, Gloucester, MA


June 19, 2013

Midweek Musings: Finding that 'peace is every step'

Generally, I look forward to reading the Opinion page of the GD Times.

It’s always interesting to see what folks think, especially when it comes to those two subjects we’ve all been warned to steer clear of in our often vain attempt to keep conversation civil: religion and politics.

More often than not when I read the page, there is a letter with some sort of complaint about something that is somehow wrong somewhere with someone. In fact, it seems that a large percentage of any conversation takes that tack, and I confess that I am as guilty as anyone (not just with religion and politics; please, don’t get me going on the lack of courtesy on our roadways).

So following the prescription of the Gospel’s own doctor, Luke, who described Jesus quoting the ancient proverb “physician heal thyself” I will share what’s worked for me.

I actually learned this little remedy from my favorite contemporary teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, in his wonderful work on mindfulness titled “Peace Is Every Step.” It’s a simple meditation called “What’s Not Wrong.”

To do this meditation you simply stop, take a breath and think about “what’s not wrong.”

When you think about it, there is a lot that’s “not wrong” in our lives. Most of us wake up each morning warm and dry in our own cozy bed (something I’ve been thankful for during this past week of rain and drizzle). When we’re hungry, most of us can simply walk downstairs and open the fridge for food.

Even the simple act of breathing goes unnoticed until we come down with a cold or suffer an asthma attack. Most days we just assume the breath will come, our lungs will fill, and our hearts will continue to beat just the way they have since we took our first breath.

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