Monday, August 30, 2010

...stillness...



 
Entering into the utmost emptiness,
I maintain the stillness
wholeheartedly.

~Tao de Ching


This is what I am seeking:  stillness, silence, emptiness.  I know it is an inside job and lately I am at risk of being fired!  Internal demands to 'do' create a clatter that break the silence, disturb the stillness and muddy the emptiness.  I console myself that at least I have the goal in sight.  I will keep the above image and words before me as I face this week. 

 Do you have words or images that you use to re-align yourself?




34 comments:

  1. When I need realignment I go out into the woods and listen to the silence there. Just a short walk from my back door takes me to a place that's miles from civilization, where I can be alone with my thoughts. I sit there and watch the river flow by, and all the negativity just melts away. But of course I'm lucky to live in a place where I can do that whenever I need to.

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  2. Perfect 'stillness' photo, Bonnie. I immediately felt a sense of being drawn in, of focusing, a feel of quiet meditating.

    My walks to the creek in the woods give me a sense of aloneness in the stillness there.

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  3. Fired...literally?

    Going out on the river always did that for me. totally away from all stimulation with only raw nature around and your own mind for company.

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  4. Realignment for me means stepping out into the countryside - alone - and breathing in the fresh air and listening to the sounds around me. It never fails to calm me.

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  5. What a cool effect in the image... the solid nature of the lines above versus the wavy lines of the reflected image in the water. I so get that feeling right now. When I can, going out into the outdoors realigns myself. Or I focus on a few words in a meditative way and say them over and over. But I don't have one particular thing, just opening my heart and pouring out :)

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  6. A beautiful image, Bonnie, one that speaks of the two parts of oneself being connected -- different but connected, each part reflecting upon the another.

    May I suggest Wendell Berry's poem, "The Peace of Wild Things," which is quoted in my post post of April 26, 2010 ("Quiet Thoughts, Quiet Beauty")? It always bathes me in peace when I read it.

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  7. HI BONNIE-

    Oh the image is wonderful - still, deep and calm. Yes. I love to be still. In the better weather and when my footing is steady I am calmed when I step in to our brook. I become par tof something bigger and natural and perfect. I am also completely still in a gentle snow and light rain. And when I need to rest and I sit by our front picture window which faces our lush garden and I get lost in the depth of its essence I am soothed.

    Love and stillness
    Gail
    peace and hope.....

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  8. nice layering on the picture...yep that is mountain time for me...long walk in teh woods until i am too tired not to listen...

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  9. Thanks you Bonnie- I am right behind you...I am so out of touch I have resorted to eating COOKIES! not just a couple- Bags full! Time to go off by myself, with Dexter my little Zen teacher...and get away from enticing distractions...LOVE absolutely love the image you have created!

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  10. Not seeing the comments that I tried to post earlier this morning, it occurs to me that I may have hit the wrong button and done something to disrupt the transmission. In any event, what I wanted to say was, first, that I really love the image you have created; it seems to be a metaphor for the two parts of ourselves that often seem disconnected, but which, in reality, are connected at some level, allowing each to reelect upon the other. My other point was to say that I have often found solace in Wendell Berry's poem, "The Peace of Wild Things," which I quoted in full in my April 26 posting, "Quiet Thoughts, Quiet Beauty."

    The other thing that I try to do in my own introspection is to remember Rilke's advice about how we must learn to live the questions. To me, that's a bit like Keats' notion of "negative capability," the ability to live, function, love, and go forward with one's passions, even when one has intimations of failure and futility.

    Having just reread your post, I have one other point. In our search for stillness, silence, and emptiness, maybe it's good to remember sometimes that old Lao Tzu was the master of what Alan Watts called "the law of reversed effects," which is to say he recognized that there can be movement in stillness, sounds in silence, and fullness in emptiness.

    Be at peace, my friend.

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  11. Ah, stillness. I'm seeking this as well, Bonnie. And I'm learning to manage my life, not master it.

    I whisper " Now is all I have" when my silly brain wanders. I saw this on a bumper sticker on the back of a beat up Chevy truck from Texas!

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  12. Love this image. I really need to do some alignment.

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  13. Bagman & Butler (Mark): Your comment makes me think that we do not have to wait for silence and stillness to meditate. Meditation can come first and bring forth the silence and stillness.

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  14. Jeff: Oh yes - woods with a river would do it for sure!

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  15. Ellen: Yup - being alone with raw nature - and ON the river ... that's a recipe that would work for me.

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  16. Weaver (Pat): alone in the countryside, breathing in fresh air ... wonderful.

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  17. Vicky: Your 'tools' are great suggestions - outdoors, an affirmation, and opening your heart. Just bringing attention to our heart will surely produce the desired effects!

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  18. George: Hmmmm - bathed in peace by means of a poem. You certainly can't go wrong with Berry's The Peace of Wild Things. I believe I have quoted it previously on this blog too.

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  19. Brian: Mountain woods ... I remember once coming upon a little lake while walking in a mountain forest. There was not a ripple on it and it called me to mirror it ... as best I could.

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  20. Linda Sue: Oh yes! I recall what a zen teacher my beautiful golden was ... animals do teach us to stop, sit, empty and be still.

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  21. Gwynnie: Hey - we take our messages where we find them! "Now is all I have" is a good reminder to be present and appreciate.

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  22. Missy: We all need to re-align at times - and not just at the chiropractor's!

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  23. That is a calming photo. I just tell myself to take a couple of deep breaths and to relax.

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  24. I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart. ~ Vincent van Gogh Keeps me going....

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  25. Canoeing, yes. Walk in woods. Shutting DOWN the computer(s) and leaving it (them?) off.

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  26. Pat: The breath is a wonderful tool for re-alignment - AND it is always with us!

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  27. Paul: You are the first to mention art as a means to recentre yourself - the art of dear Vincent for you.

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  28. Dan: Canoeing and walking are sure to do it. Yes - all technical devices need to be put aside. Good advice.

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  29. George: Thank you for the amplification. I love what you share about Watts' law of reversed effects. We truly know we are a peace when we can attain that state of calm no matter what is going on within or without.

    And Keats' "negative capability" is enlightening. We do need to be able to forge on in spite of the stories our ego tells us about ourself.

    Wonderful thoughts George!

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  30. Is there an emoticon for tiptoeing silently and respectfully through a comments page, not saying anything but letting you know I was here but do not want to cause any ripples in the beautiful still image you conjure up?

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  31. Stillness? Not for me today. I'm a mess! And not even looking for stillness, truth be told. :)

    But like George, that Berry poem is a sure thing for me. Or almost anything Mary Oliver.

    Beautiful image you posted.

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  32. No but I should!! Never thought about using an image to realign myself. I will have to ponder this thought. Love the image you are sharing. So beautiful!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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