Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Big Picture

"The next time you are feeling bored, despondent or irritable, try to remember your cosmic situation; at this moment you are riding on a big round-shaped rock that is hurling through space, spinning around its own axis at about a thousand miles per hour and spinning around the sun at approximately 66,000 miles per hour. Along with our entire solar system, you are also soaring through the Milky Way galaxy at nearly 500,000 miles per hour. And what’s truly remarkable is that you don’t even have to hold on."
                                                                                                     –Wes “Scoop” Nisker, Buddhist teacher

I recently went to the planetarium in San Francisco. I saw an incredible astronomical show about the creation of our sun. I learned that the sun is actually a star and that it is the nearest star to earth. I also learned that it was created 4.6 billion years ago. And it will burn itself out in another five billion years.

Fascinating numbers, but I could not wrap my mind around them. They were talking about billions of years ago and billions of years into the future. I couldn’t even imagine what one million years would look like, let alone billions.

It made me realize what a small speck we are in the history of our vast universe. And how trivial some of the things we concern ourselves about really are. It also helped put my losses, which seem so overwhelming at the time, in perspective.

You may feel that your loss is the largest thing in the universe. In time, and with perspective, your loss will take its proper place in your life.

                                                                  Excerpt from Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying

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