At our recent Taizé gathering, Andrea and Abhi Dutt led us through a beautiful reflection based on a book by Mark Nepo. Our theme that night revolved around conflict, and how it can be difficult to navigate. The author used the imagery of the sea – the waves, the swells, the break, and the shore – to highlight how we can navigate conflict well and experience peace. Read the excerpt below, and reflect on how you can experience peace in the midst of pain.
“When our days are turbulent and troubled, our challenge is to remember that the wave is not the sea. Though it pounds us, the pounding will pass. Though it tosses us about , the tossing will pass, if we don’t fight it. Often our fear misleads us to stay in close to shore, when the safest place is in the deep, if we can get there. Any swimmer knows: Stay too close to shore and you will be battered by the surf and undertow. We must swim out past the breakers if we are to know the hammock of the deep. Stay on land or make it to the deep. It is the in-between that kills.”
1. Sit quietly and practice entering the deep
2. Imagine each breath is a stroke
3. Breathe slowly and swim your way past all distraction
4. When you feel the swell of life around you, simply drift…
From “The Book of Awakening,” by Mark Nepo