Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back To Work But The Ice And Snow Remain

Today was another frozen day. My world is still covered in ice and snow. Today's temperatures never got out of the 20's so no melting occurred. The good news is that I still have power and the road crews have done a great job clearing the main roads and making them passable. It was more of a challenge to get out of my driveway than to travel down the interstate highway. Along the way to my office I was struck not only by the beauty of the snow and ice but by its destructive power as well. There were lots of downed tree limbs. The trees in the little park next to my office building were virutally destroyed. Time will tell how the local landscape will recover from this brutal ice storm.

A few quotes have come my way that impressed me.

Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life.
— Seneca

The contemplative mind is really just the mind that emerges when you pray instead of think first. Praying opens the field and moves beyond fear and judgment and agenda and analysis, and just lets the moment be what it is—as it is. We really have to be taught that mind. We now are pretty sure that it was systematically taught—mostly in the monasteries—as late as the 13th and even into the 14th century. But once we got into the oppositional mind of the Reformation and the rational mind of the Enlightenment, the contemplative mind pretty much fell by the wayside. The wonderful thing is that it is now being rediscovered across the board, and there is no select group that holds it or that teaches it.
-Richard Rohr

Finally....from the Tao.

Markings in dry clay disappear only when the clay is soft again. Scars upon the self disappear only when one becomes soft within.

The commentary shares the following thoughts.

Throughout our life, but especially during our youth, many scars are inflicted upon us. We may have scars that are no fault of our own. However, they still impede our spiritual progress. Doctors and priests can only do so much for us. The true course of healing is up to us alone.

Who among us is not scarred and dysfunctional on some level? We are all in a process of finding or searching for healing. Father Matthew, a monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, once said that men come to the monastery because they were hurting and in pain. Many, once they are healed, leave the monastery. I once lived at the Abbey of Gethsemani as a novice monk. I can assure your that when I left I was not healed of my pain. At that time I was not even sure what my pain was. All these years later I am still unsure of my true pain and dysfunction althought I now have some idea what it is. Since I left the monastery unhealed, I jokingly told some friends recently that I have been on an outpatient program for 35+ years.

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