Editor’s Note from David Arenson: Illana Berger earned a Ph.D in Spirituality & Transformation with an emphasis in Traditional Knowledge and Recovery of the Indigenous Mind. In this poetic parable, she writes evocatively on living the sacred life. A must-read for the modern mystic.
When Whitman wrote, “I sing the body electric”
I know what he
I know what he
to be completely alive every moment
in spite of the inevitable.
we can’t cheat death but we can make it
work so hard
that when it does take
it will have known a victory just as
~ Charles Bukowski ~
The sun rises over the horizon and bursts into my room asking, begging me to awaken!
I open my weary eyes and notice that a joy is arising in my chest and a smile slowly emerges as I realize it is a new day. Another 24 hours to experience the magic of my ordinary life. The sacred is right here, right now!
I am often asked how does one live a sacred life as if living life in a sacred way is a different road map than the one you are on.
The road you are walking right now in your life is a sacred pathway to holiness. The difference between my life and perhaps yours, is that I am present to how sacred every encounter, every challenge, every sunrise and sunset is. Even the perfection of the trash in the street or the traffic jam slowing me down and making me late to an appointment. It really comes right down to consciousness.
We live in a time when it seems that our society, our culture has lost touch with what is sacred. Perhaps we have lost our understanding of what “sacred” means.
There is a quote from the Bible that says: “God was in this place, but I, I did not know it.” That’s it right there. This very place is holy ground. Spirit, God, The Great Mystery is right here, but you just don’t know it.
Life is full of distractions. Children needing to be cared for, complicated schedules organized, work commitments, bills to pay, meetings to attend, and of course emails to answer along with tweets and facebook and on-line scrabble!
We have lost or perhaps just forgotten that we are not just our mind, and for those of you who use your body, we are not just a body either.
We are spiritual beings living inside of a body accompanied, guided, directed and encouraged by a mind. Our bodies live within a “body politic” that has become our moral, emotional, and cultural touch-stone for living our lives. The culture we are living in however distracts us from what is essential. Rather, we are accosted by advertising, noise, distractions and the quickening of time which takes away from ourself and directs our attention out there someplace.
The goal of any lifetime, the world’s spiritual traditions teach, is to journey toward self-discovery. On that journey we ultimately arrive at the shores of our own destiny to find our “Self” standing there.
For most of us this takes a whole lifetime.
It is when the last days of our life arrive and the angel of death is at our door that we ask ourselves “what was this all about? How do I leave all this that is SO precious to me, when I never really realized just how precious life was?”
Of course it is the small things that, at that moment, become tender hearted: the scent of a rose, the song of a bird, the kind gesture of a friend, the falling golden leaves in autumn, and the chill of a winter rain.
At the end of our days we might take a moment to realize that the love welling up in our heart at the sight of our son or daughter or our grandchild or partner is precious beyond words. But in the day to day unfolding of our busy lives, all that is so precious to us at the end of our life, is usually skipped over most of our life.
When you stop, listen and feel the moment right now – the sanctity of this now moment becomes palpable.
And, when you take time every day to smell the roses, to feel the love for your family right in the middle of your chest, or to take in the sound of the breeze blowing through the trees, you are able to absorb the blessings in your life – in this very moment, you discover that your life is sacred.