There is a time of day, a moment like a sigh where obligation and necessity do not intrude. For me, that moment is the half hour before the house wakes. The rest of the day is crowded, if not with plans and duties, than with people. This beautiful sigh, it’s just for me though. I walk through the house while my mind drifts where it will and I’m moving through a Holsoe landscape, soft light exuding warmth and peace in every ordinary object. The steam rises languorously from the mug of tea as I glide through the house switching on small lights. The cats and dogs will lift their heads soon but now they’re still content to slumber. I curl up and read, look out the window and wait for the sunrise or write a letter to a friend. This golden time is a gift and it feeds me through the rest of the day.
(Artwork credited to Carl Vilhelm Holsoe)
"Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
For Charlie Brown, the proverbially discontent and Snoopy, the freest of spirits - this is a rare moment of contentment.
What is contentment? Is it having all that you desire or think you desire? Is it the ‘right’ partner, job or situation? Is it something you can tick off a list…travel the world ☑ , acquire the perfect body ☑, win the lottery ☑ and acquire contentment ☑.
For me and possibly others, it involves living wholly in this moment. It does not include worrying about what has passed and what is to come, for in doing so I would be partly living in the past and projecting into the unknown future. Also, it does not contain expectations or wishes. As soon as these enter the moment, the present becomes about ‘what if’ and cannot be complete, ever requiring the ‘right’ set of circumstances to complete it. Contentment comes from right now, being right here with whatever you have or don’t have and opening all of your senses. Being here now.
I’m sitting at the computer, a fan is quietly humming next to me. It’s bright and about 31°c - that’s hot for us. The heat is emananting from the concrete patio and the bricks of the house, and all I can think of is how good cool would feel. How do you feel when you look at this image though? I would love to be there, with the water all around, the moonlight’s gentle glow and peace. Only the splash of a waterbird or the whoo of an owl, the gentle sound of unhurried thoughts finding their way to you.
(apologies for the lack of credit, I couldn’t find any on the blog of origin)
"Western leaders should listen to the Dalai Lama and then examine their own relationship with China."
The headline from an article taken from the Mail online, makes some very good points, some deeply relevant issues to consider.
“While dropping into Britain to collect the Templeton Prize of £1.1m last month (and immediately giving it all away), Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama once again rattled the leaders of the People’s Republic of China by having the audacity to hold a sneaky meeting in the basement of St Paul’s Cathedral with David Cameron and Nick Clegg.
Right on cue came the Communist regime’s threats of ‘serious consequences’ towards our ‘conniving’ government for consorting with their arch enemy. It kicked these off by placing the British Ambassador to Beijing on the naughty step and cancelling a visit to the UK by one of their senior leaders. Not that this will be the end of it either, because there’s sure to be further leg slapping for our premier and his deputy that in all likelihood will amount to a reduction in pocket money for the rest of us.
Gosh, what a lot of bother we’re having to put up with over this 76-year-old monk who has given our new ‘bff’, the Chinese government, the run around for the past 60 years or so, spouting off about compassion, tolerance, peace and all that.”
In recent years we’ve witnessed quite a few occasions of China throwing the weight of its wallet around, threatening ‘consequences’ against any nation who plays host to the spiritual leader. And despite his receiving more individual honours than possibly any other man on the planet – not least the Nobel Peace Prize; Congressional Gold Medal and the Templeton Prize (awarded to ‘outstanding individuals who have devoted their talents to expanding our vision of human purpose’), there are nations in the ‘free world’ who have succumbed to China’s threats and refused entry to the Dalai Lama. The Netherlands is one, and more famously South Africa, which dragged its heels in granting him an entry visa in order for the monk to attend his close friend, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday celebrations last year. In the end, his fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner travelled to the Dalai Lama’s home-in-exile in India in defiance of the ANC.”
"But what really irks our ‘buddies’ even more is the Tibetan spiritual leader having the gall to continue his solo campaign (insofar as assistance from major powers is concerned) for the religious and cultural freedoms of his countrymen in Tibet. Crikey - no wonder the PRC leaders call him a ‘separatist’ and a ‘devil’ - I can just see the posters plastered along the Great Wall: Wanted - The Dalai Lama – For Kindness against Humanity."
If you would like to read more of this piece, click on the link provided and I’ll leave you with this, the Dalai Lama’s answer to the following question:
What is the big thing that surprises you about humanity the most?
"Man - because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present,
And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future.
And he lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”
"She taught me about pointillism, how many small points of pure colour can produce something radiant, brilliant and bigger…It’s those small points that really stand out for me, tiny luminous moments where truth is revealed. Khalil Gibran said, ‘In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
© S. Marian, May 22, 2012
An excerpt taken from “It’s the Small Things,” to be found on “A View From Outside the Box,” url: adialogue.