Tag Archives: watch

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower

 

“Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.”

–Rainer Maria Rilke, “Sonnets to Orpheus”

 




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The Breath

One refuge, anchor, can be our breath. It is with us no matter where we are, no matter what our emotional state is. The Spirit of God is in our breath. It is a gift. Our breath is a sign that God is with us. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests watching the breath from a point 2 fingerwidths below the navel, and even putting our hands at that point to make it easier to focus. Just watch the breath without trying to control it. Feel your hands moving outwards as you breathe in and back in again with each out breath. After some time, you will feel calmer as your breath naturally slows down. You will be more calm than when you were overcome with upsetting feelings and emotions.

Thich Nhat Hanh also suggests you can invite the Jesus in you to breathe for you. Then you can watch Jesus breathing in you, you can bring awareness to God’s presence in you. After witnessing the breath for some time, it will automatically slow down, and the mind will be calmer.




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Watching

 

Can’t say I’m very good at the art of witnessing, but one time when my mind was especially turbulent, and my thoughts seemed to whirl by at 100 miles per minute, I suddenly found myself as if inside a golden bubble, and able to watch my thoughts go by without being attached to them, as if I were someone else. It was incredibly peaceful to watch these thoughts, as if my thoughts were a movie, not part of me. Seeing my thoughts, but not being yanked by them, not judging them. Wish I could make this happen when I want it to, but, unfortunately it was a one-time event, pure grace. But it got me thinking about practicing watching my thoughts…

 

“The mind and its thoughts come and go. They are unreal and impermanent. They are like the ephemeral clouds of the sky and the waves of the ocean. They cannot touch your consciousness. Beyond the surface, your consciousness remains pure and untouched. That Pure Consciousness, which is eternally aware of all that happens, is the Witness, the Sakshi, of everything.”

—Amma, “Awaken Children, Vol. 7”, p. 56

 

“Don’t chase after your thoughts as a shadow follows its object. Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

 




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Guard the Nest

found a “nest” at the beach.
decided to digitally collage a lamb from a Christmas nativity scene
the lamb keeping vigil with Baby Jesus

as the center “pearl” reminded me of the Christ child
and our heart’s inner nest
and treasure
of our vital breath

reminded me to watch what takes away from life
from the present moment
to notice the distractions that
take away from life’s goals




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