The Transmission of Holiness

 

The Ground on Which You Stand is Holy

Some years ago Luke and I became friends as a result of a client arrangement. We went from a contractual relationship, to a friendship, to playmates in the philosophical sandbox. And along the way we shared a lot of ideas. All of which came to fruition in the wonderful interaction that follows.

It began when I posted a new piece of marketing material with which I’ve been playing. “Walking the world with awareness is my practice.” (It originally said “deep practice” because I am prone to excess, but my marketing team thought it made it too complicated.)

Then I got a note from Luke.

“Your post on awareness this morning really hit home.  Not long ago our church had two Franciscan Friars take over pastoral leadership. From the moment I met them I liked them. I liked their spirit, their energy, their intellect, and their preaching.  Whatever frequency they are transmitting on, I am totally tuned in. Last week one sent an email to church members. It too was about awareness, and its message was simple: awareness is holiness. Let me paraphrase him, then I’ll explain more.”

The pastor’s message began by talking about the many ways we are distracted by fears and projections. Then Father Michael wrote, “A couple of weeks ago the full moon was shining through the bare branches of the trees around our beautiful church. I sat on the friary porch and was just aware of how beautiful it was, and wasn't thinking of anything but the moment … Awareness is holiness …  All of us, through awareness, can live in the moments we have. All of us, through listening and through seeing and through opening ourselves up, can be filled with the presence that fills all things. The light of the moon falls on everything equally. The light of the moon is falling through the bare branches of the tree … Awareness is holiness.”

Then Luke resumed. “Ron, I was dumbstruck, mostly because I view the state of holiness as something beyond my personal reach – you know, for those who are far more virtuous and rigorous in faith than I.  But if this is true, if awareness is indeed holiness, if I can practice being better at being aware – living and feeling deeply in the moment without the usual distractions and preoccupations swirling within my head – then I can be holy.  Wow, what a message: if you can be aware, you can be holy.”

 At this point in reading the thoughts from Luke and his pastor, I was grinning. Truthfully it was just beautiful watching the cascade of holiness.  And now it was coming full circle and folding in upon me.

I thought carefully before replying, but as it came clear it was very, very sweet.

“Luke, this is great! And it seems all the sages have been telling us to just come into the moment. In fact, just the other day I was thinking that we misunderstand the mystical moment of Moses. ‘The ground upon which you stand is holy.’ That's not just to that guy for that moment. It is to all of us all the time. To connect that to what you just said, with awareness I’m reminded of the holiness of this very moment. Very cool … and too good to miss!”

Seeing True

While there are portals – places and moments that remind us of sacred ground – with awareness there is only the sacred.

Seeing True in Action

A teacher by the name of Rhondell said that every moment is infused with a reality that is vitally interesting as it unfolds before our eyes. Holiness.

 

Stop whatever you are doing. Pick anything that is in your line of sight. Soften your gaze and slow your breath. Focus on that thing and breathe. Notice everything you can discern about it. Just notice and try not to think. Pay attention and breathe. See if you can find the holiness in that moment.