A SOLITARY STAR

            The wise scholars who saw a strange solitary star in the sky and sought to follow it are somewhat similar to this still somewhat unwise senior citizen who tries his best to see before him the solitary star called ‘the present moment’. It’s always there, shining with a sunniness that can’t be equaled – the single moment in my life, right here and now, that lights all things with the power of the universe, and prepares a perfect way for me to live, if only I would notice it. Other lights are also there, of course – the worries that flash and flicker for my attention – but the single light of this present moment has the power to make all other lights soften and disperse. It’s all there is, really. It rises before me second after surprising second, day after day, and brings with it all the satisfaction I could possibly need. I live my life in unceasing starlight, the constant sparkle of the present moment. Sadly, I’m afraid I miss most of it.

Star

WORDS LIKE LIGHT 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

STAR

            This morning I’m thinking of the wise men of the Christmas story, who saw a special star in the sky and decided to study it and follow its movements, which led to an astonishing discovery for them in a barn in the small town of Bethlehem. In a sense, I see stars every day, all day long. These stars are the thoughts that endlessly rise and shine inside me, and then set and disappear. I’m like a traveler in a vast universe of thoughts that shimmer marvelously as they come and go in the boundless sky of life.  What’s truly astounding is that I don’t have to do any ‘work’ in order to enjoy these star-like thoughts. All I have to do is carefully observe the thought-filled sky inside me, and choose and follow the brightest and the best thoughts, and let the others – the less reliable ones springing from fears and worries and self-centeredness – slip away into the darkness. Like the wise men of the Christmas story, I must trust, each moment, something besides my own small and separate mind. I must get the wider, higher view, see the limitless vastness of existence itself , and then simply follow, each moment, the brightest star, the thought that shines with the most inspiring brilliance. There’s always a lit-up barn in Bethlehem waiting for me, if I just yield to the light and follow.  

SPECIAL PLACES
(about Philip M., 89, Blessings, CT, USA)

Most days, 
Philip seeks harmony
by setting his sight on starry thoughts 
and then studying and following them, 
and sometimes he finds himself 
standing in places of powerful light, 
and just looking and listening in wonder, 
and he always names the places 'Wonderful'
and rejoices with exceeding joy, 
and sets gifts down in these special places, 
and worships them,

and knows they are everywhere. 


Here’s a sunrise scene on the Mystic River during our morning walk today …

… and here’s my best-of-all friends reading the essays of the classic American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson …