Welcome to DAY 3 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: “Appreciate the Ordinary as Extraordinary.”
Have you ever stopped and found yourself filled with wonder at the most “ordinary” things? The complexity, competence and humble service of our hands; a transcontinental flight; or the miracle of white dogwood? In A Grateful Day, Br. David draws our attention to “the incredible gifts that civilization gives to us,” — electric light and running water — aspects of our ordinary lives that, with simple reflection, are revealed as extraordinary.
In the spirit of recognition of the “extraordinary”, we invite you today to:
- Set an intention to appreciate the ordinary as extraordinary. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
- Take an ordinary item…such as a book. Sit with it and reflect upon all that went into creating the book, for example: the inspiration of the author; the months or years it took to write; the collaboration of author, editor and publisher; the trees to make the paper; the ink; the font creator; and cover artist, etc. Wow! How does it impact you to consider these things?
- Perhaps, most importantly, seeing the extraordinary in the apparently ordinary deeply recognizes the truth of things — the wondrous ability of a body to heal following surgery, of a sleep-deprived young mother to be patient and loving in her work as a nurse’s aide, or of a hive of bees to harvest and transform nectar into the honey we enjoy in our tea. Our world is awash in the extraordinary. What truths are revealed to you with this orientation?
- At day’s end, reflect upon what you noticed and explore how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to appreciate the ordinary as extraordinary.
- Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.
If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:
- The Stars Fell Through My Window Tonight – a poem by Lauretta Santarossa
- Miracle Day – an essay by Anthony Doerr
- Being Grateful for the Body As It Is – a grateful living practice
- Okagesama – a blog by Gregg Krech