Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'Stay in the center'

I'm always struck by the fact that the absence of conflict doesn't always mean peace. Peace is so much more. So when I read poet Mark Nepo's words from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred these words, I resonated:

"...the absence of agitation alone is not necessarily peace and the presence of such difficult feelings does not mean we are necessarily off-center. Rather, the task of being fully alive challenges us to stay in the center while feeling the full range of life on Earth. This is quite a task, which I'm not sure how to do. Nonetheless, listening way inside to these two teachers—the truth of things as they are and the experience of being human—I find myself here.

"... I'm not trying to run from the agitation in the name of peace, but trying to relax my being until I'm spacious enough to be a container for both: the peace and the agitation."

What images does that bring to your mind, to be a container for both? How do you manage to "stay in the center" even amid agitation and challenges? Can you hold things as they are and still feel at peace?

Some days I manage to do this; and other days, it's a real challenge. Actually, most days, it's a challenge. But I do find it so worth the effort when I can feel the balance. That's OK. We are each a work-in-progress, so there's no need to beat up on ourselves when we can't be "spacious enough to be a container for both."

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