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Wash Hands, Consider Daffodils

A Message from CSW Director Rob Field

It came to me a few days ago when I was home at the kitchen sink, washing my hands. Looking out the window, I wondered to myself, "How long is the coronavirus pandemic going to disrupt our lives, and how will we survive it?"

As I was pondering (still soaping & rinsing my hands), a bouquet of newly-plucked daffodils caught my eye in the windowsill. In that moment, I felt a gentle nudge inside, and it seemed to say:

"Wash your hands, but don't forget the daffodils"

Wisdom teachers have said similar things throughout the ages. Based on the teachings of the Buddha, Jack Kornfield once wrote, "After the ecstasy, the laundry." I think Kornfield meant that human beings need to make room not only for awe and wonder, but also the mundane tasks of daily living.

In a teaching about the futility of worry, Jesus of Nazareth said, "Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither spin nor weave; yet I tell you, even King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these."

Perennial wisdom reminds us that fullness of life means paying attention to two things: whatever needs doing now, and also the potential for beauty, love, and wonder available each moment. The challenge is to find the "golden mean" between the two. If we only focus on the ideal good, we risk ignoring practical aspects of life that call for our attention. But if we never consider the daffodils — or the other glories of spring as they erupt around us, we risk falling into a pit of despair caused by the coronavirus / COVID19 outbreak.

"Wash your hands, but don't forget the daffodils"

At Center for Spiritual Wisdom, our mission is to promote vibrant spirituality in ways that help participants. What can wary people do in this strange era of "social distancing" and voluntary house arrest? What might make your heart sing, even as you pay attention to vitally important news updates? Our e-news updates will offer some ideas. Meanwhile, take good care, and please consider the lilies of the field.

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, we've postponed our Ben Long frescoes pilgrimage until June. We are hopeful that 3 months will offer enough time to alleviate major health concerns in our area, and assure interested pilgrims it will be safe to travel in our region once again. This 2-day pilgrimage will depart from Brevard on June 15 and take in 5 different sites in the region featuring frescoes by renowned artist Ben Long before returning on June 16. Don't hesitate to register now and save your space, because fees will be fully refundable in the event of postponement or cancellation. The pilgrimage is being organized by CSW Operations & Communications Manager Cindy Decker and led by CSW Associate Tom Lewis, who has led numerous pilgrimages through the years. Get further details and register HERE.
by Cameron W. Bellm

May we who are merely inconvenienced
Remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
Remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
Remember those who must choose between
preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for
our children when their schools close
Remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
Remember those that have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money
in the tumult of the economic market
Remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
Remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country,
let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically
wrap our arms around each other,
Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace
of God to our neighbors.
(with thanks to Tom Lewis & Frances Dille for sharing)

A Teaching from Richard Rohr In Light of Coronavirus

The life of faith is learning how to rest in an Ultimate Love and how to draw upon an Infinite Source. On a very practical level, you will then be able to trust that you are being held and guided. In fact, you can trust after a while that almost everything is a kind of guidance.
When you doubt the possibility of guidance, you’ve just stopped the flow. But if you stay on the path of allowing and trusting, the Spirit in you will allow you to confidently surrender:

There’s a reason for this.
God is in this, too.

(with thanks to Micki Gillman for sharing)


Wisdom tells us the journey of life will include challenges, some scary and life-threatening. This is one of those times. But we believe in the power of love and community, which have helped us navigate crises of the past. Center for Spiritual Wisdom plans to be here when times are better, promoting vibrant spiritual life in our region. As a young non-profit organization, however, we need your help. Please consider a donation or recurring gift to help us cover our operating expenses while our revenues are diminished. With a debit/credit card and few clicks of your mouse, you can make a one-time gift or set up a monthly donation of $100, $50 or $25. All gifts will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged in a timely way. PLEASE DONATE HERE. Thank you!

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Center for Spiritual Wisdom · 100 Elks Club Road · Brevard, North Carolina 28712 · USA

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