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Practice is an Inner Knowing

One of my favorite things to do is sit in silence in a dark room, no lights, no sound, just breath. There’s something comforting in the dark when I can sit with me. I haven’t always been comforted by this. Fears and thoughts would scream and rant through me even though I appeared calm.

All the years I battled with fear and anxiety were just practice. My daily practice was the inner chaos which held my intentions for solace but chaos seemed louder and stronger. I knew I wanted peace but couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find it yet because I was practicing.

Time to practice is not based on anyone’s timetable. It’s not based on the need to complete a task or achieve a goal. Practicing is on its own timetable, working its way slowly building up strength, perseverance and determination. Practice knows when it’s over and action begins.

Practice is wise. Practice is patient. Practice is an inner knowing.

Until I felt strong enough, courageous enough, ready enough to be with myself, I didn’t recognize my inner monsters were scared little fears; the rage was unheard feelings; my self-loathing thoughts were mimicking what I thought others were thinking, I had to keep practicing. I had to keep practicing until I was ready to stop resisting and surrender.

Some days I cry in the dark and it’s okay. Some days my mind is busy and it’s okay. It’s my time. It’s me time. I just knew it was time.

To all that is chaotic

in you, let there come silence.

Let there be a calming of the clamoring, a stilling of the voices that have laid their claim on you, that have made their home in you,

that go with you even to the holy places but will not let you rest, will not let you hear your life with wholeness or feel the grace that fashioned you.

Let what distracts you cease. Let what divides you cease. Let there come an end to what diminishes and demeans, and let depart all that keeps you in its cage.

Let there be an opening into the quiet that lies beneath the chaos, where you find the peace you did not think possible and see what shimmers within the storm.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • What you said in the poem you read, that’s me. Ever since I was little and I was so insecure, I remember feeling so lost and so afraid. My whole adult life, trying to work on it. It wastes so much time and energy. I berate myself sometimes for being too slow. The other side of that, the positive side, is that I have a lot of patience. If I was really fast all the time, maybe I wouldn’t have the patience I have. I make friends with a lot of animals when I work with them. It’s definitely a process not having that chatter go on all the time.

  • Thank you so much. That was a wonderful reading. I love the whole idea about practice because that’s what it’s all about. Practicing these principles and this way of life where I am not stressing myself out no matter what happens, that I live in a state of serenity which is my goal. I loved the line in the poem about finding a quiet place beneath the chaos. Today is a historic day, it will live in the history of our democracy for a long time. That line reminds me that, in the midst of the chaos and this governmental system that is swirling above us and we are all a part of, today I choose to be aware of it but I choose to detach from it and stay in my quiet place of serenity. Let history happen and not get caught up in it, but just stay focused on what I need to do to take care of myself. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Practice sometimes can take years and years.

  • This group has done so much for all of us in ways I can’t even quantify. Even if this group had done nothing else in all this time, if the sole thing it did was to be there for group members with Covid and sending them our love, that in itself, is enough.

  • I just received a call from my doctor and my Covid test was negative.

  • Praise the God, Goddess, and all that represents love and light.

  • I had a dream the night before last that was an obvious anxiety dream. I was in the hospital. On units they have big erase boards with lines and patient’s name and their info, all lined up. I used to love to erase it because it meant the patient left. In my dream, I had to put my information on the board. I was trying to write between the lines but I was writing too big, the pen was too big. My writing wouldn’t fit between the lines. I was saying I can’t do that. Then everyone in the hospital stops what they are doing and shouts ‘get in line.’ I’m thinking, it’s good everyone is taking a break, but the hospital personnel all have to focus and can’t stop like that. The dream was obvious to me—it’s where you place your focus. The universe is saying to me don’t lose your focus on what is important. The phrase in the poem about what shimmers in the storm—during the meditation, I was like looking through a telescope trying to focus within to see what is shimmering. To focus, to not get derailed by all this static stuff.

  • Thank you for joining us today. This group is buoying; this group holds energy that is healing no matter whether you are speaking or just being present. I believe it has its own engine and creates its own healing energy. So, as we breathe in and breathe out, the healing happens. I hope you all have a gentle rest of the day. Thank you.

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