A Landscape

a cloudy sky with a tree

An excerpt from Laurence Freeman OSB on ASPECTS OF LOVE: On Retreat with Laurence Freeman (London: Medio Media, 1997), pp. 54-55.

We can learn to see reality. Just seeing it and living with it is healing. It brings us to a new kind of spontaneity, the spontaneity of a child who appreciates the freshness of life, the directness of experience. We must recover this spontaneity in order to enter the kingdom. It is the spontaneity of true morality, of doing the right things naturally, not living by rule books but living by the only morality, the morality of love. The experience of love gives us a renewed capacity to live our lives with less effort. It becomes less of a struggle, less competitive, less acquisitive, as it opens up for us what we have all glimpsed in some way at some time through love, that our essential nature is joyful. Deep down we are joyful beings. If we can learn to savour the gifts of life and see what life truly is, we will be better equipped to accept its tribulations and its suffering. This is what we learn gently, slowly day by day, as we meditate.

Meditation brings us to understand the wonder of the ordinary. We become less addicted to seeking extraordinary types of stimulation, excitement, amusement, or distraction. We begin to find in the very ordinary things of daily life that this background radiation of love, the ever-present power of God, is everywhere and always.  

After meditation: “A Landscape” by Carl Dennis in NIGHT SCHOOL (New York: Penguin Poets, 2018), noted in, 12.26.17.

This painting of a barn and barnyard near sundown
May be enough to suggest we don’t have to turn
From the visible world to the invisible
In order to grasp the truth of things.
We don’t always have to distrust appearances.
Not if we’re patient. Not if we’re willing
To wait for the sun to reach the angle
When whatever it touches, however retiring,
Feels invited to step forward
Into a moment that might seem to us
Familiar if we gave ourselves more often
To the task of witnessing. Now to witness
A barn and barnyard on a day of rest
When the usual veil of dust and smoke
Is lifted a moment and things appear
To resemble closely what in fact they are.

Image by Jürgen from Pixabay

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