Continuously Renewed Immediacy

Continuously renewed immediacy, not receding memory of the Divine Touch, lies at the base of religious living. Let us explore together the secret of a deeper devotion, a more subterranean sanctuary of the soul, where the Light Within never fades, but burns, a perpetual flame, where the wells of living water of divine revelation rise up continuously, day by day and hour by hour, steady and transfiguring. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion Two years ago I met Vincent Van Gogh in the halls of the Metropolitan Museum in New York Cithy. From across the room his paintng, Two Cut Sunflowers grabbed me. It was as if someone was pulling me, demanding attention. Here was the ripeness of harvest, the fading yellows; flowers wilted, cut from the stalk, laying on a table. Staring at the painting I was aware of my own sadness, the richness of life fading into night, of being cut off from the root. But, more than anything else, this remarkable painting felt to be a DIRECT communication from Vincent. Quaker Thomas Kelly, when speaking of the spiritual life speaks of our expereince: immediately, in the now, and continually we are renewed. The universe touches us directly, intimately -- sort of like my encounter with Vincent Van Gogh. In Zen, awareness of this continually renewed immediacy is called 'awakening." We awaken to the way things are, the universe as she continually flows, around, through and in us. The best of art re-presents this continually renewed immediacy, pulling at us, inviting us in.. I find it especially in the koans and the haiku of spring. Here are some haiku Shown a flower The small baby Opens its mouth by Seifu Ni Cherry blossoms fallen People's hearts serene again by Koyu - Ni For everyday clothes An everyday mind Peach blossoms by Ayako Hosomi Somehow with each haiku the sense is that the universe herself is reaching out, ,touching me, pulling me towards awakening. How does this happen -- in the wonder of a baby awash in the color and beauty of a flower; in the sadness of cherry blossoms fallen, a serenity beneath the falling. And finally, in the everday beauty of life as it is peach blossoms call us forth.


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