In a moment of exhaustion, my mind was too tired to keep weaving its web and my heart was too tired to keep the world at bay. In that sudden stillness, I realized that, as a patch of water when still will reveal the bottom of a lake, the blessing of the ordinary is that any moment met with stillness will reveal the whole of life that resides under everything. This is the power of presence. When fully present, we can see through all trouble and turbulence. Through meditation, we can breathe our way back into presence. Through love, we are softened back into presence. And through suffering, we are broken back into presence. However we get there, dropping below the surface of things returns us to the heart of all being, which sustains the kinship between all things. When fully present, however briefly, we drink from the Unities and are renewed. In deep ways, poetry, music, and art in all their forms are life-sustaining because they lead us to these moments. It is our ongoing practice to enter them and drink again from life.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a moment you came upon that you were able to enter when still enough. What opened for you in this moment? How did entering this moment affect you? How would you describe what this moment opened you to?

This excerpt is from my book in progress, The Long Walk Through Time.

The Life of Expression: Finding Your Voice, Mark Nepo’s new 3-session webinar starting June 13, will center on the lifelong process of listening, reflecting, and expressing, and on how bearing witness to the truth of living reveals the mysteries of life. For more information or to register, visit: