Saturday, October 17, 2009

Shutting Out The Noise

When I woke up this morning it was dark, cold, and a light rain was falling. On top of this I didn't feel very well. I was up a couple of times during the night visiting the bathroom. My intestinal tract is like a delicate Eco system that must be carefully maintained. It doesn't take much to wreak havoc on it and throw everything out of balance. My desire and plan was to go to the monastery this morning. For a brief moment I considered staying home but, happily, I talked myself out of that idea. I took my normal route there and was frustrated with all the road construction. Three different highways had road repairs and narrowed lanes that caused some traffic backup even on a Saturday morning. I made a mental note to take a different route on the way home. When I got to the monastery another group had taken the room where we normally meet so we had to regroup a little. There was a nice group that showed up for our gathering and we had some really good discussion about how the lives and spirituality of the monks had and continues to impact our lives in the midst of family life, work life, and life "in the world". Part of the discussion dealt with the daily challenge of shutting out the noise in our lives. This is not only the physical noise perceived by our ears but also the noise in our over active and over stimulated minds that can result from the barrage of sounds and images and voices most of us experience in our daily lives. The quieting of the mind can be much more difficult than simply finding a quiet place. Before leaving the monastery I made a brief stop in the bookstore where I bought a book on the founders of the monastic order to which the monks of Gethsemani are descendants. Also, in order to add a little sweetness to my life, I bought some strawberry and blackberry preserves made by the monks. On the way home I took highway US 31E and it was a beautiful drive as the fall colors are beginning to emerge. Soon my granddaughter will arrive so I better stop and get in a brief nap while I can. I need to get prepared to switch mental gears from St. Benedict to SpongeBob Squarepants.

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