Quiet

If you could only keep quiet,

clear of memories and expectations –

you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events.

It is your restlessness that causes chaos.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, 1897 – 1981, Indian non dualist teacher

Sunday Quote: Going slow

The season of Advent commences: a period for waiting, for simplifying things and for seeing what is important. To have space for what has not yet come, we need to notice what gets in the way of being still and open.

In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.

In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

Pico Iyer. The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

Turning towards

The last day of the year in the Christian calendar. Advent starts this evening

How many nights must it take
one such as me to learn
that we aren’t, after all, made
from that bird that flies out of its ashes,
that for us
as we go up in flames, our one work
is to open ourselves
, to be
the flames?

Galway Kinnell, Another Night in the Ruins

On a journey

The Sufi tradition contains the idea that each of our souls has come down here from some other place and will, like the Prodigal Son, eventually develop a desire to go back.

Robert Bly

Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place,
I’ll be completely sober. 

Rumi

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Steady

The basic definition of meditation is “having a steady mind.” In meditation, when your thoughts go up, you don’t go up, and you don’t go down when your thoughts go down. Whether your thoughts are good or bad, exciting or boring, blissful or miserable, you let them be. You don’t accept some and reject others. You have a sense of greater space that encompasses any thought that may arise.

Chögyam Trungpa, Shambala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Incubation periods

Our psyches, like nature, need periods of rest and regeneration. Some overly positive psychological models have no place for the dips in mood or energy that are a normal part of life and which can be seen in the cycles of nature. We have to learn to not fear those moments when we do not feel completely in control, or when lose our sense of direction for a while.

There are moments in human life when a new page is turned. New interests and tendencies appear which have hitherto received no attention, or there is a sudden change of personality. During the incubation period of such a change we can often observe a loss of conscious energy: the new development has drawn off the energy it needs from consciousness. This lowering of energy can be seen most clearly …in the empty stillness which precedes creative work.

Jung, The Psychology of the Transference, CW 16.