Monday, May 3, 2010

For Today, Newly Bright

I have a watercolor painting in my room of a tiny sparrow sitting in some tall grasses and flowers as the sun’s yellow rays brighten the retreating gray of early morning. The painting is entitled “For Today, Newly Bright.”

The painting reminds me every morning that today is a new day. A fresh start. A new beginning. A day of possibilities. What will I do with them?

Thich Nhat Hanh describes the Buddhist practice of “beginning anew.” Beginning anew is a determination not to repeat the mistakes of the past, a commitment to living in mindfulness. It reminds me of the Christian concept of reconciliation, or the Jewish concept of atonement. Honestly acknowledging our past frees us to begin anew. Each time we make this vow to ourselves, transformation occurs immediately. We can renew this intention as often as we feel the need to unburden our hearts and start fresh.

Pema Chodron describes the practice of “one at the beginning, and one at the end.” In the morning, she makes an aspiration for the day. For example, “May I not speak or act out of anger.” Keep it simple. Then, in the evening, she reviews the day. If you are like me, then you might not have a perfect aspiration track record for the day. Chodron anticipates that (must be common!) by encouraging us to rejoice if we remember our aspiration even once during the day. And if we forgot it completely, then we can rejoice that we have the capacity to be aware of that!

I like the theme of rejoicing in our effort rather than scolding ourselves for our imperfection. What a pleasant way to end the day. And to anticipate tomorrow. Full of promise. Newly bright.


  1. Praise God for new beginnings, oh how I need that! Thanks for your post!

  2. Loved this upbeat postive post. I just dropped in today; I will visit again.
    Blessings to you!
    Living Waters @


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