Tonight as I begin the countdown to returning home from Unity Village, I am confronted with a phrase that has been my constant companion while I have been here: “To do, or not to do, that is the question!”
My time here has been full—full of thought-provoking classes, meetings, challenges, and dialogues. These past ten days have been packed with wonderful opportunities. Each experience has been rewarding on so many levels but has left me searching for the much-anticipated space I had expected that so far has eluded me. (See my blog from last week.) It seems a bit ironic that a running theme throughout the busy week has been the importance of Sabbath, quiet, meditation, mindfulness, space, and reflection. Jesus certainly knew the value of these ideas as he instructed us in the Gospel of Mark, “Come apart for a while.” This is the message I want to share with you tonight. If we don’t “come apart for a while,” in a while we will come apart!” This message, drilled into my head by my mentor, teachers, and colleagues is one I hope to bring home to Unity North this weekend.
So with my last task of the day I want to ask, what am I doing to take care of myself? What am I doing to make sure I have enough space in my life to keep from being consumed by a human experience full of endless demands? It seems like a simple question, yet my struggle to find an answer leads me to believe that it is worthy of asking again…and again…and again…
I imagine at some level we can all benefit from this kind of persistent inquiry. We all need to breathe more! How ironic it is that the theme for this coming Sunday Service was chosen before I got here: “Between the Inhale and the Exhale”. Breath is a great metaphor for our lives. Breath held long enough brings death. Breath experienced with awareness brings energy, nourishment, and replenishment. Is my life currently a reflection of holding my breath or experiencing my breath? Where in my life am I holding on to a “to do” list and forgetting to breathe? Where in life am I forgetting to pause and enjoy the miracle of giving and receiving? Where am I consciously aware of asking, “To do or not to do?”
“To be or not to be”—that is the real question. I invite you to join me in taking a moment to simply be aware of the breath you just took…………..and be grateful. The Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, “To master our breath is to be in control of our bodies and minds.” I would add, to master our breath is to be in control of our calendars, our clocks, and our experience. I invite and challenge you to come apart for a while and join me, and an array of UNA “Breathers” for a beautiful service this weekend. We will breathe together, pray together, and be together in a great experience of Sabbath, Presence, and Being!