May 10 – The Edge of Centre – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“All tempest has, like a navel, a hole in its middle, through which a gull can fly, in silence.” Fourteenth Century Japanese, Anonymous

From across the centuries, this nameless voice tells us that at the heart of all struggle there is a peaceful enduring centre, if we can only reach it.  All the wisdom traditions affirm this.

Still, a deeper paradox of life is carried here. For the gull flies through the peaceful centre; it does not live there. The work, it seems, for us, is to draw sustenance from that central, eternal space without denying the experience of the storm.

Repeatedly, we are thrown into the storm and into the centre. When in the storm, we are exacerbated by our humanness. When in the centre, we are relieved by our spiritual place in the Oneness of things. So to find the centre and spread our battered wings is to feel the God within.

Our constant struggle is in living both sides of this paradox. For we cannot get to the centre without going through the storm that surrounds it. Yet the storm of human experience can only be endured by knowing what the gallows, pass each other from storm to centre and back – there you’ll find the trials and gifts of love.

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