Friday, May 22, 2015


What is holiness? Well, I am not going to give you some sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, happy-clappy definition of holiness. No, I will take you straight to the etymological meaning of the word itself. That is the right way to proceed.

And what do we find? Well, I will spare you the Old High German, the Old English, the proto-German, and the Old Norse words that are connected with the English word holiness and will simply say this---the word ‘holiness’ denotes wholeness, completeness, perfection, healthiness and even happiness. The word also refers to that which brings about a state of health and completeness.

Now, here’s something from the Buddha about holiness. I hope you find it helpful.

The Buddha was once asked, ‘What makes a person holy?’ This is said to have been his answer to that question:

'Every hour is divided into sixty minutes, and every minute into sixty seconds, and every second into a certain number of fractions. Any person who is able to be totally present in each fraction of each second is holy.'

So, there you have it. If you live mindfully, that is, are fully and completely and constantly present and aware from one moment to the next, such that you and your experience of life are one, you are holy---and enlightened. How is that? Because you will then be empty of self. Where there is oneness, there is emptiness of self. So, the 'secret' to life is to experience each moment to its fullest. Once a moment is gone, it can never be relived. Here is a paradox of enormous proportions---time is movement, yet the time is always 'now'! It is always the 'eternal now'---the ever-present and everywhere-present portal through which we experience what we call the 'present moment.' So live your life now. Drop thoughts of the past. Drop thoughts of the future. Drop images and mental abstractions. Just be totally 'there' in the present each and every moment.

Of course, right thoughts, right speech, right actions and a number of other important things such as a healthy diet and lifestyle and good genes will help to ensure total health of both mind and body---for you are a mind-body continuum---but if you practise continual presence, that is, ceaseless awareness, of both mind and body as well as your surrounds in the eternal now, you will be a long way along the path to being whole and complete, that is, holy.

Be mindful. Be holy. But never holier-than-thou.




No comments:

Post a Comment