Author Archives: ivonprefontaine
The link contains beautiful quotes and photographs about stillness. When we stand in the solitude and peacefulness that Nature provides, it speaks to us. Quieting our self and the busyness even for a few minutes brings into the deepest relationships we can have with Others and the world.
When we become participants in the world and listen closely to what it says, we are offered sanctuary in the quietness and stillness that shelters us. The stillness provides a sense of community we long for. We become linked religiously with the world in all its forms.
The link includes a wonderful (wonder filled) quote from Rumi. We find so much hidden in the things we look at and when we view the world with new eyes what is hidden is revealed. We see the moon reflecting in the lake. It is in those mindful moments that we feel lucky. There is more given to us than we can ever fully experience and understand.
The closing paragraph in the article linked speaks about the journey we are and the letting go that is required in the earthly part of the journey. There is a spiritual essence to our journey, one that takes us amongst the stars.
Parker Palmer writes extensively about spending time with our self in the quietness and silence of solitude. Here, we listen to what is being said to us by our spirit. We explore the depth and nature of who we are in relationship to the world. We let go of the busyness that surrounds even briefly feeling rested in the effort.
Joyce Sutphen shared the poem How to Listen. She describes the letting go listening requires.
Tilt your head slightly to one side and lift
your eyebrows expectantly. Ask questions.
Delve into the subject at hand or let
things come randomly. Don’t expect answers.
Forget everything you’ve ever done.
Make no comparisons. Simply listen.
Listen with your eyes, as if the story
you are hearing is happening right now.
Listen without blinking, as if a move
might frighten the truth away forever.
Don’t attempt to copy anything down.
Don’t bring a camera or a recorder.
This is your chance to listen carefully.
Your whole life might depend on what you hear.
Thoreau provided great insights in living off the grid long before we thought seriously about that idea. Living life based on a checklist of moral behaviour is nearly impossible. Living a life that we are good at is a growing experience.
We cultivate our lives like farmers and gardeners when we pay attention to our work, our living. It is in the moment that we realize and recognize the ethical needs. Certainly, there are rules to live by i.e. The Ten Commandments and The Three Universal Truths of Buddhism. When we live life and include those rules and truths, it is in living that we become who we are. It is in living we become good for something.
“Once suffering is completely accepted, it ceases in a sense to be suffering” M. Scott Peck
The link provides a short summary of Peck’s wonderful work in “The Road Less Traveled.” His thinking ranks with James Hillman in examining spiritual growth as an essential aspect of living. Living is the continuous unfolding of character, who we are, and it is not predictable hence a title similar to Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken.
Life is not easy, although at times it can be. It is always about accepting responsibility for decisions we make as adults. Taking time and pausing at the junctions of decisions requires discipline and mindfulness that many struggle to find in a busy world. In those moments, when we pause, listen closely to our spirit, we build new disciplines that help us overcome the busyness to some extent. It is not perfect, but it is in imperfections we travel the road less traveled.
The quote from Kahlil Gibran is a wonderful reminder that daily life when attended to and tended to is our temple and religion. Do we choose to make daily life sacred? That is a question with no answer, because one is always being negotiated in living our lives in the moment.
The word religion shares the root with ligaments and suggests religion not as a divisive institution, but a way of living that binds us together in our humanness, humanity, and humaneness. We are more alike than we are different although we lose sight of that.