I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the participants in my first Spiritual Directions class that was held this past Wednesday evening. The web chat room has been on fire, as they say, since the class launched with over 500 people weaving their thoughts together, forming the beginning of a spiritual community. I love reading all the comments and sharing a word here and there.
And speaking of sharing, I don’t think this one wonderful person would mind my sharing something with all of you because it is so worth sharing. I spoke with this woman – actually a dear friend – the day after the class about something totally unrelated to the class – in fact, I called her while I was walking my dog through the park. As a bit of background, I referred to one of my favorite lines in the Spiritual Directions class that Thomas Merton wrote in his journal that has become a prayer for me: This day will never come again.
The first time I read that line, I felt as if I had been struck by lightening. I could not take my eyes off those words. I could not stop repeating them. Those six words grabbed hold of my entire life and positioned it in front of me, like a mandala that spoke to me in vibrational waves: Every moment is one moment less, every second is one second less, every breath is one breath less of your precious life. This moment, this second, this breath will never come again. Suddenly dwelling in the past became a waste of my precious breath, my seconds of life. Anger seemed an emotion of the most destructive nature. Wishing for another life became a useless daydream. And searching for love diminished into a folly.
Stop searching for love; become loving where you are. Stop wanting more; become more. I could hardly breathe. Tears were streaming down my face. Perhaps I was reviewing how many days I had wasted or promising myself I would try never to waste another. But I knew I would share that profound awakening with others – and so I did in last Wednesday’s class.
The power of those six words traveled into the heart of my friend. She told me that the day after the workshop, she woke up thinking, “This day of my life will never come again.” She greeted that day as precious goods and went off to the gym, her usual routine. She found a reason to share that teaching/prayer with two women at the gym – not close friends – just work-out buddies. They felt the spark of it ignite something in them – perhaps the realization that each day of life is not an ordinary day but a personal holy day.
No more conversation was necessary. A spark is enough. Spiritual Direction is like that – it sparks something in us. I am teaching this class in a live workshop as well as on-line, by the way. For those of you who prefer live workshops, the date is April 30 – May 3. Details are on my web site.
I’m going to close with this prayer: This day will never come again.