Oct 26, 2007

Sitting in silence

There are days when I just go into the tea room to sit. Sometimes just for 15 mintues. It is not necessarily zazen meditation, but just as a refuge from modern life. The walls of the tea room are bare of decoration except for the Zen scroll in the alcove. The floor is covered with tatami mats and I can close the door to shut out the sounds from the rest of the house. No email, or telephone. No distractions. In a way, it is like sensory deprivation.

In this silence, though, is where I can hear my heart beat and feel the breath filling my lungs. Getting in touch again with my body, I can listen to what it is telling me. Am I getting enough sleep? My body will tell me. Am I getting enough exercise? My body will tell me.

I also listen for the small voice inside me. During the day, with all of my other activities, the small voice is drowned out. There has to be a quiet time with no other distractions for me to hear this small voice. It is the voice telling me about what it is I need to do. This is the voice that told me that I needed to quit my corporate job. It is voice that told me I had to do something close to my heart to experience more joy in my life. This is the voice that reminds me to pay attention to my family. This is the voice that puts the tragedies in my life into perspective. The voice tells me that there is more to life than making more money, or marking time until retirement. It reminds me that life is to be lived.

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