Little Blog Thoughts

My smart phone just received a new app called "Clean Master". A couple of times a day it reminds me that my speed is lagging or that I have too many unused apps taking up space and they are draining the energy of the phone. With the touch of a finger, it goes ahead and does the job it is suggesting. My phone suddenly has more space and is cooled down by a few degrees. At least according to the app!

Yesterday it suddenly clicked into place that it would be wonderful if I could use this same reminder on my phone to have me do the same with my attention and inner focus. What am I too heated or scattered internally about in this moment? And what is taking up unnecessary space and emotional preoccupation that I can let go of now, in this moment?

The Clean Master app has as its symbol a blue-handled paintbrush with a gold brush in obvious cleaning motion. For my internal symbol I choose the Heart Nebula in the accompanying photograph. I visualize light coming forth from it and cleaning my inner landscape, freeing up space for being in this moment and bringing to my attention the ways I can be present, in heart resonance, to wherever and with whomever I am in that moment.

from Robert Sardello: The Power of Soul, p. 45:

The natural world calls us to balance. The everyday world pulls us out of balance. Unless we can find our way into the interior of the heart, it is not possible to sustain this virtue (balance) because the chaos is now overwhelming the natural balance of the world.

Herein then, lies a challenge. And how to recognize progress? Or perhaps even "recognizing progress" is itself anti-thetical to balance!

Slowly, the shift from overdoing ( my intention for this sabbatical) is beginning to take place. The surprise is that I am still "doing" quite a lot. I am still sessioning with a few people. I am still performing the multiple tasks of staying warm in the coldest winter on record. I am still reading...writing...staying connected with family and friends...doing an online practice course (very little reading) in Contemplative Presence...and multiple other "doings."

But a shift is beginning, only now, to take place, and only for brief moments that I notice.

I am sleeping more completely. I am not preoccupied with work. I am often breathing more deeply and slowly. I am - closest to the truth - becoming more and more aware of spaces between things, and my presence in them. No longer do I go from one thing to another without stopping at all, or multitasking, which in the past I called "building a momentum of doing" until I was anxious and fatigued and sometimes overwhelmed. It has taken this long to realize that such a way of life cannot be changed by going to a different place and disengaging from the familiar and setting aside blocks of time for meditation (sometimes that's helpful but not always.) That is how I would bring about change in my earlier life, and it did not bring lasting change, and certainly not transformation. "it is possible to be too receptive, which takes us out of the activity of doing something new in the world..." (Sardello)

Now, it's in the midst of the ordinary that I am learning, or as Sardello says "becoming aware of non-doing in whatever I am doing." His pointing out that it is in "holding the active and receptive aspects of life in close relation with each other, not as separate," is slowly giving me a sense of what real wholeness is like in living, not in thinking or reading about it.

But I am a very awkward beginner and continue to take tiny steps into a new way of encountering the daily world...tiny shifts towards balance...

As the world seems - if we are to go by news alone - to be growing more and more unstable, precarious, full of war, violence and terror threats, I notice - beginning with myself - a kind of fatigue and hopelessness that anything will ever really change. More like: the faces and the methods might change, but the underlying push for power, control and riches has never really changed throughout history.

So it was with a ray of hope that I came across this sentence in Thich Nhat Hanh's new little book called Silence:

if we are just thinking something...the reality is

that the thoughts going through our minds also

go out into the world. Just as a candle radiates

heat and light and scent, our thinking

manifests itself in various ways,

including speech and action.

I find this thought very sobering, and full of incentive to become more mindful in general, though it is a path that has been calling me more and more deeply, especially in this sabbatical time.


Though it is mid-February, and we are struggling with temperatures of -36 or thereabouts for the last few nights and the next few as well, I am reminding myself that it is NOW, mid-February, that bulbs and roots are actually stirring under the ground, under the frost line, getting ready to reach for the sun as soon as the smallest degree of warmth shifts the earth. It is unbelievable, really, yet true. The light is longer and the sun warmer - when we can be out in it - and yes- the shifts are subtle but real.

I let myself dwell on this these days, like a source of comfort, since in the upper world, where we breathe and walk, just the opposite is evident. But just because I cannot see it doesn't mean it's not true.

Remembering this helps me to realize that a similar process happens in my own soul, in that spark of life that inhabits my being and focuses the unique way and only way I can be who I am in this world. What is stirring below what I am feeling? What is moving under the darkness of my reactions and momentary irritabilities, my hard-core opinions and conditioned beliefs?

Perhaps it is crocuses and snowdrops...I picture that. What I do know, and increasingly so, is that my immediate reactive perception of the world is very small, very small, compared to all I cannot see and still is true.

Latest comments

23.11 | 19:20

Hi Marilyn...can you share your writing when there's a chance? Love to read some!

04.01 | 19:04

Thanks, Andie...that's it exactly ! So glad you experienced it!

04.01 | 18:36

'Whatever you need
and wherever you go next -
will come to you'
My holiday experience.

28.12 | 15:12

Hi Brenda,
I've just finished reading The Choice - got it from the public library. What an amazing story and an unbeatable spirit. I'll check out youtube now