We all experience times when life unfolds in ways which make for wakeful nights and broken sleep. When that is the case for me, I have always been comforted by these thoughts about rest from author and poet Mark Nepo. I hope they speak peace to you as well.
The truth about morning is that it is the clear light of a Beginning breaking through, again and again. This is a wisdom so large and clear, one which carries us through our lives so quietly and completely, that we seldom realize it. Day after day, we are covered with the dust and grit of what we go through, and it tends to weigh us down. In response, we think and scheme and problem solve. Then we worry if it will all really work out and if what we’ve schemed is the right thing to do. It all makes us dark and cluttered.
But despite our stubborn concern, we grow tired and must turn all that has happened over to the hammock of night. This is a good thing, for no matter how unfinished we seem, the letting go into sleep is nothing short of a quiet miracle. Sooner or later, no matter our discipline or devotion, despite our resolutions and mistakes, we each must sleep. We must surrender to the quieting of all our intentions and regrets, so that the clear light of the Beginning can rise in us, again and again.
There is no escaping this profound simplicity: what happens in life covers us all like dust. It covers our hearts and minds, until we find ourselves at the shore we call exhaustion. There we slip into the welcoming waters of sleep - a gentle daily baptism - and we arise restored to begin again.
So whenever you feel urgent or overwhelmed, whenever you feel pressed to figure things out or rethink the unthinkable, rest… so that the timeless Beginning - which some call the presence of God - might graciously break through all that has happened. And you will wake, feeling like the dawn.
The Truth About Morning
The human spirit is naturally generous.
The instant we are refreshed, our first impulse
is to be useful, to be kind, to give something.
The world aches for the generosity
of a well-rested people.
There is more to life
than merely increasing the speed of it.
Who can make muddy water clear?
Yet if allowed to remain still,
it will gradually become clear on its own.
Tao Te Ching
Sabbath is more than the absence of work.
It is time consecrated
with our attention and our mindfulness,
honoring those quiet forces of grace
that sustain and heal us.
When was the last time
you listened to the stories of others?
Question put to the sick by a Native American Medicine Man
The best and most beautiful things
in the world cannot be seen or even touched.
They must be felt with the heart.
Prayer can be considered a practice
of simply being in the presence of God,
allowing the mind to gently rest
in the kindness of the heart.
Life is a coin you can spend any way you like,
but you can only spend it once.
“Come to me, all you
who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”
Jesus said to the disciples,
“Come away with me by yourselves
to a quiet place and rest.”
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.