Friday, June 6, 2014

Living in the “Great Quiet”

On Thursday morning I received an email from a very good friend. She said, in part: “[My husband] and I have started studying ACIM together again and, of course, every time I get your wonderful [weekly message] I think of you doing it too…. At any rate, it's making a lot more sense to me than it did three decades ago.  I read someone the other week who referred to God as ‘The Great Quiet.’ I love that name – it rings true for me. So I think, ‘The Great Quiet is in me and I am in the Great Quiet.’ It helps so much.”
What a wonderful description – “The Great Quiet.” I had never heard that before.
Oddly [don’t you just love spiritual synchronicity?], that same Thursday afternoon I felt that Great Quiet. It had not been a very good day for me. I had to have some dental extractions and be fitted for a removable partial. The extractions went like clockwork. However, the partial had been made incorrectly, and I was going to have to return the following day for another fitting. As the day wore on the anesthetic wore off and my jaw began to hurt. On top of that I couldn’t eat anything REAL men eat – so I ate yogurt, soup, pudding and other foo-foo foods. I couldn’t work in the yard. I couldn’t lift anything. I couldn’t do much of anything.
It was a perfect storm consisting of perfect ingredients for me to crawl up into my King Baby chair and sulk long enough to conjure up a gold-plated Pity-Pot for myself.
Later that afternoon it began to rain – and rainstorms on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, which creates a 1,000-foot overlook into the Tennessee River Valley, can be gentle, refreshing, life-giving nourishment for the woods. Yet, in an instant these storms can become wild, wooly, gale-blown sheets of penetrating water darts. It was that way this Thursday. Gentle rain fell straight down with no wind. I could almost hear the grass and plants as they were giving thanks. My Pity-Pot dissolved and I stood on my porch rather transfixed.
“The Great Quiet!”
Then trees began bending to the wind, shaking so violently tips of limbs were flying off. The gentle, nourishing rain became a squealing banshee [one-half inch in 10 minutes] and the grateful vegetation began yelling, “My God! Stop! In the name of Heaven what are you thinking of?”
I was fascinated with the sudden fury of the storm. What a change! – Yet I remained on the porch in that “Great Quiet.”
I was also very aware of what a blessing that was.
It made me realize I can do that anytime I want/need when I’m around people, places, or events. All I need to do is step outside myself and observe all the goings-on, including myself – just become the Great Buddhist Observer – standing shoulder-to-shoulder with (and in) the “Great Quiet.”
But, most of the time it’s hard for me to do that.
When I talk about quieting my mind I do not mean stilling all the thoughts that go on constantly in that universe between my ears. I seem to have a whole committee of voices that lives up there. If I try to quiet them, that’s where my concentration lies: trying to still the voices and thoughts that pop out of nowhere and demand my attention. My concentration does not lie in listening to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. It lies in fighting a very futile battle with my voices.
So, I’ve learned that to still or quiet my mind means simply to learn not to pay attention to the thoughts of my resident committee. This takes practice and a modicum of self-control. I can teach myself to do that. ACIM calls this process “mind training.” It’s not a brain-washing. Rather it’s a learned skill to pay attention to the whispers, not the shouts, of the constant stream of random thoughts that travel from one of my ears to the other. I use the mantra of Ho'oponopono to do this. It has been rather effective. [See Msg-1-Jun-2014: Experiencing the Peace and Truth of the Realities of Spirit]
There’s an old saying: I do not have to believe everything I think. The louder the voices in my head, the more I know they are of my ego. I am learning (and practicing) to listen for the whispers that will guide me to understanding the next, dumb, right thing I need to do. I’m beginning to understand that many times this next right thing to do is nothing.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 Jun, 2014
Copyright, 2014

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