2012-03-22 / Faith

Reverence thyself first

“By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep, and alive.” — Albert Schweitzer

Where I live in Southern California we are blessed with yearround weather that encourages growth of just about anything planted in the ground. With the recent rains and 75-degree days there is a preponderance of green showing up everywhere.

As I sat peacefully in my meditation garden this morning, my eyes were drawn to some weeds that were beginning to pop up among my beautiful lilies and bamboo.

My first inclination was to pull them out because I didn’t want weeds to encroach upon and spoil the “perfectly groomed sacred space” I had dedicated to my meditation practices.

Thankfully, before I could act, that ever- present quiet voice within gently whispered, “Be still and know, this too is sacred.”

So I sat with the weeds and invited them to be my teachers. What was it I could learn about myself and life from the intrusion of a few errant weeds in my meditation garden?

Emerson was on to something when he said that a weed was a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. Perspective is everything. In an instant, what had been perceived as an inconvenient, unsightly nuisance became another opportunity to practice reverence.

It was then that I recalled something I heard Dr. William Hornaday share long ago regarding reverence. He told the story of how Ernest Holmes, the author of “The Science of Mind,” would, on occasion, dine with a vase of weeds on his dining room table.

What great insight and wisdom he had. He considered it a beautiful reminder that the creative intelligence of life flows equally through every living thing and that the only real difference between a weed and a rose was the value we choose to place upon one over the other. Of course we can extend the same premise to every form of life, from snails to whales and everything in between, including you and me and every human being on this planet.

Reverence is the act of seeing through the form and recognizing and honoring the divine Presence at its center as well as its circumference. In other words, to see the sacred in a weed can be a spiritual experience if we are willing to look beyond form and see the divine essence therein.

Our judgments are the primary things that separate us from the awareness of our oneness with all of life. The practice of reverence is how we transcend our judgments, which sets us free from the tyranny of the ego-self that thrives on fear and separation by labeling everything and everyone as good or bad, desirable or undesirable, right or wrong, and so on.

Is it easy to practice reverence with every human being? It’s fairly easy with those people we love, like and respect. However, it can be a bit more challenging with many others, especially if they hold core values and beliefs that differ from our own.

Between the pending presidential election and a war-torn world, we don’t have to look too far for ample opportunities to begin practicing reverence outside the circle of our comfort zone.

What value shall we place on all that our eyes gaze upon today? Where might we begin the conscious practice of reverence?

The ancient philosopher Pythagoras offers us the perfect place to start: “Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.”

A spiritual experience awaits you in every moment of this day if you have eyes to see, and it begins in the mirror. Reverence thyself first, remembering, as within—so without, and your life shall become the sacred journey you came here to have.

Copyright 2012 New Reality Press. Dennis Merritt Jones is a local spiritual mentor, keynote speaker and author. Contact him at www.DennisMerrittJones.com.

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