The possibility of astonishment

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities … offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope,” — Thomas Merton

I’ve written in the last few days about how we like to think we control everything.

Our ego, the self-identified “I”, the I at the center of our universe, is under the illusion that it can influence everything around us. That by doing more, better, faster we’d be more and better and have already arrived there. And ego wants it exactly as it wants it. It likes and dislikes all day long.

When we step outside of this incessant, nagging voice in our head for even a brief moment, we see that there is something else available. That something else is peace, possibility, joy, delight, surprise.

When we can get away from the voice of the ego for even a bit, and we are open to the astonishing world we inhabit, we realize that Life serves up wonders and amazements that the ego could never dream up.

Your (my) little terrified, square, nagging, angry, bullying little ego would never dream up how incredibly wondrous this world is — how almost everything I do today is a miracle.

On mundane morning example of the amazingness of every minute of my day: that I can press a button and my glossly black french roast coffee beans (that came from Africa originally, but were transported to and roasted in New York) are perfectly ground and pressed and hot water (that is clean and heated to the perfect temperature) is passed through said grounds. Then a delightfully smokey brown liquid drips into a beautiful clay cup I have placed under the spout. All this happens in under a minute. And whenever I feel like it.

It is simply astonishing when I get out of my tiny little world, when chose to ignore the nagging likes and dislikes of the ego that drone on in my head.

It is possible to be astonished every single minute of the day by how much LIfe wants to and does offer us, if we’d only let it.