Welcome to the first day of our practice. Let’s begin…
Please close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and consider the invitation to: “Live as if Nothing is Promised You.”
In A Grateful Day, Br. David says:
“You think this is just
another day in your life?
It’s not just another day.
It’s the one day
that is given to you today.”
Br. David reminds us that this day is a gift. It is given to us. We did not need to do anything to deserve or earn this day, and another one is not guaranteed any of us.
It can be sobering to acknowledge that not everyone who anticipated experiencing this day is actually alive today…but here we are! Still, nothing is promised to us. We are impermanent and everything changes. Recognition of our fragility, abundance, and vulnerability (including that of this wondrous planet) can be both painful and also liberating. It frees us to not take things for granted and to come more alive; to honor and enjoy all that which will change, and to treasure that which is available to us now, such as our bodies, our relationships, fresh air, a meal, and/or a beautiful sunset.
Today, in the spirit and truth of the fact that nothing is promised to us, we invite you to “Treasure this day and treasure yourself.”
- Set an intention to live as if nothing is promised you. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
- Throughout the day, endeavor to interact with others in the knowledge that each interaction will never happen again in the same way.
- Practice pausing throughout the day to savor a moment; a view; a taste; a smile and/or the ability of your body to take care of tasks and to transport you as you go about your day.
- At day’s end, reflect upon “the gifts” of the day and explore how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to live as if nothing is promised you.
- Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.
If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:
- Otherwise – a poem by Jane Kenyon
- The ABCs of Grateful Living – a practice crafted by Br. David Steindl-Rast
- A Grateful Day – the video (5:23) meditation by Br. David that inspired this practice.