The Barking of Minds & Dogs

I set out a mat on my back deck and tried to muster all the peacefulness and mental quietude I could.  Perhaps staying up to 2:00 am the night before wasn’t the best preparation for day one of this experiment. Yet, at 9:00 am, before doing anything else I sat down with my meditation journal on the shaded deck and read over the words. Unfortunately, it was also the same time my neighbor decided to chainsaw down some trees in his yard.  Good timing. My dog D’Artagnan decided to alert me to this by barking loudly with every rev of the chainsaw.  Fortunately, it was nothing a pair of headphones and some ambient noise couldn’t fix.

Today’s meditation was from an excerpt of the monastic writings of John Dalyutha and Colossians. I learned a great deal more today about the process than I expected. For all the noise outside, the most distracting noise was internal. My mind rarely slows down. My anxieties are, if nothing else, persistent.  I had thought these first sixty days would progress rapidly.  This first day taught me that it may take me sixty days just to learn how to tame my mind. And that alone would be worthwhile.

In the not-so-quiet of the morning I read:

“If you are tired and worn out by your labors for the Lord,

place your head upon His knee and rest awhile.

Recline upon His breast [John 13:23]

breathe in the fragrant spirit of life

and allow life to permeate your being

Rest upon Him, for He is a table of refreshment [Ps. 23:5]

that will serve you the food of the divine Father

-John Dalyutha

In understanding this concept of allowing life to permeate us and reach a rest that surpasses understanding I read Colossians 2:2-4

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with EVERYTHING there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. ALL the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. (The Message, emphasis added)

The concepts of love, knowledge, and rest fit together by Paul as a part of the great mystery of Christ. To contemplate that mystery in the quiet of the day is a blessed rest that allows us to feel as if we, like the beloved disciple John,  recline our heads against the shoulder of our savior. And in that rest find the refreshment David spoke of in Psalms: “you revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.”

I might not have found as much peace in my meditation today as I had hoped, but I did find a promise worth pursuing.

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