Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Beacon of Hope

New heels for old shoes.

Treasured hankies made white again.

Years ago at a spiritual direction ceremony (Shozan) one of the monks asked about compassion. How may I find compassion for myself? The Master answered something to the effect that she started by taking care of her boots! It is not such a stretch when you think about it. Being mindful of ones shoes and getting them heeled, bleaching handkerchiefs when they have become sad and grey is to treat them with respect and gratitude. If one treats things with that attitude surely it's possible to treat oneself that way too. To have compassion for oneself, and all things.

Too often people regard themselves as having little worth and so gratitude fades to a flicker. Sometimes that flicker dissolves into dark despair and where there is no light there seems to be no hope either. A woman asked me after the recent funeral how she could convey a sense of gratitude to the deceased. I said I thought all she could do was simply offer her open heart and in that there is conveyed gratitude. Which is a beacon of hope.

So I guess we make offerings of tender care to the stuff around us including ourselves. Life is precious.