hempton’s One Square Inch, a sanctuary for silence at Olympic National Park in Washington state. But probably not every time we want to pray or meditate.
Meditation instructions are that we release the thoughts that intervene; we can try, when praying or contemplating, to ignore the physical noises in a similar way. That takes energy. Bold instructions to my mind to “silence the noise” have taken more energy still.
The recorded sounds on Hempton’s One Square Inch are not of silence but of beautiful nature: rain, birdsong, woodpecking, thunder, and more. Sounds not to be silenced but to be listened through. Listened through that we may hear the spiritual silence beyond the sensory beauty.
I suggest when listening for the silence, we listen through even the more mundane everyday noises. We release our being (mind/heart) to hear beyond the sounds of passing cars and slamming doors and public voices.
There is a silence filled with Peace. To hear that Peace we simply “overhear” the noises in the way.
Silent Speaking Spirit,
the blessing of being still and being quiet
is more than halfway to knowing Oneness in that moment
The added pleasure of knowing silence all around, hearing
and feeling its beauty carries me the rest of the way.
Experiencing the symphony beyond the earthtime noises
is more than hearing. It is loving Peace not just within
but also all around me.
It lets me love that silence is not the absence of anything;
it is the presence of Everything.
And so it is. Amen. Amen.
Enjoy Silence. Express Peace.