Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

What You Missed That Day You Were Absent From Fourth Grade

--by Brad Aaron Modlin (Dec 11, 2017)

Mrs. Nelson explained how to stand still and listen
to the wind, how to find meaning in pumping gas,

how peeling potatoes can be a form of prayer. She took
questions on how not to feel lost in the dark.

After lunch she distributed worksheets
that covered ways to remember your grandfather’s

voice. Then the class discussed falling asleep
without feeling you had forgotten to do something else—

something important—and how to believe
the house you wake in is your home. This prompted

Mrs. Nelson to draw a chalkboard diagram detailing
how to chant the Psalms during cigarette breaks,

and how not to squirm for sound when your own thoughts
are all you hear; also, that you have enough.

The English lesson was that I am
is a complete sentence.

And just before the afternoon bell, she made the math equation
look easy. The one that proves that hundreds of questions,

and feeling cold, and all those nights spent looking
for whatever it was you lost, and one person

add up to something.

From Brad Aaron Modlin's book Everyone At This Party Has Two Names.

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On Dec 9, 2017 david doane wrote:

 Mrs. Nelson taught kids important things about living.  We could use more teachers like Mrs. Nelson.  As for 'I am', not only is 'I am' a complete sentence, it may be the most important sentence we say.  'I am' is a person's essence and foundation, and it is from 'I am' that all the rest of one's life takes shape.  The only any one else and any thing else that I know is me.  I feel wholeness in my experience when I read essays like this one, and when I think and write like I am now.  What helps me remember that I have enough is realizing that I really need very little -- water, air, some food -- even though I have and enjoy much more than what I need.  I remind myself to keep it simple and appreciate the simple.  Having more than I need is a slippery slope to unnecessary suffering.  While I'm not self sufficient, I have and can get what I need.  I'm just me and I am enough.  As Rumi said, I'm not just the wave in the ocean, I'm also the ocean in the wave.  And remembering Mary Poppins words, "Enough is as good as a feast," also helps me.        

On Dec 9, 2017 Jagdish P Dave' wrote:

 Feeling enough and whole is different from having enough or possessing wholeness. It is also different from intellectually knowing what is enough and what is wholeness..According to my understanding, it is realizing or experiencing fullness, or wholeness. As the writer says, " I am is a complete sentence." It is not a thing. It is an enduring feeling of wholeness or a higher state of consciousness, dwelling in the being zone. Wanting, and doing and having and possessing take us away from the state of being.

It is my belief and conviction that we all have a deep yearning for completing our I am sentence, for experiencing the wholeness and fullness. We all are thirsty for it. But sadly, we strive to attain it by creating and living in a world of doing, having and possessing and draining our physical, mental and emotional energy. It is like a deer thirsty of water chasing the mirage.It is like walking on the periphery of the circle looking for the center. No wonder why we feel exhausted and incomplete.

When I read something like this article or a poem or listen to a song or hum a song i feel like I am in the being zone. The doing and having merge into the being state. When I water the plant, hold the hand of a crying child, look at the shining stars, extend my helping hand, meditate with like minded people, or take a mindful walk, I feel fullness of living in the moment. I feel "I am  is a complete sentence."

May we awaken ourselves from the delusion and dream of seeking fulfillment from outer sources rather than living from within!


Jagdish P Dave'

On Dec 10, 2017 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 I am is all we need to be. After all we are human beings. So I am = being a human being. <3
I have "enough" tattooed on my right wrist, it serves as a daily reminder that I am enough. You are enough. Each of us is enough simple for being. Or I am. <3 
I felt this today at church. The woman next to me started crying, I sent her thoughts of love and care and then I stooped down to reach for tissues out of her reach, I gently placed the tissue on her lap and gently patted her shoulder while sending more thoughts. I cannot explain it entirely, but my heart felt so full of love and connection in that moment. I couldn't fix anything for her, but I could be present. I could BE present <3 I am. You are. We are. Enough. <3 

On Dec 10, 2017 Jo wrote:

 One person, confirmining my asking One Person that I need one person to know that I am a person ... Was proof to me "The I Am" really is ... And indeed, hears my prayer.  I feel whole and alive in Him. (Knowing he, on earth, is a gift from God!). Amen

On Dec 10, 2017 Jo too wrote:

 So beautiful!  More proof, are YOU, that The I AM is living in you! amen ... nd thank you!

On Dec 12, 2017 i am wrote:


On Dec 13, 2017 Pluto178 wrote:

 Ah thank you x 

On Dec 13, 2017 Indira Iyer wrote:

 Reflecting on "I am" reminds us that we are complete in ourselves and need not look elsewhere for happiness... The Sanskrit mantra "So ham" meaning "I am that" takes it to the next level of contemplation beyond the "I ness" into universal unity.

On Dec 14, 2017 Pravin Shah wrote:

 'I am' my True Self, ounce of the Divine! I feel Love and Wholesome. I get there by 'no mind', 'no thoughts', by being 'here and now'! Namaste.

On Dec 15, 2017 Anjilo smith wrote:


On Dec 17, 2017 P.L. McGroarty wrote:


On Jul 26, 2018 Sheila wrote:

 Oh, just like Sr St Thomas!

On Sep 29, 2018 jamesbond wrote:

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