Living the Questions: March 2013

Theme for March: HOME–the practice of being here now

Questions for contemplation and conversation on your own,
around the dinner table, in your journal, with each other

Download 03-13-questions


  • When are you most at home in yourself?
  • When are you most at home with others?
  • For you, is home most related to people, land, places, etc.?
  • What gets you into the present moment, even if for a brief time?
  • What prevents you from being present to the moment?
  • What is it about our church that creates a feeling of home –leads people to say –there is no place I’d rather be on Sunday morning than here?


The population on this continent will become grounded, will find their place, by a slight change of mind that says “I’m here.”
—Gary Snyder


All our prayers in the morning, in the evening, start with the word “Here.”
—Edmund Ladd


It is not on any map; true places never are.
—Herman Melville


Most educated people say where is it written? Our people say where is it lived?
—Steve Rodriguez


With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


Home is like what you take away each time you leave the house. Like a wristwatch, it ticks beside the ticking that is your heart. Whether or not you hear it, look at its face, or feel its hold. We’re with you is what the minute, hour, and second hands of home have to tell.
—Michael J. Rosen, Home


Home is the place where you are most thoroughly yourself, with no pretenses.
—Victoria Moran, Creating a Charmed Life


I am here simply to make you alert and aware. That is, to be here now – with all the insecurity that life is; with all the uncertainty that life is; with all the danger that life is.
—Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


At Home from Church

The lilacs lift in generous bloom

Their plumes of dear old-fashioned flowers;

Their fragrance fills the still old house

Where left alone I count the hours.

High in the apple-trees the bees

Are humming, busy in the sun,—

An idle robin cries for rain

But once or twice and then is done.

The Sunday-morning quiet holds

In heavy slumber all the street,

While from the church, just out of sight

Behind the elms, comes slow and sweet

The organ’s drone, the voices faint

That sing the quaint long-meter hymn—

I somehow feel as if shut out

From some mysterious temple, dim

And beautiful with blue and red

And golden lights from windows high,

Where angels in the shadows stand

And earth seems very near the sky.

The day-dream fades—and so I try

Again to catch the tune that brings

No thought of temple nor of priest,

But only of a voice that sings.
Sarah Orne Jewett


Here Now
Now and again
I am here now
And now is when
I’m here again
—Samuel Menashe


Here now – a hymn from our Worship services

breathing calming

present moment wonderful moment

breathing healing

present moment wonderful moment

let nothing upset you

let nothing frighten you

everything is changing

only now is changeless

patience attains the goal

who has now lacks nothing

now alone fills all needs

i have arrived i am home

in the here in the now

i am solid i am free

in the ultimate i dwell


From Ram Dass
Come back. Come home. Be present again. Be Here Now.
Being Here Now is experiential and it takes practice. It’s about being rather than doing. When you are in the moment, truly in the moment, this is it, it’s all there is. Time slows down. You can enter a flow of love with a quiet mind, simply being present. You flow from one activity to the next, moment to moment, being with one person, then with another, just Being Here Now.

From When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
I wish someone had told me when I was young that it was not happiness I could count on, but change. Democracy demands we speak and act outrageously. We can change the world if our view is long and focused with friends drawn lovingly around the place we call home. I believe my own voice continues to be found wherever I am being present and responding from my heart, moment by moment. My voice is born repeatedly in the fields of uncertainty.

From Scott Russell Sanders in Staying Put
“The man who is often thinking that it is better to be somewhere else than where he is excommunicates himself” we are cautioned by Thoreau, that notorious stay-at-home.  The metaphor is religious: to withhold yourself from where you are is to be cut off from communion with the source.  It has taken me a half a lifetime of searching to realize that the likeliest path to the ultimate ground leads through my local ground.  I mean the land itself, with its creeks and rivers, its weather, seasons, stone outcroppings, and all the plants and animals that share it.  I cannot have a spiritual center without having a geographical one; I cannot live a grounded life without being grounded in place.

In belonging to a landscape, one feels a rightness, at-homeness, a knitting of self and world.  This condition of clarity and focus, this being fully present, is akin to what Buddhists call mindfulness, what Christian contemplatives refer to as recollection, what Quakers call centering down.  I am suspicious of any philosophy that would separate this-worldly from other-worldly commitment.  There is only one world, and we participate in it here and now, in our flesh and our place.

Walking with Peace and Presence by Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace is something we can contemplate every day. Walking meditation is one of the ways to contemplate peace, and today we are going to walk together, generating the energy of peace, solidity, and freedom. I suggest that when you breathe in, you make three steps. Bring your attention to the soles of your feet, and become aware of the contact between your foot and the ground. Bring your attention down from the level of the brain to the soles of your feet. Breathing in, we make three steps, and we may tell ourselves with each step, “I have arrived. I have arrived. I have arrived.” And breathing out, we make another three steps, always mindful of the contact between our feet and the ground, and we say, “I’m home. I’m home. I’m home.”

Arrived where? Where is our home? According to the teaching and the practice of the Buddha, life is available only in the present moment, in the here and the now. And when you go back to the present moment, you have a chance to touch life, to encounter life, to become fully alive and fully present. That is why every step brings us back to the present moment, so that we can touch the wonders of life that are available. Therefore, when I say, “I have arrived,” I mean I have arrived in the here and the now — the only place, the only time where and when life is available, and that is my true home.