Savor the Ordinary

Medieval Christians called the time between sacred festivals, "ordinary time." They recognized that ordinary time is also a time to celebrate, and called the liturgy for this celebration, the "Ordinary of the Seasons." What a wonderful expression!

Tibetan Buddhists called this liminal time the "Bardo," which could lie between two lifetimes, or two breaths. Yet, whether we are Christian or Buddhist, or something in-between, this ordinary time is the time for enlightenment, the time for initiation into the Mystery.

But we are too busy looking for the perfect end-time, the resolution of our problems in the future, to notice that we constantly fall through the secret Bardo of the Ordinary. We are too busy to notice that the between-time, wherever we fall, is holy.

Let us learn again to savor the ordinary of the seasons. Look deeply into a persimmon on the kitchen table. Now it is an extraordinary persimmon. Why? What is the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary? Just the degree to which we rest in the sacred depths of the present moment.

Painting: Classic sumi-e by Zen master Hakuin

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