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Day 267 - Radical Stillness & Spiritual Risk Taking

Two pretty powerful concepts. Let’s do Spiritual Risks first...

Everyone who wakes up today will be given many opportunities through the day to take spiritual risks. Will you do it the same as yesterday or will you do it differently today? We are all living our lives and I think sometimes miss that every second of every day we get to make a choice. To reach for the safe and familiar, cocooning ourselves in the script of our lives or we can reach out and allow for something else to walk through the door. How many opportunities do we miss because we are too busy trying to get its right when we would do so much better if we could just let what is, be?

We want the spiritual path to be easy, clear cut and smooth but this is more the path of self will than spiritual growth. The ego always wants to find safety and security and is willing to sell away growth for comfort and easy living. So it is counter intuitive that when we are uncomfortable that is good. Uncomfortability means we are moving toward something amazing but we often miss it because we are just looking for things to be ok.

Ok, so how in the hell do you access the part of you that is willing and able to take spiritual risks?

Radical Stillness of course!

Choosing to sit still and be quiet is quite the rebellious act in today’s world. Although the world has calmed down in some ways with the pandemic, it doesn’t feel like many people have taken the isolation as an indicator that perhaps they could just slow down and sit still for a minute. Myself included. It is very hard to resist the identity of busyness, never ending motion, constant grasping and chasing whatever it is we think we want.

But there is great reward in reclaiming our humanness and sanity by returning to ourselves and just sitting still. I am committed to doing it every day in the morning when I wake up. Every day. No exceptions. But I have also learned to take this radical stillness on the trail with me everyday and sit down and just marvel at the world in front of me. I have learned to stop all the housework and projects and sit down with a book and read. I have learned to lie in bed at night and just listen to the sounds outside. I have learned to lie in bed in the morning with just my thoughts to keep me company. Then I take it all to the cushion and somehow my life makes sense. Not the kind of sense that makes everything ok and orderly, but the kind of sense to help me just keep going to the next minute.

And now we are back to spiritual risks...for me I am constantly and forever moving through and around, radical stillness and spiritual risks. They are the ying/yang of my existence. I can’t have one without the other as they each feed each other. If I curtail the radical stillness, I also, similarly, cut short the spiritual risk taking.

There are a lot of things that I do not know in this life. A lot of things that are not ok and a lot of things that I do not understand. However, the older I get the more I feel like my work is to be still and quiet so that I find the resolve, strength and courage to take more risks spiritually. Go to places where I have never been and see things about myself and you that I have never been open to seeing before. It would be so easy just to stop. Just to close the door and resume my consumption and life dedicated to the acquisition of more. But then I remember how dissatisfied with that life I was. And so the life of radical stillness and spiritual risk taking reveals itself as the only true path for me.

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Jun 28, 2020

Erin, Your teaching are so clear and so relatable. Hope some of these post find a wider audience somehow. Joe G.

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