Monday, November 30, 2009

Walking In Quiet Stillness

This week’s blog will focus on some of my favorite exercises from the second section of my book “The Songbird In My Heart.” These exercises are called “Acts of Contemplation, Freedom for a Glad Heart” and are designed to put you in touch with your deeper self. Each day a corresponding prayer from the book will also be posted to Facebook.

The inspiration for these exercises came from two unlikely sources. The first are the beautiful books from Thomas Merton and his editors A Book of Hours, Seeds of Contemplation, and New Seeds of Contemplation. The second is the red Fieldbook by Peter Senge to his best selling business book The Fifth Discipline. While this part of the book bears little resemblance to these great books, they did serve as inspiration.

Please take some time and try them out! If you like, let me know how it goes. Best of luck. Mark

Acts of Contemplation, Freedom for a Glad Heart

Today – Walking In Quiet Stillness
Tuesday – The Blue Skies Shine
Wednesday – Mindtime
Thursday – Naturetime
Friday - The Universe in Time

Walking in Quiet Stillness

Opening Thoughts
The deepest part of you can be found in the quiet stillness of your inner being. Walking mindfully without purpose, without intent, with an empty mind will lead you to this place. This cannot be achieved by force, only by surrender. Allow your inner self to come forward. Put aside the obstacles of intent, purpose, and the agenda of your racing mind.

Acts of Contemplation
Act 1 – Pick out a safe, quiet route for walking. Put aside the issues of the day. As you walk call on the witness of your inner self to observe the thoughts that come. This is as if there is an observer on your shoulder watching and recording what is happening. When you return from your walk, write down what you experienced.

Act 2 – On this next walk, notice everything that is around, the sounds, the smells, the sights. Look deeply and see beyond the obvious. Breathe, see, and hear to that deeper level beneath the level that is beneath the level that you might typically. Be empty of the racing mind and be mindful of everything around you. Write down what happened.

Act 3 – Now, in the quiet of some special place, sit down and review your notes. Then, wait for the next thought. Patiently wait for the next thought. Be empty of your racing mind. If anything rises up out of this emptiness, try to translate it into words and write it down.

Act 4 – On this next walk, start by empting the mind of any racing thoughts or issues of the day. Then, wait for the next thought. Patiently wait for the next thought. Continue this throughout the walk. If you are successful you will have walked in the quiet stillness of your inner being, free of illusion and false reality. If not successful start back at Act 1 and repeat the steps.

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