To be quiet in heart

File:2014 Eid ul-Fitr Praying - Imam Ali Shrine - Najaf 2 Cropped.JPG

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

Wendell Berry


Back to basics

File:Rice fields near Doi Inthanon NP.JPG

Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don’t be interested in anything else.  Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. Don’t take up anything else. There’s no need to think about gaining things. Don’t take up anything at all. Simply know the in-breath and the out-breath. The in-breath and the out-breath. [In] on the in-breath; [out] on the out-breath. Just stay with the breath in this way until you are aware of the in-breath and aware of the out-breath….aware of the in-breath…. aware of the out-breath. Be aware in this way until the mind is peaceful, without irritation, without agitation, merely the breath going out and coming in. Let your mind remain in this state.

Do it as if you won’t gain anything, as if nothing will happen, as if you don’t know who’s doing it, but keep doing it anyway. Like rice in the barn. You take it out and sow it in the fields, as if you were throwing it away, sow it throughout the fields, without being interested in it, and yet it sprouts, rice plants grow up, you transplant it and you’ve got sweet green rice. That’s what it’s about. 

Ajahn Chah

photo supercarwaar

A good antidote to stress

File:The Calm before the Storm (2049933178).jpg

Breathing regulates the nervous energy that the mind uses for its thinking, and calms the emotions that feed anxiety, impulsiveness and negativity. So mindfulness of breathing, literally keeping the sensations and energies associated with breathing in mind, is a great tonic. It also regulates energy and encourages the discharge of energy that is a normal aspect of healthy functioning and which gets overlooked.

…Energy has two modes: arousal – powering up to deal with a task or prepare for a challenge – and discharge – returning to rest state after the task is done or the challenge is over. The way it is for humans, especially urban humans, is that the lifestyle keeps presenting new themes for arousal – the next task or challenge, or the next aim or goal, or the new thing to get excited about and buy. And the opportunities for discharge – the recognition of ‘that’s enough’, or that there’s nothing to do or worry about – dwindle to zero. Furthermore, the ‘get-ahead’, ‘prepare for the future’, ‘pay off my student loan’, ‘save up for a place to live’ mental messages keep the mind leaping to the next task or challenge or trying to create a stable scenario for the future.

So … get interested in the energy involved with breathing down into the base of your abdomen as you breathe out. Don’t concentrate on the breath, but get interested in how breathing happens, how the body does it. And you’ll notice it’s involuntary, so there’s no strain in doing it, and no sense of having to be good at it. So how does that attitude feel? It’s stress-free. And as far as the bodily feeling goes, there’s a subtle pleasure in really letting go, down into the base of your gut, a ‘sit back and soak’ feeling, as the breath empties out.

Ajahn Sucitto, Discharging Stress, Recharging Life

photo aussiegirl