Soak Up the Gift of Life

“As I silence myself I become more sensitive to the sounds around me, and I do not block them out. The songs of the birds, the rustle of the wind, children in the playground, the roar of an airplane overhead are all taken into my worship. I regulate my breathing as taught me by my Zen friends, and through this exercise I feel the flow of life within me from my toes right through my whole body. I think of myself like the tree planted by the ‘rivers of water’ in Psalm 1, sucking up God’s gift of life and being restored. Sometimes I come to meeting for worship tired and weary, and I hear the words of Jesus, ‘Come unto me, all that labour and are weary, and I will give you rest’. And having laid down my burden, I feel refreshed both physically and spiritually. This leads me on to whole-hearted adoration and thanksgiving for all God’s blessings. My own name, Tayeko, means ‘child of many blessings’ and God has surely poured them upon me. My heart overflows with a desire to give him something in return. I have nothing to give but my own being, and I offer him my thoughts, words and actions of each day, and whisper ‘Please take me as I am.'”

— Tayeko Yamanouchi, 1980
Faith & Practice of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (2018)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Enter into a few minutes of silence, consciously taking outside sounds into your worship. 

What is your process for centering in worship?

What does “centered-ness” mean to you? What does it feel like when you reach a centered state?