From the BlogMeet Ron

JUNE 2,2016 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Honolulu folks –> Join a supportive group of like-minded folks tonight 6/216, for meditation, mindful movement and discussion at our place, 3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, at the usual time: 6 to 7:30 PM. If you have a meditation cushion please bring; if not, no worries. The front door opens at 5:50. Note: please do not park in the driveway, as we share this rented house with another couple and we do not want them to be blocked in. Thanks!
Dear friends,
I remember some years ago Katina and I and the kids spent a couple of hours strolling around Magic Island on the first evening of a new year.
 
I was still waking up, as I worked the previous night shift. The world for me takes a while to get into focus after a good day’s sleep. As it slowly did so, I was gently coerced into moments of delicious peace, tracking the slow progress of a container ship on the horizon.
 
And feeling my visual mechanisms dance to the flashing lights of a dinner cruise boat that followed it.
 
As I write this now I remember reading in the late Father Bede Griffiths’ autobiography, The Golden String, his description of an early evening walk he took in England when he was in his last year of University.
 
The sun was setting. He wrote “as I walked on, I came upon some hawthorn trees in full bloom and I thought that I had never seen such a sight or experienced such sweetness before”.
 
He recalled that “a lark rose suddenly from the ground, poured out its song above my head, and then sank, still singing, to rest”.
 
He ends this passage in his book by remembering a “feeling of awe” which overcame him, such that even the sky seemed “but a veil before the face of God”.
 
While we were walking that evening, as the sun was setting on the first day of the new year, and the container ship on the horizon momentarily stopped my mind, it occurred to me that my life, with all its unanswered questions, lingering anxieties and unwashed clothes piling up, was complete.
 
Most of my time in this world has been spent skimming the surface of life. But I realized I was dreadfully wrong to think there was anything amiss. There was an uncanny unwillingness to see any difference between surface and depth.
 
It’s not about mindfulness or mindlessness, or meditation or inattentiveness. The “golden string” Father Griffiths refers to in the title of his autobiography for me was what you follow through the tangled ball of your life to touch the heart of the “peace that passeth understanding.”
 
You find the golden string with the simple intuition that arises in your heart when everything that is false in your life falls away.
 
The path is simple: find your golden string and unwind the tangled ball of your life.
 
There may not be any need for heroic measures, mortifications, retreats away from family or work, years of disciplining the mind, attaining states of absorption, memorizing lists of arcane mental states, or spending lots of money on workshops or downloading MP3 lectures.
 
There is a way to live your ordinary life in pristine peace and joy just as it is right now. This is the way of everyday mysticism, yet it’s not about any “ism” at all.
 
 
A poem by Hafiz – Stop Being So Religious
 
What
Do sad people have in
Common?
It seems
They have all built a shrine
To the past
And often go there
And do a strange wail and
Worship.
What is the beginning of
Happiness?
It is to stop being
So religious
Like That.
 
(“The Gift” – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)
 
 
I feel extremely grateful to have discovered some years back the extraordinary teachings of the one of the greatest practitioners of this simple path: Thérèse of Lisieux.
 
She wrote of a “Little Way” to the fullness of the life that you seek, a way to joy, to happiness, to peace.
 
And the Little Way she lived, she wrote, is short. You have access to it in your present moment by moment life just as it is.
 
St. Therese of Lisieux was a cloistered Carmelite nun who lived in 19th century France, who died a painful death at the tender age of 24, from tuberculosis. 
 
Her ’Little Way’ is about discovering the spiritual in the little things of ordinary life.
 
She was inspired by Jesus’ words: “Whosoever is a little one, come to me.” She wrote in her autobiography she found a way of salvation “by a little way which is very short and very straight”.
 
This little way is a path, she would say, of awareness and willingness, of gratitude and surrender, of confidence, and above all, of love.
 
Mother Teresa summed up the Little Way like this:
 
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
 
Can we find moments in our life when we can step back and reflect on this simple yet powerful insight, which lies at the heart of our mindfulness practice?
 
 
 
 
Katina and I are here to support your meditation practice in any way we can.
 
 
Aloha,
 
 
Tom, Katina, Uilalani and Kupaianaha

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