I’m reposting some excerpts of mine as an introduction to a condensation of a book that I read recently which has provided great inspiration to me. I learned a handful of things in 2012 that have helped me tremendously in moving forward. The following excerpts represent for me, as a prelude to the book condensation, the core of my path from last year into this year.
The following is from: Geographies of the Mind
Lately, through a friend, I’ve been practicing “mindfulness,” which is a form of meditation. Mindfulness helps to keep one planted in the now of existence, with bare feet on wet sand instead of allowing oneself to be pulled forward by the tide, into the deep, or backward into the dead tangles of old seaweed. Annie Dillard, in her book For The Time Being (1999), described existence as at the crest of an ocean wave. The dead fall behind life, and newborns rise into it. My grand-niece was once a part of the ocean and is now a part of the wave. Someday, I’ll no longer be a part of the wave, but I’ll still be within the ocean. We’re all a part of that ocean.
Too often, the past and future seem to have roots creeping up and around my legs, pulling me in both directions, tearing me apart instead of leaving me alone to participate in the now. I described to my friend that mindfulness brings a realization of having been born with a nice little cottage of the mind, but in growing up, I learned to spend more-and-more time outside, always here, always there, but never home. Mindfulness brings me back into the cottage, into the now.
This blogsite of mine is an extension of that cottage. I can have all the parties I want here, because I’m always invited.
The following is from: alchemist
A fresh Sun cooks through me.
Khi — air and energy balance the plus and minus within,
Aura – each breath blushes, surrounds,
Shantih shantih shantih –
“peace which passeth all understanding.”
Laughter brightens, ripens my Face,
its form imposed upon me.
Note: Shantih (shahn.tee) repeated three times is the formal ending to an Upanishad as well as the final line of T. S. Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land. Eliot, in his notes for the poem, understood the word to mean: “the peace which passeth all understanding.” This phrase can be found earlier in the Greek-penned letter of Philippians 4:7 (KJV) as “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”
Khi (kee) is the Greek form of the oriental chi.
The following is from: Talkin’ near-bedtime, beer-drinking, alchemy blues
. . . take a deep breath, feel the air and energy balancing the crap in your life down into the good in your life, feel the energy expand outward as if becoming an aura radiating out from your flesh, let the breath out and then feel the peace. It’s just a breath for God’s sake. We all do it. We have to in order to breathe. It’s not that you do it. It’s how you do it.
So, I breathe, write and try to live in the “now.” Add to that, I read. May sound simple, but it helps to focus my mind, to be mindful and aware, in a positive way. Here’s where the recent book I read comes in. It’s from 1965, with a fortieth-anniversary edition published in 2005, entitled: “Are You Running With Me, Jesus: Prayers By Malcolm Boyd.” It is, as far as I’m concerned, beyond all books on techniques of prayer. It’s real-life, and it has helped me, if for nothing else, to have someone important to talk to, when there’s no one to talk to, 24/7. When things get bad, which they do a lot, I slow it down to a breath, and I talk through prayer.
Beginning tomorrow, I’ll post excerpts in the form of a condensation of the short, paperback book–the passages that have meant the most to me and that I think will make my point as to how worthwhile it is to those for whom prayer is meaningful. It’s worth owning. http://www.malcolmboyd.com/
*Please note, with this new year, that this remains a not-for-profit blogsite. I do not receive compensation/money of any kind for any reason regarding this site. I just try to write my pains and joys and bring awareness to things that I feel are important to understand in this future-shock “now” of a wave that we all share.