photo by pensiero
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.” -Thich Nhat Hanh
In every moment, we are living in a miracle. Just our being here right now is proof of that miracle.
We often get caught up in the drama of life, in the stories of our lives that we don’t stop and realize how much of a miracle life really is. It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to live in a lifeless universe. We can try, but I don’t think it’s really possible, because we come from the perspective of a universe full of life. In fact, if we were in a lifeless universe, there would be no “us” there would be no “perspective.” Existence is the manifestation of this miracle, existence is the miracle in action.
Every day of our life is a miracle, every moment is a miracle. We can take life for granted, we can focus on all our shortcomings, all our pain and trials, but even still, it is a miracle that these things even exist. Experience is the greatest miracle of all. When we realize this, even if we experience something bad, or something didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, we can still see that life is a miracle, because of the very experience of life itself.
Three Levels of Perceiving Miracles
There are three levels of miracle perception. The first is seeing nothing as a miracle. Everything is completely ordinary, there is nothing particularly amazing about life, or existence. The second is seeing only miracles as miracles. This is different from the first viewpoint, where miracles would have been either rejected or seen as nothing special. Perhaps they even thought they were illusions or just some unexplainable phenomenon. The third view, which for me is closest to the truth, is living as though everything is a miracle.
When you live as if everything is a miracle something strange happens. You realize that there is no difference between the good and the bad. Sure, some situations are more desirable than others, and it doesn’t mean you go jump off a cliff, or set yourself on fire, because it’s all the same anyway. That’s foolish, that is transcending and rejecting duality. When you realize the miracle of everything in life, you transcend and include duality. You see that there are differences, there is bad and good, but you no longer judge them as wrong or right. You see them equally as miracles.
We can experience hurt, or sadness, and with the view of non-judgement, we can realize the cause of our hurt or sadness. If we can maintain this perspective, we can untie our internal knots. We can transform sadness into caring, or understanding. We can see a difficult time in our life as an opportunity to learn and to grow.
How I Transformed
Whenever I used to experience something painful or I became depressed, I would deny my feelings. I thought this denial made me stronger, I thought the more numb I became the more I would be “invincible” to life’s adversities. But the more numb I became to the painful experiences I had, the more I was unable to experience and appreciate the beauty and love around me. I saw life pessimistically, I thought life was a cruel joke, we all die in the end, what’s the point anyway right? I would wake up feeling apathetic and cynical. Eventually I couldn’t take the numbness anymore, I didn’t want to experience the pain but I also didn’t want to be numb to all the joy and love I used to know. That’s when I realized the courage to be honest with myself, I stopped rejecting my feelings and starting accepting them. Whatever I felt, I gave myself permission to feel it. Even if the source of those feelings wasn’t real, or was based on assumption, simply me accepting the feelings allowed me to see into the cause of them.
With my honesty I gained awareness, with my awareness I saw my mistakes and with my courage I forgave myself and others. I realized that simply being honest and being open to the truth, whether it was painful or not, brought me more and more freedom. Eventually I realized the greatest truth is in silence.
The Miracle of Silence
In silence we can realize that everything in life is a miracle. Simply existing is a miracle, because we are alive. In silence we are able to realize this, because we let go of judgment. Silence is the highest truth because we transcend judgment. In reality, in nature there is no judgment, there simply is. Untying all of the knots within me was not easy, I had to examine each of my beliefs and question them. I asked myself whether my belief was based on experience or assumption. Even if it was based on experience, there was a chance I could have overlooked something. I began to relax my beliefs about reality and use my common sense instead of blindly accepting based on the faith of others. I realized that our deepest beliefs about ourselves and the nature of our world are not true in themselves, but our thinking makes them true in our experience. The more I challenged my beliefs and aligned myself with the truth, the more obstacles I removed between living life as if every moment is a miracle.
