Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Practice...the Mountains

A young friend recently asked how to find time and space to be quiet when you live in a busy household.
Patrica wrote,
" So, I suppose I am seeking a kind of mini-wilderness each day. Where do others find this? Especially others who don't have the luxury of living alone?"

The answer, the good news and the bad news is

A tibetian yogi, living in the high mountains in a seclusion box for many years was asked what was his greatest challenge.
"Quieting the mind" ,he replied.

Outward distractions are simply that- outward distractions.
Stillness and quiet must be cultivated and nurtured from within and the only way to do that is to practice being quiet and still.
I find for myself living in the world i need a minimum of an hour of quiet still practice a day; to stay in balance to be able to be actively still, and keep stillness in my actions.

I also practice M and M's- small and sweet-a minute out of every hour i stop and still my mind, breath, give thanks, pray. Mini Meditations.
The more time I spend practicing quiet and stillness, the easier it is to use it in everyday life.
Storing stillness and quiet in the top of my good times tool box makes it easier to reach for these tools when times get busy and noisy and rough.

Thich Nhat Hanh suggests telephone meditation. Let the phone ring three times, while you take three breaths, quiet your mind, center and then you can answer the phone as your best self.
You can greet whoever is on the line with loving kindness and compassion.

And this practice is what has brought me to the mountains.
They stand and sit in meditation, regardless of outward distractions, becoming who they are, in spite of ,as well as because of, wind and rain and lack of wind and rain.

At the beginning and end of everyday the mountains are always there- for me, and all beings who seek their peace, comfort, shelter.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

Hang in there Patrica .

Still Waters Refuge is here, Practicing, even if you can't be.

Seeking Stillness? Come visit, leave a comment.


Patricia Morrison said...

Still Waters Refuge was certainly a wonderful wilderness place for me! So, now I am starting to re-incorporate silence, wilderness, space, and breath into my daily practice during busy times, too. Thank you for the wise words.

heartgarden said...

I love all the opportunities for quieting the mind that you offered.

tangle. said...

somebody told me once that in china, m & m's are a standard practice, that for five minutes every hour people close their eyes. "science" says that this affects everything...your ability to retain information, to maintain energy and focus, to be emotionally stable. it's amazing what quiet can do for you. and it's so much less expensive than therapy!