Stillness, Meditation, Renunciation and the Labyrinth

I have been a little out of sorts and overwhelmed the last couple of days...

And so, this morning, I got up, and read a passage from Paramahansa Yogananda's writings before my meditation in search of some insight. And these were the words that spoke to me:

"To engage in actions without desire for their fruit is true tyaga (renunciation). God is the Divine Renunciant, for He carries on all the activities of the universe without attachment to them. Anyone aspiring to Self-Realization - whether he be a monastic or a householder - must act and live for the Lord, without being emotionally involved in His drama or creation."

These words were timely for two reasons. I have been reviewing Dr. Douglas Brooks' book - Poised for Grace, an annotated commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, from a Tantric perspective in preparation for a workshop he will be giving on this very topic this coming weekend. It so happens that Yogananda's comments are also on the Gita. Furthermore, the issues that have resulted in my feeling out of sorts have to deal with attachments and not letting go of the fruits of my actions.

And so I thought, we may not always get what we want - but we always get what we need as a message from the Beyond, here in our midst...

I found myself driving over to meet a dear soul friend with a heavy heart. As often as we can, we walk the labyrinth together, meditate, and update each other on our lives. Today, after our walk and meditation, we reflected on various challenges we were experiencing, and our heart to heart sharing yielded many fruitful and touching insights for me - truly blessings received as gifts in my heart and soul!

When I finished my walk, and was waiting for my friend to complete her own labyrinth walk, I picked up a little meditation card with this inscribed verse from Psalm 37:7:

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him..."

The words were so simple, but so appropriate. A drawing of a little cup accompanied the verse, and my dear friend smiled, noting how wonderful that a cup of tea was included. I of course, corrected her and observed it was a cup of coffee. We have shared so deeply over the years, often sipping on a cup of tea or coffee, depending on the place or the season...

We also spoke for a bit about my various writing projects - some of which are on hold right now. My friend reminded me, that if I never wrote another word again, there was still a very sizeable body of work, that she referred to as "a cup of beauty." I was profoundly touched by that description, and it reminded me of another dear friend who likes to refer to my work as my "offerings."

I rode home, feeling more fortified and grounded - having almost greedily absorbed the energy of our shared meditation into my very essence...

The sky was definitely looking very wintry again, and a few flurries floated here and there. I have loved the abundance of snow we have gotten this year. I drove down to the river, and walked to the boat launch. The waters have retreated and they were perfectly still - just a few beautiful and majestic birds gliding effortlessly on its surface...

I enjoyed the stillness down by the riverbank inviting me to let go of my personal attachments to drama and unnecessary things in life...

I told my friend, that every night, at the end of the day, I like to visualize all my good deeds in a pot, and those I am less proud of - in a pot as well. As I review the events of the day, I ask myself - have you added more to the pot of good deeds? I hope that at the end of my life, the contents of one pot will far outweigh the contents of the latter...I believe my friend's compassion and insights today certainly were solid contributions to her pot of good deeds.

Every day offers us miracles and opportunities to deepen our spiritual work, and today, was that kind of a day.

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