Giving Attention to Kindness and Starlight

And yet kindness matters – continues to matter. Those actions taken through the body for another – thoughtful letters, hugs, fresh-baked bread, attentive listening and so forth. I can’t forget this. Won’t forget it.

I stood for a few minutes this morning beneath the dogwood tree out back. Each twig and branch is encased in ice through which starlight sparkled like a thousand times a thousand little prisms. I was breathless, thoughtless, joyful.

It is important to give serious attention to what is happening in thought – to the specific form of practice the Holy Spirit extends to (and through) us. Only our attention and willingness will undo our insistence there be a world filled with bodies from which to derive temporary satisfaction, briefly staving off the horrors of death.

We want to know this as a fact – not an idea that we read about or somebody smart talked about or somebody holy preached about.

When we make contact with the eternity in which both time and thought happen, we begin to intuit the Truth of what we are. We begin to make contact with God, outside the familiar bounds of physicality and language. That is discomforting at first but we are still drawn to it – still yearn for the loss of egoic self that greater space, that nothingness that is Everything implies.

We pass through the gateless gate and fall weeping with joy. We step back outside it and indulge in analysis and judgment. It’s okay. The gate is never not there and we are never not welcome beyond it. Seek the reminders of its presence: the kind stranger, the answered prayer, the prismatic stars before dawn. They are not real anymore than our brains and eyes and tongues are real but they will serve for a little while to remind us of the Glory that is ours and waits – eternally patient, eternally giving – just outside the walls of perception.

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