A New Day

    A New Day frontcover

     

    The hustle-bustle of modern life, what Thomas Merton called the "absorbing rush," drains our happiness and our spirit. We are assailed by mixed messages and advertisements that tell us who and what we should be, and promises that we will finally be happy if only we bought certain products or looked a certain way. Mass media enflames fear and hatred, negativism and suspicion for political agendas. And despite all our connections via cell phones, email, and social media, we are lonelier than ever. Depression is pandemic. Poor health is epidemic. Drug abuse is epidemic. Suicide rates are at an all-time high. We need to learn how to revive and nourish ourselves and our spirits in silence, stillness, and contemplation. It took the author more than half a century to learn these lessons. Let’s hope it doesn’t take you so long.

     

     

     

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    Illustration by Michael T. Duncan

    "Heartfelt and wise sayings artfully gathered from the University of Life—the best school there is! Enjoy. Imbibe. Grow a bigger soul on meditating and then practicing the wisdom shared here." —Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing

    Excerpts from A New Day:

    From the Foreword:

    Some people who know me might scoff on learning that I have written a book such as this. They would be the first to tell you that I have certainly not lived my life as this book preaches. And they would be correct. In that respect, I am just like you—someone who wants to slow down and get off the endless merry-go-round of “keeping up with the Joneses” and buying things to fill the hollowness inside, someone in search of a better way to live, a better way of Being. Perhaps I wrote this book for myself, for my own edification. But I’m willing to share what I have learned with you. Let’s hope it doesn’t take you as long as it took me.

    *     *    *

    Two arms. Two legs. A head with two eyes, a mouth and nose and two ears. A heart, lungs, a duodenum. Even a belly button. Stop seeing other people for their differences and start seeing them for their similarities.

    There are as many ways to love as there are people in the world.

    “In all people I see myself.” –Walt Whitman

    I vividly remember the night I lay in my bed at seven years old looking at stars outside the window with a dawning realization that the span of my life would be nothing more than an eye-blink to the universe. I realized that I had never known and would never know a time when I did not exist—not the far past or the far future. The galaxy would turn with or without me. It terrified me. So young, I already understood that we only have this moment—the closest we ever come to glimpsing eternity.

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    Illustration by Michael T. Duncan

    My late friend Carl Sagan, who understood the immensity of the universe more than almost anyone else on Earth, once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness of the universe is bearable only through love.”

    My Alaska Native mentor, Walter Charley, always taught me to have compassion for animals, what he called our fellow passengers on this planet. Twice in my half century of living in Alaska, I have risked my life to rescue moose calves drowning in raging rivers after their heavier and stronger mothers safely forged across to the other side. The last time was on the upper Klutina River. As I was walking back to my  second cousin’s truck, sopping wet, cold, and beaming ear-to-ear with joy, the little moose calf I rescued ambled up behind me and pressed its head against my heart, thanking me for saving its life. True story.

    For years, I walked down to a creek every day and sat on a log and did nothing. For that is what it must have seemed to a casual observer. Although it may have appeared outwardly as if nothing was happening, everything was happening inside me.

    All your anxiety and worrying doesn’t really exist. The birds don’t see it. That squirrel beside a tree doesn’t see it. The sun comes up and down every day without concern. Your own mind creates much of your suffering. Stop thinking your problems are bigger than they are and they may vanish altogether.

    All my life I have been terrified of silence and of being alone. Just ask anyone who knows me. How delightful it was when I learned after half a century how unlonely both can be.

    It amazes me how many people say, “I don’t have time in my busy life for this or that,” but they find hours and hours each day to read and post on social media, to aimlessly browse the Internet, or to binge-watch mindless television. Just put down your smartphone. Turn it off. Unplug. Walk away.

    Andy Warhol once said that every person gets fifteen minutes of fame in their life. Nowadays, because of the Internet and social media, people want their fifteen minutes of fame every single day. “I have hundreds of friends!” they gleefully exclaim while swallowing an antidepressant pill prescribed for depression caused by loneliness.

    Now Available for purchase at Amazon

    A New Day

    © 2020 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.

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