The Old Sage
The Old Sage has already dived deep into the river of life. She has experienced the strong waves, the deep currents, the whirlpools and turmoils. She has lived through storms, calm and turbulent days, and now she can step back and look at the river itself. She recognises that it can flow gently or rush violently, that it can be warm in the summer, cool in the autumn and frozen in the winter. And that all these different temperatures, moods and ways of being belong to the river. As much as joy and pain, ecstasy and anger, sadness and bliss belong to life.
She is not washed away anymore by the flows and currents. She has learnt to swim, to keep her eyes open and her head above the water. As she prepares to leave the river of life, she stands at the shore and observes it. She could also be sitting on a bench by a frequented road and watch the world go by with a slight smile on her face. She has shifted her focus from doing to being. Even when she does not engage so much in daily affairs anymore, her presence, her calmness, serenity and wisdom are great gifts for the community.
In this phase of her life she is able to see things and people as they are, without any agenda and attachment. She can “zoom out” and take a step back from situations, take a bird’s-eye perspective and look at the big picture, acknowledging the interconnectedness of beings and events. he is also able to observe the thriving, conflicts and little pleasures of daily life with compassion – since she has also been through it all. Her wisdom lies in her rich life-experience, in her broad view, as well as in her care, compassion and gratitude for life.
The Old Sage no longer has a great mission, she is not seeking adventures, happiness and joy. She is able to appreciate the little things of everyday life: the song of birds at sunset, the laughter of a child, a good cup of tea, a good night’s sleep. By being aware of the limitedness of her time on Earth, she is able to see the uniqueness and beauty of these ordinary things.
The perspective of the Old Sage is relevant and beneficial at each stage of life. Her viewpoint invites you to put your agendas aside for an hour or two and look at your life, to all relations and events with appreciation and compassion – including yourself. She encourages you to see teachers in conflicts and difficulties, to be grateful for what is given and to be a caring and responsible member of your community. Through the awareness of mortality, she reminds you of the preciousness and uniqueness of each day of life.
*What are the things in life that you are grateful for?
*Do you have elders in your life?
Create a simple ritual to honour and say thank you for what you are grateful for and if you have them, to honour your elders. Create an altar, spend some time out in nature and make some artwork, create your own prayer or pray in a way you’ve learned, write a letter to the people you are grateful for… Take time to really connect with a feeling of gratitude and celebrate it.
Go to an old people’s home and spend some time playing or talking, visit your grandparents or connecting with what you call your elders. Cultivate a simple act of gratitude to the knowing of the people or lineages that went before you and remind you that you are part of an eternal stream of evolution; held and safe.