Care for the Soul
The act of pausing in the midst of inner turmoil mayhem chaos drama is identified by many faith traditions as one of the keys to minimize suffering. There is huge value in counting to ten (or even 100 if required) before responding in anger. How many times have I wished that I could take back what I’ve said in haste?
“In every moment, in every event of your life, the Beloved is whispering to you exactly what you need to hear and know. Who can ever explain this miracle? It simply is. Listen and you will discover it every passing moment. Listen, and your whole life will become a conversation in thought and act between you and Him, directly, wordlessly, now and always.” ~ Rumi
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
Life is not supposed to be a battle of the wills or a race to the finish or a game of control and mastery. We’re not supposed to try harder, go faster, do more. I think we’re supposed to roll with it, baby. Things are a lot easier when we become a partner to What Is. Seriously, you don’t need a machete to hack your way to the Promised Land. Our paths are laid out before us and it’s up to us to open our eyes to see.
But where to begin? One possible starting point is to practice Radical Acceptance, as taught by Tara Brach in her most awesome book by the same name, as well as in her many wonderful dharma talks (which can be downloaded for free at her website). Tara defines Radical Acceptance as “clearly recognizing what we are feeling in the present moment and regarding that experience with compassion.” Oh, yes, a tall order indeed for those of us spending our lives living in a trance, actively hiding out from the real world for fear of being harmed or found wanting in some way. The first step to Radical Acceptance is learning to pause. A pause is a short moment of time taken out from one’s regular, “normal” routine. A pause may be taken before a meal, taking time to notice what’s on the plate and appreciate the long jouney it took to get there. A pause may be a step away from the computer screen before hitting “send.” A pause may be time taken to meditate. In the pause we allow room for something else to happen, to remove ourselves from the same old same old and prepare ourselves for something new.
Try it now. Just sit there. Don’t do a thing. Just be for a moment and notice what you are experiencing.
You can do this at any time. The Big Book suggests that as we go through the day, “we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.” (“The Big Book” of Alcholics Anonymous, p 87-88)
Namaste. May you find peace in the pause.
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