Tuesday, 19 February 2013


I was a little jaded when I write the last post but one, and feel duty bound to give way to the right brain to redress the balance. I allude to this dated neuroscience metaphor, because all that remains true of it, is that my left brain really doesn't know what my right brain is doing...

It doesn't matter. First Tenet of Quodlibettan Spirituality, 'You can believe what you like and get away with it.'  I don't offer this profundity with any great conviction, but as a working hypothesis. I turned away two door-to-door peddlers of enlightenment this morning, and am more convinced than  I was yesterday, that I'm on to something.

I write only for amusement, mine if I'm lucky, yours if you are, but there are many good blogs out there that offer something far more interesting. I have used Fr Michael Hudson's 'OrdinaryMindfulness' before, as he pulls me ever closer to the Centre, and for this purpose I quote him today.

 God is sung best in a psalm without words

The quote below is from Eckart Tolle (with a mashup from one of the Desert Fathers, John the Solitary). This is what we used for our lectio this morning in the Monday group.

Tolle can sometimes seem bone dry--but 'bone dry' can also be the same thing as 'clear and to the point.'

One of the great ironies of mindful practices is that they can appear to be self-focused and self-absorbed. Yet the sweetest fruit of mindful practice is freedom from this very thing--the sticky gravity of our small selves.

Through mindfulness we see the many habits and patterns that keep us stuck. Over time, recognizing and recognizing and recognizing these habits and patterns, it becomes easier and easier and easier to let them go.

Tolle is very helpful describing how this works.

Since ancient times, spiritual masters of all traditions have pointed to the Now as the key to the spiritual dimension. Despite this, it seems to have remained a secret.

With the timeless dimension comes a different kind of knowing, one that does not “kill” the spirit that lives within every creature and every thing. A knowing that does not destroy the sacredness and mystery of life but contains a deep love and reverence for all that is. A knowing of which the mind knows nothing.

If you find it hard to enter the Now directly, start by observing the habitual tendency of your mind to want to escape from the Now. You will observe that the future is usually imagined as either better or worse than the present. If the imagined future is better, it gives you hope or pleasurable anticipation. If it is worse, it creates anxiety. Both are illusory. Through self-observation, more presence comes into your life automatically. The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.

Be present as the watcher of your mind — of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don’t judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don’t make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.

There is a silence of the tongue,
and a silence of the body;
a silence of soul
and a silence of mind.
There is silence of spirit, too—
and, of course,
the vast silence of God.

Within this silence
we sing God best
in psalms without words.

--John the Solitary
Posted by Michael Hudson at 6:23 AM
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