Emblem 067: Gratitude

It’s such bullshit. Everything I have I’ve earned. Other people haven’t had to work a day in their lives and they have things I’ll never have.

What is it I’m supposed to be grateful for? That my pain isn’t worse? That whoever keyed my car didn’t decide to smash the window while they were at it? That although I hate my job I have a job?

That I have both my legs, that soldiers don’t break down my door in the middle of the night and shoot everyone, that even though this is the city I can hear a mockingbird and he reminds me that the planet isn’t beyond repair, that it’s not too late? That I’m alive and suddenly aware of that while it’s still true?

My God, if I become grateful for my life where will it end?


Emblem 042: Keep yourself company

There may have been a time, long ago, when you suffered. Part of the suffering was that no one was there with you, no one came, no one knew.

Now, all these years later, you can change that.

Return to that time.

Sit with yourself. Be witness. Bring compassion. Plant understanding of what happened like a tree that will grow through your life bearing fruit and giving shade.

The one you were waiting for is you. Arrive.


Emblem 051: The holy land

A lot of us were raised with the tradition that the holy land is somewhere else. Or in our searching have created our own version of this idea. Jerusalem, Mecca. India, Tibet. Someplace far away.

But far has gotten nearer, two days if you make all your connections. And as the world gets smaller and rounder connections are easier to make. What goes around comes around, as they used to say.

This is the holy land—the intersection where you wait for the light to change, the restaurant where you meet your friend, the place where you turn off the TV or close the book and head for bed. You live on the holy mountain, at the foot of the world tree, at the center of the universe.


Emblem 041 The second chance

If you like, you can accept this invitation to a guided meditation. To do so, make yourself comfortable. And imagine.

You’ve reached the very end of your life, its last few moments. You’re not in pain, and although you know this is the end your mind is clear and you’re not afraid. You look calmly back over your life, which is spread out in front of you. You review what you gave your time to, and what you didn’t. What you’re glad of, and what you regret. You find yourself remembering something, a part of your life you’d like to change. This could be something you always meant to do but never quite did, something you did more of than you really wanted to, or something you’d just do differently. The more you reflect on it the clearer it becomes that this was important to you. Your regret grows clearer as well.

You think, if only you had another chance. If only you could go back and attend to this. Yes, it would be best if you could choose the age you returned to. But wouldn’t any time before the end of life be good enough?

Sometimes it happens that these wishes are heard, less often that they’re granted. Yet this is one of those times. You’re brought back to some point in your life before its end to address what you most want to address.

Welcome back.