Wisdom is a living stream, not an icon preserved in a museum. Only when we find the spring of wisdom in our own life, can it flow to future generations. – Thich Nhat Hanh
The wisdom below is from “The book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo. After being told he had cancer, Mark awakened to a new way of living and in this beautiful book, he writes a year’s supply of daily inspiration and encourages us to live fully in this moment.
“When feeling urgent, you must slow down”
I learned this over and over, during the many crises of cancer. When feeling like I can’t sit still, I need more than ever to sit still. When feeling like I will die when I don’t have your approval, I need more than ever to die to my need of your approval. What we need is always harshly and beautifully right before us, disguised in the wrapping of our nearest urgency.
The doorway to our next step of growth is always behind the urgency of now. We just refuse to accept this, because it feels so difficult to face. Now more than ever, when feeling that you are the source and the recipient of all pain, you must bow your head till the ancient channel from sky to heart can re-open, and till your ounce of breath becomes sky, again and again.
Centre yourself and feel the urgencies that pull at you.
Feel the tension of each like a string stretched taut.
With each breath, untie yourself, one urgency at a time.
However briefly, breathe freely, even for a moment, untied to any urgency at all.
This practice of Mark’s is essential if we are to be present in our life. We all believe we have to do everything now and quickly, when infact, more than ever, we need to be still and trust.