Here are some other ways I was able to realize the miracle of life more everyday:
- Meditation – I started meditating every day and taking “presence walks“. I would start and end my day in silence. I don’t mean being somewhere silent, I mean, internal silence. This enabled me to become more in touch with reality. I also started taking walks where I would only focus on the present. Anytime I started thinking about the future, worrying about the rest of day, etc. I would re-direct my focus to the present, the trees, the feeling of my feet on the ground and my breath.
- Listening to my intuition – Our minds often have conflicting views, your mind may tell you one thing is a good idea and at the same time tell you it’s not. That’s because the power of our minds is in their ability to compare. Our hearts, or our gut, will often “know” without needing to rationalize. By following my heart I’ve been able to worry and stress less. I’ve also started doing more of what I want to do, instead of what I feel like I should do.
- Creative expression – Whether this be in writing, photography, graphic design or talking to a friend. Even talking to my best friend, my wife, can be a form of creative expression. Realizing that we are all artists, has helped me realize the miracle of life in each moment.
- Seeing the beauty in unexpected things – When we see that in each leaf, there is the tree, in each tree there is the forest, we realize the unity of life. We can let go of fear, of resentment, because there is no difference between you and anybody else. Without these obstacles in the way, I am able to live in the moment without distraction.
- Mindfulness – This is biggest one for me. Becoming mindful in all my actions I see them for what they are, not simply the words I use to describe them in my mind. When I am tying my shoes I see just that, without thinking “tying my shoes”. When we experience life deeply in the present moment, without having to think about it, we live fully within the miracle of life.
- Remembering breath – Breath is the bridge between the mind and the body. When we are conscious of our breath, we are conscious of life being manifested in each moment. When I return my attention toward my breath, I become conscious of the miracle moving through my lungs.
Living the Miracle
I deeply wish that you too can experience the reality of living every moment as a miracle. We may forget to be mindful, we may become distracted, we may fall down. But even these struggles are miracles. When we truly recognize this we can begin to live every day fully, without limitations. We can overcome our fears and self-defeating beliefs and reclaim our personal freedom.
How have you witnessed the miracle of being, what inspires you personally? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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Very beautiful post you have here. It’s definitely a thumbs up!
It seems that we are on the same journey. Being in the Now has given me more joy and appreciation to the beauty around!
Clay Collins | The Growing Life says
Great post. Where’s the Digg button?
Clay Collins | The Growing Life says
Just found it :-)
Fantastic post again! :) I love the way you write…it’s really good. And I see that you’ve tweaked your blog design a bit…looks pleasant :) Way to go!
P.S. Can I add you to my Yahoo messenger list? If it’s okay, please mail me your messenger id :)
I don’t use yahoo messenger, but I do use AIM. Or you can always email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
I love this, Honey. You remind me everyday — without words, sometimes — to be present in the moment & to smile more. You are the reason for most of my smiles. ;] I love you.
Dave Doran says
Hi Jonathan ,
I love this post! I have recently been an a bit of a mental journey thanks to the wonderfull Richard Dawkins for opening my eyes and have shakin off the last of my Catholic upbringing but after fully exploring Natural Selection as the only explanation for life in all its diversity I had a bit of a slump and the fatalism of it all got me down but have come full circle and with the Science to back it up I have come to the same conclusion ” Every day is a miracle! ” I just had a quick surf to see if there was others out there that have also come to this way of thinking and there you are. Thanks you Jonathan !
Whenever I read one of your articles, tears come to my eyes and I aint even sad. I am being honest when I say this.
This is my favorite!
great work with this!
Great post! Inspiring. I love it!
Yes Life is a Gift. From the moment we are born till we die, Birth is a miracle, death is a miracle too.
If we live acknowledging all the goods and bads that happen to us in life are miracles we actually are in a state of gratitude all the time. we begin to truly live a life of Joy. When we are in gratitude we get more, but when we complain we lose more of what ever we have. Lets Celebrate the Great Miracle of Life. Being able to the these words itself is a miracle.
Great post I came here after listening to Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Every moment of life is a miracle anywhere, anytime.
Life is a miracle. Evolution theory is just another reductionist theory for controle freaks :-) Awareness is key. Great writing!