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Now is the Time

Now is the Time

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you finally live
With veracity
And love.

Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.

My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
And God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.

-Hafiz, from The Gift by Daniel Ladinsky

The workshop I attended the weekend before last began with the poem above.  “Now is the time” says Hafiz, “to know that all you do is sacred.”  Those words have been singing in my heart as I respond to emails, plan for leading retreats, write in my journal, have dinner with my beloved, walk with Petunia, meet a friend for tea, move into corpse pose at the end of a good yoga class.  There is nothing that falls outside the embrace of the sacred, it is up to us to become aware of this.

I am “a divine envoy / Whom the Beloved / Has written a holy message upon.”  You, reading this, are a sacred word of God spoken out into the world.  Do you know this in your heart? Everyone we encounter is a holy text, inscribed with a thousand words of love.  Do we look closely enough to see them?

I am in a process of embracing more opportunities to share my gifts with the world.  This poem is a lens through which I see how there is nothing other than grace.  Grace flows through me out to the community and I receive it back multiplied.  We cannot know the true impact of our words, our care, our kindness.  It ripples across time and space.  We help someone to discover they are beautiful, and suddenly they find a generosity within themselves they never experienced before.  Suddenly they know the abundance rather than the scarcity of the world deep in their bones and it radiates to everyone they meet.

Now is the time my friends.

(top photo taken in Melk, Austria and bottom photo in Vienna, Austria)

(c) Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

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7 Responses

  1. Tess, I do remember, how wonderful that you have that poem posted. I guess Hafiz must make me think of keys! :-)

    You are most welcome Stacy and Suz.

    kigen, what a beautiful quote, so true!

    lucy, thanks for sharing your speechless moment with me. I am equally grateful for you.

    Thanks SS, I love how this came together for you! :-)

  2. Your gifts are multitudinous!! Thank you for sharing them. The quote from Hafiz – so powerful, so humbling. Your words in regard to “everyone we encounter……”

    As I sat down at my computer this early afternoon, I spied my a.m. prayer candles – unlit today, my readings – unopened, my chair undisturbed by me……as my day BEGAN in a way a little different than usual. I thought I seem to have forgotten God this a.m. and wouldn’t you know, you served me up with a very special portion of divine word and reminder! Thank you!

  3. “We help someone to discover they are beautiful, and suddenly they find a generosity within themselves they never experienced before. Suddenly they know the abundance rather than the scarcity of the world deep in their bones and it radiates to everyone they meet.”

    occasionally i become speechless :-). this is one of those times where the experience that fills my heart cannot adequately be expressed in words. i am so grateful for your presence in my life! xoxoxo

  4. I envy you that retreat, Christine, weekend before last ! I spent 17 years of my young life as a lay member of a convent community, and your posts often take me back, and tears come to my eyes too, when I remember how filled with grace it all was.

    Zen Master Dogen says somewhere in his Shobogenzo, that always abiding in the present moment means never leaving the monastery!

  5. I could just cry, Christine. I love the poem and your words are so lovely.
    Thank you for reminding me who I am.

  6. Once before you posted a poem by Hafiz with a picture of a key: the sage who “keeps dropping keys all night long for the beautiful, rowdy, prisoners.”

    I printed that out and have it on my noticeboard at my day job (the, er, last word of the poem is a clue to why I keep it there!).

    I shall be printing this one as well, or perhaps even incorporating it into something visual of my own. Absolutely, sublimely beautiful.