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
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
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
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
-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