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Jun 11
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The Extraordinary Discovery of Ordinary Magic

by Stanislav Yasinskiy

photo by Stanislav Yasinskiy

AUTHOR CORRECTION: by Joe Mauricio, Director of the Baltimore Shambhala Center

Coming upon a small bird building a nest the other day, I stopped and marveled at how simple and perfect my world was. Okay. That’s a fairly obvious observation. What made this particularly meaningful to me was that I had been in a minor rage for about three blocks. My mind had tightened, as it does, and I was lost in the hyper-focus of “things that should be, or should not have been.” Whatever it was, was very important at the time.

Then the bird.

It stood in my way with a huge stick in its beak. It stopped me in my tracks. Then the little guy turned to look up at another bird whistling down from the tree above us. The winged couple was creating a world for itself, and its burgeoning family. They had real problems. Their world was not theoretical, or based on a concept of what should be. Their world was built on what was. That and sticks, weeds, grass and string, the ordinary components of life.

I relaxed for a moment. This process, which in its way had been going on for thousands of years and in some sense from the beginning of time, was simple, real and direct. It was a practical expression of love, caring and community. This real and very ordinary magic seemed so big to me now, so important. Although it had seemed all but inconsequential compared to whatever theory I was embroiled in moments earlier. My mind stopped and my heart opened in that moment, and I waited for the bird to get its bearings and continue on. Then I continued on as well. And, of course, the change in me lasted only minutes, and I was soon again hurrying to work, worrying and wondering and planning and thinking. That’s what we do. And have done for a long time. That’s what makes the world go round, so to speak. This is how we power the hamster wheel. But, while that happens the world is alive outside us every moment, and has been for as long as we can remember. Life is a daily miracle, moment to moment, even since before we were born. And it will continue without us long after we’re gone.

In the Shambhala Teachings we talk about joining heaven and earth with the open receptive human heart. Shambhala is dedicated to the idea that we can create enlightenment here and now in this ordinary moment, simply by paying attention to the small and brilliant miracles occurring in every moment. Each time we allow our mind to stop, we drop the project of building the theory. In that moment, we can choose to open further into the present. Every time we connect to the small things happening in the ordinary realm of the earth, we are connected to the cosmos itself, to time beyond time, to perfect moments that balance the miraculous with the ordinary.

If we choose to open, our world becomes three dimensional, alive and interactive. If we choose to ignore the moment and go back to stress-induced somnambulist fretting, then we narrow our world to the world of things. Things are two dimensional and temporary. This is how we all-to-often choose to live our lives. In two dimensions: black and white. The real world is made up of much more. It is alive and thrives with life in every moment, in every step we take. We can chose to be part of that, if we like. That is warriorship. The bravery to open up and gently connect to what is. The real world. The ordinary magic of life as it is.

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4 responses to “ The Extraordinary Discovery of Ordinary Magic ”
  1. Vinny_Scully
    Jun 15, 2012
    Reply

    Life is a daily miracle – how beautiful – that is the wonder of living in the now.
    Thank you.

  2. Margaret May
    Jun 12, 2012
    Reply

    Kate, what a wonderful moment of being awake and open, and your sharing with such beautiful text causes me to pause as well.

  3. I like Ani Pema Chodron’s photo caption in her calendar for March 2012 which reads:

    “When we pause, allow a gap and breathe deeply, we can experience instant refreshment. Suddenly we slow down, look out, and there’s the world.”

  4. Beautiful text. So well said and so true. Thank you for sharing!


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