Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Finding Peace in the Practical

I started de-cluttering, cleaning and organizing the house this week. This is going to take a while, with so much clutter accumulated – I’m ashamed to say. It’s a bit daunting when I *think* about what needs to be done here, because of what *hasn’t* been done here. But I am re-reading Byron Katie’s A Thousand Names for Joy before I go to bed each night, which is reminding me again of how my mind is creating my stress about it, because I am once again *believing* my thoughts. I have known this and forgotten this a thousand times. So now I’m aware when those dangerous thoughts arise that tend to send me into overwhelm, when I look at the basement, the garage, the garden, and my work space. I started in my work space Monday, then today for some reason I spontaneously moved to the garden, even though the work space is not finished – just allowing myself to spontaneously move to the next task at hand. And this afternoon went back to the work space again for a couple of hours.

I am finding a strange sense of peace in the mundane. Monday I was working at the mess at the desk when I suddenly awared that even as a myriad of thoughts passed through this mental mechanism, I was at peace and internally still. What a delight it was to realize the sound of internal quiet and peace. I was simultaneously aware of an internal flow and rhythm that I knew had been there all along, but had been crowded out by the mind. The mundane gives my mind something to focus on. Being busy keeps me from clinging to the thoughts and getting totally lost in the “what ifs.” I just keep going with what life requires at the moment, and in doing so I find a sense of peace. I’m being in the moment, wherever the moment takes me. And no matter where that is, it’s always this moment; living moment-to-moment, seamlessly. Sweet peace.

I had this selfish idea that I would get my chance to live a “contemplative life” while hubby was away – a self-centered craving to live monastically, meditating a lot, reading, maybe get back to something creative, doing contemplative photography, spending time in nature – you know, life as a continual retreat – trying to find internal peace. But life isn’t unfolding that way. There are a lot of very practical, mundane things that are required at the moment. And I am surprised to find peace in the practical. I’m enjoying the solitude and beginning to find my stride actually.

I’ve always been the kind of person that wants to get the practical out of the way so I can enjoy life. Eeeeuuu – even that didn’t sound good to me – but that seems to be the pattern. Just get-r-done so that you can do what you want to do – like having to eat your peas and carrots before you can have dessert. (Although I love peas and carrots :) But now I’m discovering that life is not a la carte. There’s no separating life into different courses, no dividing life into time for mundane, time for meditation, but living life as a continuous fluid movement – Liquid Life. Somehow being genuinely busy (not creating busyness just to be busy, or avoid anything) has allowed me to see the fluidity and seamlessness of the day, of the moment, of one moment sliding into another – not just getting through the main course so I can get to the sweet dessert at the end…

I’ve also tried living life the other way – more contemplatively – avoiding the practical as much as possible, retreating into my familiar forms of “spirituality”, which is why there is so much clutter and cleaning to tend to now. So now I’m learning to live life on Life’s terms - the ebb and flow of living - doing what’s required – contemplatively – in silence and solitude – allowing my mind to go where it wants to go, while awareing the delight of the deep Silence within, whether meditating or not. Finding that I don’t need to meditate to “find” IT – as IT is ever-present, I just need to turn within and experience it – feel it, sense it, aware it.

This morning I awoke “knowing” that it’s all OM (why that particular word I have no idea). OM is everything and everywhere. Life is OM – the Divine Energy. Everything is IT and IT is everything. IT just is.

This is going to be an interesting experience…

“I am the experience of the eternal…
When you don’t believe your thoughts…
there’s no separation.
You’re everything.
Only the unquestioned mind
would believe that you’re an I
living inside a body.
…there’s no I to identify as…
take it all in as Being…
…the universe is wherever you are,
and it’s everywhere…”

Byron Katie
A Thousand Names For Joy



  1. I love this post and as you know I am also reading "A thousand names for joy" Fun to think that we're reading it together!

    I love this line "life is not a la carte", there is so much in this. Don't we just love to pick and choose off the pastry tray!!

    I have always loved doing the mundane, making things look beautiful. My task should actually be learning to be okay with a little chaos!

    Your post also reminds me that when I went on Zen retreats, there was always a period of working meditation.

    Happy decluttering!

  2. ZDS ~ Had you not mentioned that you were reading Byron Katie's book on your blog, I probably wouldn't have started reading it again. So thank you :) It's been quite helpful in not separating life into mundane and spiritual...

  3. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL post. I resonated with each word, each phrase, the mundane... :-) "I just keep going with what life requires at the moment, and in doing so I find a sense of peace." Absolutely. I am with you here, now, experiencing life so similarly. (((BIGHUG)))

  4. Loved this post (and also enjoyed seeing your workspace above!). My workspace is often a direct parallel to my mind space - so when I bring attention to it, it's a cleanse on both counts. Wonderful that you have the time and space for inward reflection - regardless of the package that it come in!

  5. Thanks Kristen :) Yes, I have revealed my cluttered work space :( - reflecting my cluttered and chaotic mind/life. Am looking forward to clear thinking soon :)

  6. Liquid Life -- yes, I can relate to this description. It's tempting to believe that we can contain certain pockets of life but life is not compartmentalized. It requires every piece of us to show up if we are to find any amount of peace.

    Lovely post and blog.

  7. You are ever-liquid Inspiration Dearest Christine.
    Thank you.


  8. Love BK's stuff. Love your stuff, Christine, and the fact that you share your discoveries. Big hugs! :)

  9. Belinda ~ Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment. Yes, living liquidly is my new mantra - being willing to be lived by Life.

  10. Thank you Dear Leslie for your ever-present Presence in the meanderings of Life. :)

  11. Maria ~ Thank you. I love that Life always has me "seeing" things in new ways. Life is such a clear mirror for what needs to be seen. And thank you for your provocative posts as always :)


All comments are subject to moderation