"Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of man." — Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation
Music, poetry and art are deepest in my soul.
I can't escape them.
No attachment; no longing. Pure unadulterated joy.
Work on the other hand — the paid and sometimes unpaid variety — is just plain work. I can, without superimposing too much thinking, make it quite meditative, but it doesn't bring me close to or elicit great floods of tears as music can and often does.
But what about my spiritual life?
Sadly, these days, the only place that genuinely brings me into union with true self is nature. Even yesterday, as I spent time in awe of the tree that I managed to photograph and then share on Instagram, there was complete wholeness with my surroundings, but especially (and please don't laugh) the weighty, immovable, and rock-solid leviathan that was the tree. I could have, had time permitted, spent a lot longer in its presence. It's always the same thought with something that aged: imagine what it's seen and experienced in its lifetime and apart from its physical growth, it's never changed. It's a tree, and not pretending to be something that it's not.
This doesn't mean I don't have a meditation practice — I prefer to think of it more as contemplation — but I'm acutely aware that I've shrouded it, too often, with all manner of instruction when it needs nothing more than silence, stillness and to put my arse on a seat — these days I've got a battered old chair that's barely holding together.
Why am I telling you all this — again?
Simply this: if we can, by stilling the mind, find a way of expanding the vitality of our spiritual selves, then we'll come into union with something that doesn't take us out of the world but brings us much closer to it. Not the commercialised version, replete with stereotypes of what it means to be a great/awesome/achieved person but instead, someone who's comfortable in their own skin and doesn't have to wear a multitude of masks.
At least that is what it's like to me to show up, whatever the situation, whatever the circumstances as true self. Someone awake all body, mind and, most especially of all, spirit.
Take care. Enjoy your day.