Thursday, July 30, 2009

Learning To Be In The Midst Of Doing

Morning came quickly today. I struggled to get out of bed. It was overcast outside and that always makes an early morning rising a little more difficult. The accumulated fatigue of the work week is also more apparent on a Thursday. Some of the day there was a light rain outside. My morning was busy but I was able to have a quiet and solitary lunch where I ate chicken soup and got lost in my own thoughts. After lunch I had the rare afternoon cup of coffee hoping for a burst of energy that would get me through the rest of my work day. It seems that every night this week, except for the night that my granddaughter, Chloe, was over, I have been in a fatigue induced fog. That's not all bad. Sometimes it is nice to simply let go of all our restless and obsessive tendencies to always be doing something. As much as I talk about being, much of my time I am doing. Along with the Zen chores of doing laundry, cooking meals, and cleaning up the kitchen, there are my intellectual pursuits that involve reading books, being on the Internet, writing on my blog, or simply looking out the window while I travel the universe in my mind. Weaved through all of this is my obsession with music and my never ending quest to listen to all the music I love. Much of my upcoming weekend will be busy. My son, who is studying to be a priest, has graduated from college this summer so we are having a celebration for him on Saturday night. My other son is hosting the party so that takes some stress off my wife and me. Still, even the simplest of parties demand cleaning, cooking, planning, and lots of attention to detail. I'm pretty certain that my granddaughter will follow me home after the party on Saturday so Pa Paw will be quite busy until she returns home on Sunday. It is difficult to be a person in the world who works and has a family and be able to spend much time simply being. What one must learn is how to be within the doing. What does this mean? I think it means to be centered and balanced within yourself. In the midst of one's busyness you need to be still within yourself. One's inner calmness can be an anchor that keeps you moored so you are not tossed about by all the winds and waves of an active life. Trying to practice mindfulness and Zen by being where you and doing what you are doing supports your efforts and with enough practice and focus one can truly "be" in the midst of life's busyness. Of course, sometimes you are just tired and your body needs to check out for a while with a good nap.

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