can we will our minds into calm?

to consider letting go a little more....

to consider letting go a little more….

The great wisdom traditions agree that in our usual untrained state of mind, awareness and perception are insensitive and impaired: fragmented by attentional instability, colored by clouding emotions, and distorted by scattered desires. Accordingly we are said to mistake shadows for reality (Plato) because we see ‘through a glass darkly’ (St. Paul), a ‘reducing valve’ (Aldous Huxley), or ‘narrow chinks’ (Blake). William Blake put it poetically: ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite for man has closed himself up,’til he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.’ One element of the art of transcendence, therefore, aims to refine perception and awareness and render them more sensitive, more accurate, and more appreciative of the freshness and novelty of each moment of experience. One of the primary tools for this is meditation. Meditators notice that both internal and external perception become more sensitive, colors seem brighter, and the inner world becomes available through a process known as ‘introspective sensitization.’ The validity of these subjective experiences has recently found experimental support from research that indicates that meditators’ perceptual processing becomes more sensitive and rapid and empathy more accurate. As the psychiatric historian Henri Ellenberger observed, ‘The natural tendency of the mind is to roam through the past and the future; it requires a certain effort to keep one’s attention in the present.’ Meditation is training in precisely that effort. The result is a present-centered freshness of perception variously described as mindfulness (Buddhism), ‘anuragga’ (Hinduism), the ‘sacrament of the present moment’ (Christianity), the ‘draught of forgetfulness,’ in which one forgets the past and comes anew into each present moment (Steiner); and as a characteristic of self-actualizers (Maslow). When we see things clearly, accurately, sensitively, and freshly we can respond empathically and appropriately. Thus both ancient wisdom traditions and modern psycho therapies agree with Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy, that ‘awareness per se- by and of itself- can be curative.’….Roger Walsh

the world is always moving just slightly ahead of us…..how to make a meditation practice something which relieves the burdens rather than another item on the to-do list?……maybe it’s about outsmarting the monkey mind…..is it really as easy as letting go? where can the mind settle like snow?…..not just any snow….the softest most charismatic snow, in soft hues of blue and the light of doves…..and where can the mind lift like sky balloons? the ones drifting wide and easy, nourishing dreams and bringing the stars to us….

Mindfulness can be one reliable door into the domain of soul. We often find ourselves functioning in a kind of automatic-pilot mode. We’re not really in touch with the subterranean spring, the  inner fountain, the water of life that myths and fairy tales speak of. The mind has a life of its own. It carries you away. Over a lifetime, you may wind up in the situation where you are never actually where you find yourself. The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment. When people make this discovery, it is an experience of waking up to a realization, a reality, they did not know before. I’m not talking about a theory. I’m talking about a way of being. An intentional way of being. You give some care and attention to your life as it unfolds in actuality. Thoreau called it the greatest practice in life: ‘To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.’ Meditation isn’t the answer to all of life’s problems, nor is it ‘just’ giving credence to the soul. There’s no answer to life’s problems…….Jon Kabat-Zinn

a kinder & gentler moment…..

There is only one Truth

and as you go looking for it

through a forest of seeking

be careful lest you bump into a tree.

That lump on your head

may remind you that

everything is God.

You are like a forest dweller

looking for the forest.

What am I to do?

Listen friend

each crackling leaf beneath your feet

is a personal invitation

to come to your senses.

Has it ever occurred to you

that you are seeking God

with His eyes?

…..Adyashanti

3 thoughts on “can we will our minds into calm?

  1. I am reminded of a time when I was walking with another and was asked, ‘so where is this God you talk of’. Even now I smile ~ oh, well ‘here, and here, and here, and oh yes, here’. Ultimately, I asked ‘where is he not’……

    In light of recent tragedies, skeptics want to know the same, ‘where was God’. He was there ~ in the closet with the children, in the car with a mentally ill boy driving to the school, with the principal running toward the attacker, in those who waited for news and those who waited to heal.

    In every place we are, He is – in our joys, our sorrows, and our fears. There is no place beyond the reach of light, beyond the reach of love. Or, that’s my thought on it. And once you know that, letting go isn’t nearly as frightening (because I KNOW someone has my back)….. Psalms 91:1 come heavy. ~ Love, Bobbie

    • your unwavering openness is a gift of this same God…..it is a ‘terrible knowing’ as Merton and Hildegard describe it…..a swooning love of immense proportions….love is the only wave that can carry us through this big, awesomely powerful and overwhelming life…..indeed, an ‘I know’ little charm to add to our mojo bag, holding us up through doubt, tragedy and despair….a beautiful testament Bobbie…..

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