Posts Tagged ‘inner place’

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.

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.

Fear into Prayer

January 2, 2015

How many times are we faced with a situation that seems so overwhelming that all we have to offer is fear?  Perhaps a friend is making decisions that seem strange or unfamiliar to us.  Or perhaps there is illness in our family.  Any of life’s situations can bring us into this overwhelming state of fear.

The challenge is to sit with the fear, accept it, let it overwhelm you, but without immediate action.  My guess is that the fear will turn into prayer for the person or situation.

The calm of prayer will replace the anxiety of the fear.

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

A Cup of Tea

November 20, 2014

I had tea yesterday with a cherished long time friend.  She introduced me to this wonderful tea shop.  As we were sitting there catching up over our pot of tea I was experiencing so many different levels of our fellowship.  The tea was wonderful and it reminded me of the calm that is so lacking in our everyday busyness.  The tea brings you down, but in a very good way.  The taste and the smoothness, the aroma.  The subtlety of the small tea cups and the small portion of tea.  The “just right” temperature of the water and the “just right” steeping time.

Do we long for “just right”?  Can we find that place in our soul that is “just right”?  I often see that place as water finding its level.  Still water that is disturbed slightly will find its level relatively quickly.  In contrast, the oceans after a hurricane are disturbed for a much longer time.  We may have to walk through a lot of pain and discomfort to find the “just right” place, but it is there to be found.  Pray for patience and perseverance.