Not entirely a hermit

It is the custom in some aspects of Hindu society for the layman to fulfill his or her role in life in each of it's three stages; in childhood, to live, learn and grow and respect the wisdom of the elders. In adulthood, to marry, procreate, be responsible and teach your children as you yourself have been taught. In your elder years, cultivate spirituality and wisdom as your responsibility as parent or child begins to wane.

I have responsibilities. I have not abandoned those that depend on me. I am not completely shut off from the world.

I am so wonderfully blessed with such wonderful temperatures on this mid October day. Its amazing what one can discover when it is quiet. A quiet reside in a quiet wood helps to cultivate a quiet mind.
I recall the phrase from my days of Christian ministry when we spoke of some who were, "So heavenly minded, that they were no earthly good." A meditation retreat has the opposite effect. You come away more observant and more quiet than when you went in. You come to realize things about the workings of the mind and of human existence as a whole. This is truly "earthly good." This realization expands your sense of compassion, yet it lessens your sense of meddling in the affairs of your world companions. Not that you withdraw. Hardly. I can only describe it in terms that we have spoken of several time before. As in Tai Chi; Wu Chi, you begin to move with the events around you. Advance, retreat, keeping still. It is as if we are all characters in a great play. The play goes forward while others, perhaps only a minority, begin to move, to dance as it were. All the worlds a stage. Some are stuck performing in roles they would rather not. Others grasp their role with a firm hand in the belief that they are the directors and not the characters that they play. And then we dance. Moving forward to act when it is most advantageous and beneficial. Pulling back (retreat) when it is equally advantageous, and keeping still; sometimes the greatest gift we can offer. A life of quiet mind and intuition.

A life of quiet mind and intuition scares those that have come to see themselves as the directors in life. Seeing things in the elaborately formed and constructed mind of dogma, they are most secure. They mistrust those that would question authority and as is often the case, it is because they themselves are the authority.

As I "sit" and seek meditation and a greater insight into this entity known as "me," I am once again thankful for a gift from my dear friend Lisbeth, I leave you with this;

Two chess masters
confront each other
Without music, chorus, or sound.
Chairs do not squeak,
Audience does not talk,
Why, then, do people meditate carelessly?
When two chess masters play,

the audience is solemn.
Everyone understands what is at stake.
Everyone knows that the masters
must be allowed utter silence
and total concentration.

But when it comes to people's attitudes about meditation, they assume that noisy streets, inconsiderate roommates, foul smells, and dirty rooms have no impact. After all, isn't meditation just a mental activity divorced from the realities of environment?
If that were so, there wouldn't be meditation halls. If that were so, there wouldn't be places of solace. It that were so, then people wouldn't seek the quiet of secret gardens.
Meditation is not a supplementary activity. It is not mere relaxation and stress reduction. It is the way to bring one's very humanity into focus. If we want to succeed in meditation, we must act in the correct setting. We need places where the air is fresh, nature is close by, and we can remain undisturbed. Then we can slip into serenity. If we can understand the need of the chess masters for uninterrupted focus, we can also understand the precise attention that we must bring to our meditations.

Timely as usual, Lisbeth. Thanks!


kathy said…
Thank you for this. Attention is where its at! :)