April 10 – At Home in Our Skin – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“The spiritual life is about becoming more at home in your own skin.” Parker J. Palmer

Anything that removes what grows between our hearts and the day is spiritual. It might be the look of a loved one stirring their coffee as morning light surprises their groggy eyes. It might be the realization while watching a robin build its nest, that you are only a temporary being in this world. It might be a fall on ice that reminds you of the humility of your limitations.

As Parker Palmer suggests, the aim of all spiritual paths, no matter their origins or the rigors of their practice, is to help us live more fully in the lives we are given.  In this way, whatever comes from a moment’s grace that joins us to our lives and to each other – this is spiritual.  For example, I was having coffee the other day in a cafe and suddenly, from the rain of noise around me, there arose a word of truth in the exposed voice of a stranger whose face I couldn’t even see.

I don’t know her context or her story or whom she was revealing herself to. I didn’t even turn around to see her face, because in that moment, there was a perfect beauty in our staying anonymous. I only felt, simply and deeply, that without her ever knowing, her moment of pointed and unexpected truth made me more at home in my own skin.

The life of spirit is everywhere: in dust waiting for light, in music waiting to be heard, in the sensations of the day waiting to be felt. Being spiritual is much more useful and immediate than the books about books would have us think.

 

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