“Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
—Thich Nhat Hanh in The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (Broadway Books, 1998), p. 102.
Richard Rohr in his daily email compares Christians and Buddhists. “Christians are usually talking about metaphysics (‘what is’) and Buddhists are usually talking about epistemology (‘how do we know what is’). In that sense, they offer great gifts to one another.” 1
All I know is that the writings of the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh so often speak to me. What a marvelous idea to wake up in the morning and say to ourselves, “We have twenty-four brand new hours before us. I don’t want to waste a second, a minute, an hour. It is a new day.”
Yesterday is past. We went over what we had done and left undone the night before when we prayed that God would forgive us of wrongdoing, also called sins. We remembered where we found joy, often where we least expected it. We recalled where we found love. We remembered the day’s experiences in which we saw God working in our life.
This is a new day, a new beginning. We can no longer regret the past. If we have harmed others, we will make living amends where we need to; but today we are offered a new start. We hope we have learned from the past. We will not keep doing the same thing every day and expect different results. We will look for synchronicity or moments or serendipity in which we make connections, see how events are related.
I write about the Eucharist one morning and someone not aware of that confides later that same morning about how important the Eucharist is in his life. We receive a message from a friend we have been thinking about that day. We think about someone we have not seen for some time, and then that person calls. The person tells us that what we did or said was exactly what was needed at the time. That is synchronicity. These are God connections, and they are all around us in each new day.
1 Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation, Meditation: Mindfulness, cac.org, August 24, 2018.