The Altar of this Moment


As I set off walking the dog this morning there was a quiet stillness in the air and the sky was on fire. We went down the hill to the beach.

Kuri loves the beach its something about the vital energy there that seems to bring out her inner puppy and she plays in the washed up seaweed and rolls in the sand like she’s young again. Today had even more joy in it as there were a pod of dolphins in the bay. Theres something about watching dolphins that opens my heart to our interconnectedness…

Dolphins in Houghton Bay, Wellington NZ
Some of the Dolphins in Houghton Bay
Dolphins in the bay 2
– they’re there if you look closely! I only had my iPhone with me.

….and as if to confirm it,

I came back to this poem by Dorothy Hunt in my Facebook feed:


Place everything you can perceive—
Everything you can
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.

This was the final excerpt from ‘The Altar of This Moment’ shared by SANDS
<< back to Fourth excerpt

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9 thoughts on “The Altar of this Moment

  1. Thank you for liking “Shadow Show.” Beautiful photos and poem! 🙂 I was fortunate enough to spend part of my childhood growing up near the sea, and I was able to experience some of that wonderful peace and energy on the beach that you describe in your post.

    Liked by 1 person

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