Be Still and Pause and Know

The Buddhists teach that the only constant in life is change...

But I don't do well with change...

In fact, if truth be told, I hate change. I love stability. And that, in itself, is an illusion. There is no such thing as stability... Nothing remains the same... There is no "happily ever after."

As a child, I moved around a lot. Which meant enrolling in different schools often in mid-year, trying to make new friends, then just about getting settled, only to have to pick up and move once again. Though it had it's opportunities, it also had its challenges...

I did not want that for my son, so I tried to give him what I did not have - the opportunity to go to one school from kindergarten to eighth grade, to spend all four years in one high school - and not have to move half-way as I did - and to be able to attend the same university for all four years. He went to wonderful schools and his best friend from kindergarten is still his best friend today. In fact, his friends from grade school, high school, and college, are still friends today...

I thought the yoga world and community would offer me that stability I have yearned for. I've not had the life long friend in my life that saw me through thick and thin for decades. Every job I ever had was a search for community, and yet it never really brought me that - not even in the religious environments I worked at for 25 years, because I neglected to realize, that what I was seeking was already inside of me...

Did not the poet Rumi assert the following?

"The whole universe is inside of you.
Ask all from yourself."

In the last 10 years, my communities and work environments have changed about 5 times. They brought wonderful people in my life. Still, I looked in these places and among all those relationships for the same thing - which I still neglected to realize what inside of me...

The Buddhists also teach that all life is suffering and that attachment leads to that. This I know. At least intellectually. Yet why is it so hard to put into practice? Does anyone else feel this way?

I am drawn to reading the psalms over and over again, and most particularly Psalm 46. My favorite line in that psalm often repeats itself again and again in my heart:

"Be still and know and know that I am God..."

I also love the first verse:

"God is our refuge and our strength;
an ever present help in distress."

Several verses in the psalm end with the word "selah," which is a difficult word to translate. One of the translations is "pause." Because the psalms were originally sung, this word was both a liturgical and musical instruction to pause before continuing to the next verse.

My life is like that pause...

Macrina Weiderkehr once wrote:

"Sacred is the pause
that brings us into stillness."

Yes, my life is in that pause. But I am starting to realize that the pause is not only pregnant with possibilities - or just an "in between" state. It no longer necessarily leads from point A to point B. The pause is its own reward. It is the stillpoint. And it signals a state of arrival and completion...

The pause is the "kumbhaka" of life - so impregnated with the presence of God - if you breathe in - you lose it. You miss it... The yogic sages knew the pause was important - that within the suspension of the breath lay immortality...

Only in God is my soul at rest...

"For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from Him comes my salvation..." Psalm 62.1

Sacred is the pause... Seek not to belong elsewhere... Belong to yourself... And belong to the One who dwells in you as You...

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