Friday, December 31, 2004

The Dance

There is a sacred sequence of life.
An eternal rhythm. A dance of circles.

Planets perpetually spin around their orbits....
Night breaks into day, which falls into night, as the day arrives again...
Life is born, lives, dies, and is reborn into new forms - endlessly...
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall...

-and yet-

We don't live accordingly. What is modern man's greatest triumph? What is the sickness or our age? With what three words do we proclaim to the world as our trophy of worth?

"I'm so busy."
As a culture that values overwork, striving, driving, pushing, out-of-balance-ness, we assume that being busy means you're somebody. We search for the deepest meaning of Who We Are not in the eternal Present where the beginningless, endless, ever-present Witness resides, but rather in some imagined future date of "betterness." Therefore, we must strive to get there - no matter the havoc it wreaks upon our bodies, our families, our world. And as Brother David Steindl-Rast teaches us, the Chinese pictograph for "busy" is made up of two characters: heart and killing.

remember the sabbath

Work hard while you're at work. But work no more than you need to. Find the sacred rhythm of rest. Don't fill your downtime with tv, computers, and other things that continue to assault you. Turn them off. Remember Gandhi's words on the madness of modern man: "There is more to life than merely increasing its speed."

In that rest, savor. Savor a cup of tea in silence. Talk a walk in the quiet woods. Play on the floor with a child. Cook an equisite meal and eat it alone or with family or friends. Breathe. Nap. Paint. Meditate. Do nothing.

Take nothing for granted. Bring full mindfulness into whatever you're doing so that you're completely "there."

This does not produce laziness. There is no need to feel guilty. Upon fully realizing the rhythm of rest, your work becomes more meaningful and you find mindfulness and strength to apply to your tasks. And yet even while working, find "rest moments." Stop. Breathe 3 deep breaths. Then continue.

Find the sacred rhythm. Rather, tune in to the sacred rhythm, for it is all around and within you. Business, stress, and exhaustion are not medals of your worth - indeed they choke your ability to simply "be."

Yes, tune in to the sacred rhythm. And Dance.

[Most of today's entry was inspired by the book "Sabbath" by Wayne Muller - a very beautiful and important book. Pick one up, you'll be blessed by it.]


Meredith said...

The heartbeat of the universe seems to be heard/felt in its rhythms. Noticing this, and slowing a bit to enjoy it, brings a feeling of bliss, of all things being just as they should be.

Quiet and mindful, this heartbeat is felt, and we begin to dance to it; the delicious experience of being fully alive comes forth.

Thank you Trev,

tamingthemind said...

Wonderful post. Unfortunately, most people are dancing to someone else's tune. It reminds me of those westerns where people are made to dance by shooting bullets around their feet.

Wishing you and your family a very happy new year.

muse said...

That was a beautiful and inspiring post, I'll be checking out your blog regularly in the future. :) Blessed be!

gratefulbear said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful reminder to tune n to the sacred rhythm within. Just what I needed to read on New Year's Day.


isaiah said...

"This does not produce laziness. There is no need to feel guilty."

This is like a foreign language to society- we are constantly bombarded with the messages of, "be more," "do more", "consume more", and if you don't or can't...the message is, "you don't count!"

Why have we, as a society, allowed this to be the prevailing message today?

"Upon fully realizing the rhythm of rest, your work becomes more meaningful and you find mindfulness and strength to apply to your tasks. And yet even while working, find "rest moments." Stop. Breathe 3 deep breaths. Then continue."

There is a reason we are 'not at rest' as a society. Perhaps it must be this way. Perhaps we will wind ourselves up and out of sync so completely that there will be such a void in our disintegration that mindfulness, rhythm, and sacred sequence will again find true meaning and purpose and the cycle will begin anew.

I tend to believe that even in chaos there is order...Maybe even Divine Order. Enjoyed the post.

jaxun said...

I took your advice to heart, tho I had decided to do this prior to reading this post. Today I gave myself permission to get 2 therapeutic massages a month for the next year: one deep tissue and one relaxing. I'm being "brave" and going for the deep tissue one first, this Friday night, to kick off another solo parenting weekend.

I have abused my body for so long, taken it for granted to the point that it is now giving me the warning signs of imminent system shutdown just as I am re-awakening to this rhythm I once knew, but the knowledge of which I lost in the Daily Scramble.

I am hoping this gift to my flesh and bones helps me remember how sacred this temple is, and through this effort I will once again remember how to dance!

kev said...

right on. not saying that all my time is due to already understanding this, but i do take it easy quite a bit. the hardest part of what i DO understand about why i relax is that i AM able to fill up my time, or let it be filled up by someone else. constantly. my wife, jennifer, is very good at keeping busy, filling her time with a myriad of levels of work. with our differences, we balance each other. the struggle isn't in who's right, but rather maintaining that balance of work and "peaceful play" without being at odds.

there's much to do, for sure. and taking care of one's self is more important than most of the meaningless tasks on which this society puts so much emphasis.

THE IMPORTANT PART: don't concern yourself with trying to fend off everyone's questions and insults. if they think you're lazy, let them. there's more value in being at peace with who you are than trying to convince everyone who you are is okay.