Discernment

Monday, March 30, 2020

These days, when we are faced with the scary disorder of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m finding it helpful to think of the power of discernment – the ability to look deep into the usual mishmash of life and pick out what’s truly valuable. The pandemic has thrown up an immense bramble of predictions and worries and fears, and it’s important to be able to see through the tangle and find the calmness that can help us discern the best path to take. On our walk this morning along the Mystic River, we passed some places where jumbles of reeds and trees made it hard to see the river shining in the distance …

but the river was there, sure enough, peacefully flowing as it has for centuries. All it took was for us to stop walking, stand still, and quietly focus our attention through the reeds and trees to see what was there in the distance. The pandemic is scary, for sure, but if we can find some stillness, we might be able to see through the fear to the power of acceptance and equanimity that’s always there for us, just as the trustworthy Mystic River was there this morning, just behind the confusion of reeds and trees.

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