Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary
“The great lesson from the true mystics … is that the sacred is in the ordinary, it is to be found in one’s daily life… in one’s own backyard.”
Becky Fox, RScP wrote, “Everything we experience can be a spiritual experience when we make the choice to slow down and see with new different eyes what we had labeled as insignificant.” In other words, sacredness is in the eyes of the beholder. We can make the choice to see events as holy or as banal.
Jack Kornfield writes about the qualities of spiritual maturity. He labels the tenth quality as ordinariness; he defines it as, “The simple presence in the moment that allows the mystery of life to show itself.” Recently, I had an opportunity see what he means. My wife and I were at home having lunch. I am a fast eater and on this particular day I was feeling pressure to get some work done so I ate even faster than usual. My wife on the other hand was taking her time with her meal. As I watched her I saw a look of peace and contentment on her face that moved me. Later I asked her about it and she said, “I always try to savor my meals and make them sacred.” It was a wonderful lesson of one person having a sacred experience in the moment while another rushed and totally missed it.
We can all have special moments when we transcend our humanity, and know with certainty there is something more, something which the cynics can’t erase and the world can’t wear down. Moments of hope which ease our pain, temper our despair, relax our tension and defuse our anger. Believe these feelings, know that God is always within and accessible. Know that truth, love, and beauty are our gifts, and while we may only see brief glimpses behind the curtain, that doesn’t negate our experiences.
When my wife and I teach classes at our center, she has a set of chimes that she rings every 15-20 minutes. When we hear the bells, everything stops for twenty seconds as we go within and acknowledge the presence of God. It’s a simple way to create a sacred moment to remember that everything begins and ends in Spirit. In 1513, Brother Giovanni wrote the following words, “Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty-beneath its covering-that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.” When we take the time to seek the sacred we heaven appears.