Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Remember: Wisdom for Living A Spiritual Life

Of all the books I've read about "spiritual life and practice", the one that has had the most important impact on my life (and life legacy) is Wayne Muller's How Then, Shall We Live? Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives. His four "simple" questions are:

1. Who am I?

2. What do I love?

3. How shall I live, knowing I will die?

4. What is my gift to the family of the earth?

These four questions, it seems to me, are the most fundamental self-inquiries we can make when considering the legacy of our lives.

Noting that "we are already spiritual", Muller says "the heart of a full, rich spiritual life is driven less by what we do than how we do it." Having spent far too much of my life focused on trying to find meaning in doing, the truth in his statement finally touched my heart after a mid-life crisis (or two!).

How I do it
has become the essential "practice" that reveals meaning and beauty in my life, no matter what it is that I'm doing.

Since reading the book, I have kept one little paragraph in my mind and heart -- and offered it as a blessing at the end of my classes on "wisdom for talking about death" and "lessons for the living from the dying". I also created a handout for people to take home and post next to their bathroom mirror (where it resides in our house). Muller says these simple words are "the heart of most spiritual practice":


Remember who you are.

Remember what you love.

Remember what is sacred.

Remember what is true.

Remember that you will die,
and that this day is a gift.

Remember how you wish to live.

Of all I've written on this blog since I started it last April, these simple words are the most important "guiding light" for my life today -- and for however many days I have left to create the legacy of my lifetime on this earth.

Thank you, Wayne Muller, for bringing "Remember" into my life and may your wisdom bless all those who read your words here ... and pass them along to future generations of their family and friends.

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