Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

The great somber silence

January 4, 2016

This silence is not just the absence of noise.  It is the very silence from which the world was formed.  The miracle is that we have access to this same silence within our own beings, within our own soul.

It takes practice to quiet the mind.  On the other side of a quiet mind is the great somber silence.

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Gratitude

November 7, 2015

Yes, gratitude again.  The companion to gratitude, I believe, is positive thinking.  Now I know that positive thinking has a history and has many good and bad reviews.  I want to challenge the contemplative to use the sitting practice to really examine everyday thoughts.  What language are you using inside your mind?  What kinds of words are most often in your conversations?  Words are so very powerful and need to be chosen wisely.  The words that are not spoken are just as important.  The unspoken words that we speak continually in our minds influence us in very subtle ways.  The challenge now is to go deeper into your thoughts during the quiet and examine.  Examine those thoughts for the words and patterns that might need adjusting to a more positive position.  Turn on the light.

The In Between Time

October 22, 2015

There is a soft comfort that comes with the in between time.  It is a time of change and transition.  We are moving from one place to another.  Do we give over to anxiety and fear or do we just rest and wait?  We probably do a little of both!

Regardless of your picture of a higher power, there is something out there that will let you know that you are not alone.  There is a spiritual force which will keep you safe from harm.  Let that force support you and keep you warm.

Rest, rest, rest.

Plunged into Prayer

July 28, 2015

Several years ago I frequented a Japanese inspired spa.  There was a large communal hot tub and a cold plunge.  I remember well taking the plunge.  The cold water would quite literally leave you breathless.  The spa was in the mountains, so the air would be cold when you would come out of the plunge.  The exit usually meant either grabbing for a robe or getting right back into the hot water.

What motivates us to take the plunge?  Is there something beguiling about the icy water?  Do we think that it might not be as cold as we know it to be?  Are we seduced?

There are times as I go about my day when the call to prayer and silence is so profound it seems like a seduction.  I know that I will give in to the call even when sometimes I would rather not.  During those times of strong calling I feel as if I am taking the cold plunge.  Is it entirely of my free will?  The immersion is so complete that I have to wonder who is doing the calling.

A Day Pass from the Monastery

December 3, 2014

Several years ago I spent a few days at a wilderness monastery.  The Brothers ran a thrift store in the town which was about a two hour drive from their community.  I was sitting in the library one day as the two Brothers who were to drive into town to staff the store for the day were being briefed on their journey.  It was amusing at the time to hear the rules of the road as it were.  Looking back I am in a much better place to appreciate the situation.

There are many times when I leave my own house and step out into the world without considering the rules of the road.  Leaving my own “monastery” can be quite jolting at times.  A good example happened a few nights ago.  I decided to go out in the evening for a bite to eat.  As I was driving I was thinking about what I had eaten during the day and what I thought my body would need this evening.  The Brothers would only eat a very light supper around four in the afternoon.  The noon meal was the main meal of the day.  I felt very centered and decided that I only really needed a bowl of soup.  I went to a local market that has a good café.  Coming from my centered and contemplative place I entered and was shocked by the energies of the masses and the loud noises and music.  I came to realize that night that I also need rules for the road for leaving my house and the monastery that I have created.

As contemplative people we could most likely all benefit from a set of rules for the road.  The shock of moving about our day will be lessened if we keep in mind that the world outside is quite different than the world we have created for ourselves inside and vastly different than our intimate interior worlds.

Remember: Rules for the Road