This Precious Life

During the last few days, a dear friend’s daughter gave birth to a little girl and another friend’s 97-year-old mother went to sleep and didn’t wake for three days and three nights. Celebrating birth, I received texts and phone calls and adorable newborn baby photos. Contemplating imminent death, my friend, sitting sleepless at her sleeping mother’s bedside, and I texted about letting go. In a 21st century conversation, with words pared down to the minimum and no disturbance to her somnolent mom, we shared fear and love.

In the last few months, I have found much solace in meditations by The Art of Meditation teacher—Burgs. He explains that in the Buddhist tradition, this human incarnation is a rare and precious event, not easily achieved, not to be taken for granted. Certainly not to be wasted. He ponders why we have arrived here now. How long our souls may have waited and longed for this opportunity to be blessed with the extraordinary good fortune of our human birth.

As I listen to him, I imagine a celestial gathering of souls lining up and waiting with saint-like patience for their turn to enter a human body. Like waiting in line to get into the Beetles’ concert at Shea Stadium in 1965? A once in a lifetime opportunity. No, that’s not right …. And not nearly serious enough. A soul achieving this highest of births is an exceptional spiritual happening. A privilege and an opportunity. How do we forget this?

Buddhist or not … I am gifted, reminded by the darling little being who’s just dared to enter the world and by the 97-year-old, who, like Sleeping Beauty, has waked from her three-day sleep. (She’s still here, still wants to participate in her extraordinary life). Both brave beings inspire me to ask what I am doing with my one precious life. Am I treasuring this brief time? Am I choosing Life and Love so that my soul extends and expands to its greatest potential? And if not, hadn’t I best get started?

10 thoughts on “This Precious Life

  1. Your words were immensely impactful and inspirational. You have helped me transcend the everyday challenges and ugliness.
    Heartfelt gratitude. ❤️💕

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Well, for starters, you’re getting your writing done. Which is more than a lot of us can say. Regarding the need to be reminded of our higher purposes (and origins) I think that’s the universal challenge of our entire species. A peace loving alien spaceship could land in broad daylight with messages of love and hope and two weeks later we would al go back to stockpiling toilet paper.


  3. I talked about this yesterday with Pamela (who is the new grandmother referred to in the post) and whose very close friend is the daughter of the Sleeping Beauty. She insisted I should write it down. I’m waiting to hear from her to see if I captured (in writing) what I stumbled to express verbally.
    I doubt our awe at the spaceship would last two weeks. See … you are the optimist with a good heart!
    Thanks for reading and responding.


  4. I am so grateful for your writings. Enjoy the response. You awaken in me thoughts and ideas, and I thank u . The part that I find most rewarding, is acting on them. Stay safe and well.


  5. Such a sweet reminder, Joan, thank you. It’s so easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day and forget we are here to live, and to grow. Here’s hoping for at least one good day of awareness 💕


  6. I’ll settle for moments in that one good day!!
    And what a blessing it is to have a few good friends–like you– to remember with. Love.


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