"Sabbath time can be a revolutionary challenge to the violence of overwork, mindless accumulation, and the endless multiplication of desires, responsibilities, and accomplishments. Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity.
"Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center. 'Remember the Sabbath' means 'Remember that everything you have received is a blessing. Remember to delight in your life, in the fruits of your labor. Remember to stop and offer thanks for the wonder of it.' Remember, as if we would forget. Indeed, the assumption is that we will forget. And history has proven that, given enough time, we will.
" 'Remember the Sabbath' is not simply a life-style suggestion. It is a spiritual precept in most of the world's spiritual traditions ethical precepts that include prohibitions against killing, stealing, and lying. How can forgetting the Sabbath possibly be morally and socially dangerous? How can forgetting to be restful, sing songs, and take delight in creation be as reprehensible as murder, robbery, and deceit? Why is this so important?
"Sabbath honors the necessary wisdom of dormancy. If certain plant species, for example, do not lie dormant for winter, they will not bear fruit in the spring. If this continues for more than a season, the plant begins to die. If dormancy continues to be prevented, the entire species will die. A period of rest in which nutrition and fertility most readily coalesce is not simply a human psychological convenience; it is a spiritual and biological necessity. A lack of dormancy produces confusion and erosion in the life force.
"We, too, must have a period in which we lie fallow, and restore our souls. In Sabbath time we remember to celebrate what is beautiful and sacred; we light candles, sing songs, tell stories, eat, nap, and make love. It is a time to let our work, our lands, our animals lie fallow, to be nourished and refreshed. Within this sanctuary, we become available to the insights and blessings of deep mindfulness that arise only in stillness and time. When we act from a place of deep rest, we are more capable of cultivating what the Buddhists would call right understanding, right action, and right effort. In a complex and unstable world, if we do not rest, if we do not surrender into some kind of Sabbath, how can we find our way, how can we hear the voices that tell us the right thing to do?"