Soul Places

Befriending the Soul through Inquiry and Creativity

Tag: journal

What Has Your Spiritual Practice Created?

Copyright Diane Ludeking 2011

A visualization/meditation:

A door with a weather worn sign hanging above it comes into view between the bobbing heads of my heavily armed escorts.  We are hustling through the underbrush of a place I don’t recognize, urgency is in their faces.  I do not know how I got here or what we are running from, but I follow them, certain that they can offer me protection from imminent danger.  The door opens automatically as though someone on the other side is awaiting our arrival.  I am astounded to see that the door is thicker than I am wide and appears to be solid steel.  Frightened by the necessity of such extremes, I obediently cross the threshold.  Once inside, I quickly assess my surroundings.  It is a small, cold, dimly lit room that is no doubt a bunker built to withstand the most gruesome of attacks.  Surely there is nothing that can pierce or destroy this shelter or it’s inhabitants.

My escorts silently guide me toward the center of the room where I am startled to discover the floor moving beneath my feet, lowering me to another space.  As the elevator comes to rest in this lower level, I am inexplicably drawn to the only person in the room.  She is wrapped in a cocoon of the finest blue silk, perched on her heels; kneeling atop the most plush and delightful pillow I‘ve ever seen.  Her eyes are closed and she appears quite peaceful.  I must disturb her however to get some answers.  As I approach, she opens her eyes and smiles at me as though she knows me.  “I am your authentic self and this place is what your spiritual practices have built,” she explains without prompting.  “Impenetrable to anything that may cause suffering.  And through those doors,” she continues with a nod across the room, “is your Paradise.”

Following her gaze, I notice the elegant French doors across the room.  Eager to see what’s on the other side, I cross the room to find…

Please finish the sentence in the comments and/or your journal.  What does the sign above the door say?  Comments are welcome too.

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Invent National Day of Noble Silence

Journal entry, June 9, 2011:  I have an idea!  I want to:

Go on a trail ride
Skydive solo
Communicate with animals
Have conversations that invite the soul
Travel Europe, Africa, South America
Abolish resistance, embrace creativity and put it in a pill
Toss the TV
Stop protecting abusers
Invent National Day of Noble Silence
Tell people not to water their lawn in the middle of the day – or ever
Befriend a child
Teach Zero Point Agreement in schools – and the Five Agreements too.  Why not?
 

 I shared this list with a group of friends last week and the National Day of Noble Silence drew lots of gasps and cheers.  I’m not even sure how it ended up on the list since I don’t know that much about it.  It must have been inspired by a daylong meditation retreat I participated in around that time.  During this retreat I practiced mindful eating at lunch, mindful walking from point A to point B and no conversation with each other between meditations.  In addition to those things, a Day of Noble Silence would include no eye contact, no TV or radio and awareness of every movement you make and thought you have.  Basically it’s a day arranged for just you and the voices in your head.  Sound like fun?

I thought so when I did it.  I stopped eating when I was full because I paid attention to every bite.  I scratched my nose because it itched, not because I felt awkward in a group and needed to make an unconscious gesture to unconsciously reveal my discomfort.  There was no pressure to make small talk at lunch.  I brought my unconscious thoughts to my attention and realized why I’d been feeling so pent up lately.  I left with a whole new appreciation for myself.

Naturally, I began to daydream about what a National Day of Noble Silence would look like.  Would you answer the phone at work if it fell on a workday?  Would you even go to work?  Maybe it would become a paid holiday.  Brilliant!  What better way to nourish and refresh employees?  How awkward would it be though, not to talk to your partner or roommate, not even making eye contact as you pass in the kitchen?  Would the grocery stores have to close for this day or could we manage the checkout lane without eye contact or speaking?  What about my animals?  Can I still pet them and smile at them?  No cell phones seem obvious but what about Facebook and email?

I’m sure someone would figure out how many billions of dollars in commerce would be lost this day and it would never be given a second thought.  But I think the tradeoff in emotional and spiritual commerce would be worth it.  What do you think?  Can we do it?

Make your own idea list and go for at least one of them.  I ended up going on the trail ride.