Brian Wilcox. 'Signs of Spring'
Wendell Berry, in Given -
There are no unsacred places; there are only
sacred places and desecrated places.
A seeker questioned the Sage, "Why don't you offer a rite to devote your followers to the Way." The Sage said, "In the Way, walking the Way devotes one to the Way. The rite is the walk."
A spiritually enlightened one was asked, "Now that you're enlightened, what has changed for you?" "Before, I chopped wood and carried water; now, I chop wood and carry water."
'sacred' is from the old French
'to consecrate, anoint, dedicate'
a Zen Buddhist published a book
"Nothing Holy about It"
he got it half right, half wrong
the premise denies
the wholeness Zen includes
all great wisdom paths witness to
the Yin and Yang of All
this side true and this side true -
another Zen Buddhist, on meditation:
desacralization of meditation
renders it futile like cocktail party chatter -
so life too
the Sacred intimates the depths
all is mere surface
in the shadows
not rejoicing in the Light
Spirit is reduced to stuff
to be used and abused
to fulfill our desires
we are left empty
we lose the sense of Wonder
as Christian contemplatives say:
'deep calls to deep'
- from Psalm 42.7 -
depth recognizes depth
depth is drawn to depth
to say 'nothing is sacred'
is to say 'everything is sacred'
to see this means
our smallest acts
our bodies and breath
the same way a priest
would consecrate an object or person
through anointing with oil and blessing
outer anointing in religious rites
is a sign of inner anointing
a shadow of the Light
the Sacred becomes
we share in the joy of this
being anointed inwardly
by the Grace of Life
we are intricately
part of it
not apart from it
through being a devoted-presence
attract others to the Light
by the Grace we radiate
we devote ourselves to the Light
by the Grace of the Light
for we are spirit
we seek to live a sacred life
to honor the Holy-among-all
About a thousand years ago, a man felt drawn to a construction site in a forest. He watched from the edge of a clearing, while workers engaged their tasks.
Curious about what they were building, the fellow approached one worker, whom he asked, "What are you doing, my good man?" The worker looked up briefly and went back to his work, saying curtly, "I'm working."
The man was not satisfied with the answer. He approached a second worker. He asked, "What are you doing, my good man?" "You can see I'm breaking stones," replied the worker, coolly.
This fellow was a man of determination; he was not leaving without an answer that felt right to him. He walked over to a third worker, and he said, "What are you doing, my good man?" "I'm building a temple," spoke this man, joyfully.
As the man walked through the wood toward home, he came to see the three workers were doing the same tasks; but two were building a building, while the third was building a temple. He thought, "So is life, so is life."
©️ Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Brian can be contacted at email@example.com; his book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, is available through major online booksellers, including Amazon and Books-A-Million, or via the publisher, AuthorHouse.
*Tim Burkett, a Zen Buddhist teacher, wrote Nothing Holy about It. On descralization of meditation, Charles Genoud. Beyond Tranquility.