Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I've Learned This Morning

"To let knowledge produce troubles, and then use knowledge to prepare against them, is like stirring water in hopes of making it clear."  Lao-Tzu

"Still the mind loves to act "as if..."
As if it can make the rules
As if it can write the script
Then, believing all the "as ifs," it is lost in a maze of 
pretense and pretension.
Excerpt from "As If" by Sheila Peltz Weinberg

These lines are the first I read this morning, one after the other. The last words I read last night, in The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker were "... his principal aim was to pass on the lesson life had taught him: that a person's greatest treasure is the wisdom in his heart."

I didn't plan this in advance. It's not how I write this blog. I sit down and find words that speak to me and begin to write. I'm thinking all I need to do now is to give you an old school assignment: here's the beginning of the story, you write the end. You know how to do this essay. Don't you always give yourself the opportunity to learn the same thing over and over? You set goals, yearly resolutions, you go to therapists for answers, talk endlessly with friends, write blogs to sort life out, seek experts for second opinions, and it's all mostly about feeling unworthy or unsure, insecure. Isn't this how our monkey minds work? Isn't this how we don't sit and listen for answers but charge ahead into new programs and classes and jobs and marriages, searching through self help books for new approaches? Our minds keep us very busy blaming and hoping and treading water.

I know my greatest treasure is the wisdom in my heart and for awhile I remember it, and for awhile I act on it, and for awhile I feel as though I'm walking around with special knowledge no one else knows or acts on. And then I trip and fall, and spend a month in physical therapy and wonder if that trip had meaning and act as if it does, and act as if I don't know if it does or not, and act as if it was just a misstep. I just recently sent myself into turmoil looking for answers regarding my husband's current condition thinking if I knew more about it I could help us, help myself prepare for the future.

The closest I come to tapping into the wisdom of my heart is when I am immersed in an art project so deeply that I'm not thinking of anything else, when I'm meditating (even when I'm watching thought after thought pass through), and when I'm truly grateful. I love it when I observe Shabbat, the day of rest. I turn off the computer, take slow walks, eat food I prepared the day before, read, and don't involve myself in paying bills, doing the wash, finishing jobs I didn't get done during the week. I'd like to say I'm doing that this weekend, but this weekend I'm taking care of my three grandchildren and have a list of the places they need to be hour by hour. They are the tangible treasures of my heart, and if I remember that and act on it, I will know that this is just a different kind of day of rest. The human condition doesn't let us live in the garden of Eden full time.

Baruch ata adonai...I thought after writing all that I'd be all tied up, but I just took an unplanned deep sigh and felt peace, felt I will enjoy this weekend with its non stop activity. I am feeling so much gratitude right now. I'm grateful for this time I give myself to write and think, I'm glad I'm going to be with my grandchildren and glad I have plans for today to meet with an old soulful friend. Thank you for all of this. Amen

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