Too often in a search for a richer life, a fuller life, one’s eyes become blinded to the immediate wonder of the life that is.

~Gerald May

Categories: Contemplative Spirituality. Tags: Gerald May and wonder. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote.

Maybe, sometimes,
in the midst of things going terribly wrong,
something is going just right.

~Gerald May

 

Contemplation of Nature’s Offerings

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef. Contemplation doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s incredibly simple. When I tell myself I’m entering into a contemplative space, it’s as if everything else sort of blurs around me, and the center focuses more sharply.

My physical surroundings become secondary to my inner state of mind and heart. Beatrice Bruteau confirms that “what interferes with our living a contemplative life is not the busy, noisy, confused, demanding, harassing world in which we must earn our living and care for our families. We like to blame this environment, but that is not really the source of the disquiet. Even if we could go to the country, have nothing much to do and no threats to our comfort, we would take our own noisiness with us.”

That said, our physical surroundings do matter. My family and I recently relocated from a busy urban neighborhood in Washington, DC, to a rural farm in Holland, Michigan. The differences in our physical surroundings are plenty–yet as Bruteau notes, peace requires more than a change in scenery.

There was much to love about the city and the neighborhood we left behind. Yet undeniably my wife and I have both felt and experienced a kind of inner calming since arriving in our peaceful location, situated on the edge of my in-law’s spacious flower farm.

The sheer expanse of sky that one experiences in wide open spaces tends to nurture an inner expansiveness through a sort of spiritual osmosis. Simply walking beneath this wide blue sky does its own sort of inner work on one’s soul. In this soft, subtle space, I find myself renewed and refreshed.