The Altar of This Moment - a poem

By Dorothy Hunt

photo by Juliana Nan

Place everything you can perceive— Everything you can See, Hear, Smell, Taste, Or touch, upon the altar of this moment and give thanks.

It is over so soon— this expression, this single moment of your precious life, this one heart pounding itself open with fear or wild joy,

This one breath rising in the cold winter air smoothly and gently or coughing and sputtering.

Bow, while you can, before this one taste of afternoon tea warming its way to your belly, or the fragrant orange exploding its sweet juice in your grateful mouth.

You have to love the antics of your mind, imagining life should only be sweet. The bitter makes the sweet; and life is both. It is whole, like you, before you think yourself to pieces.

Place this moment’s pain and confusion on the altar, too, and give special thanks for such grace that wakes you up from sleeping through your life. Pain is greatly under-rated as a pointer to Unknowing, yet greatly over-rated when taken as identity.

In this one moment, your eyes meet mine and there is a single looking. What is peering from behind our masks? Can it touch itself across the room?

Place your palms together; touch your holy skin. In another moment it will shed itself. What will you be then? What were you before you had two hands? What are you now?

You cannot capture That and place It on the altar of this moment. It is the altar, and this moment’s infinite expressions, and the Seeing, and its own devotion to itself.

You are That.

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