Nilla Bean, in a rare moment of stillness

 Ти́ше е́дешь — да́льше бу́дешь. 

 (Translation:  The quieter you go, the further you’ll travel.)

–Russian proverb

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Be still and know that I am God.

–Psalms 46:10

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To cultivate joy it is good to begin by tending the mind’s garden. How do you get rid of those pesky weeds? Meditation works.

For two weeks at the ashram we sat in silent meditation twice a day.  Shy person that I tend to be, I had no problem with the silent part. And I can sit still. I didn’t make a peep, but my mind was anything but quiet…

 How boring. What a waste of time. I had to get out of bed before dawn for this!? That lady is guzzling her water down like a Viking.  Shouldn’t she be meditating? I thought we’d be doing more yoga! What exactly is supposed to be happening here…? What is the point of this! When I get out of here, I oughta — was that a rooster?! Hamburger!

I’m a busy, buzzy person.  I like to be doing things. When I do sit down, I’m reading, thinking, dreaming, planning, remembering, creating, wanting, needing, hoping, composing…well, you get the picture. There’s a lot going in this head.

So what does sitting around doing absolutely nothing accomplish?

Well, nothing!  Which is quite a lot.

You can observe what’s going on in your own mind when the immediate external distractions, competitions for attention, and agendas of others are eliminated.

Consider how much energy is expended on the everyday demands of family, friends, work, and various other obligations.  Be sure to factor in the electronic (e-mail, texts, TV, radios, telephones, computers) distractions….

I discovered that my mental energy was being scattered all over the place in a myriad of unproductive ways.  Furthermore, what was on my own mind was not pretty. I was a grumpy, judgmental, out of control mess – and my ego was NOT happy to see itself. After the first week of regular practice, my mind slowly began to unwind and defragment.  The key word here is began.  It was enough to recognize the value of the practice and to make the time for it in my daily routine.

Note: Time is a funny little non-thing. If looking for time you will never find it.  If you want time, you will make it.  If the path of mastery is defined by where you direct your attention, it’s a good practice to take stock of where your attention is and where is it not.

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