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Posts Tagged ‘nonattachment’

We are, without question, creatures of tenacious habit. We get comfortable with a certain look and ritual, and we replicate it with impressive consistency.

There is a learned order to things and we thrive on that replicability and predictability.

I awaken in the morning to the gong of my Blackberry alarm and, within less than 5 minutes, I turn on my favorite early morning news channel, put on the coffee, shower, shave, and dress. In choosing what to wear, I lay out a set of choices the night before, and I hold off on putting things on until after I’ve had breakfast to keep from spilling something on my shirt, tie or suit jacket. It’s a very comforting ritual.

We need the rituals. They set a rhythm for mind and body. Good health and an organized life process, rule of life and rule of contemplation all correlate strongly . They matter. At the same time, though, change is everywhere. Sameness appears from day-to-day until something shakes us out of the “matrix,” and we catch a glimpse of seemingly sudden discontinuity.

While ritual is an essential aspect of humanity, it is equally crucial to recognize that it is all an illusion; everything is in motion, everything is tending. In fixating on the static surfaces, we miss the reality of constant unfolding. So, what to do to balance our wholesome disciplines and rituals with continuous attention to what’s actually changing?

A small thing that I sometimes do is to shift an aspect of my daily practice in some small way to quicken my alertness to the real.

For example:

1. Wearing a watch on the other wrist every so often.
2. Combing my hair differently.
3. Wearing a symbol of a particular spiritual tradition unobtrusively, just so I know it’s there.
4. A wardrobe of cologne fragrances.
5. Making daily use if differently scented body washes ( including coconut, chocolate, almond, etc. ).
6. A selected talisman of sorts that I simply enjoy holding, packed in my briefcase ( meteorite, other mineral, symbolically rich bookmark, alternative special pens, special photograph).
7. A screen saver change using my own photos mixed with favorite stock photos from the internet.
8. A changed playlist on my Ipod Touch.
9. Different and fresh potpourri for the large ornamental basin in my home office.
10. Rotation of artifacts, figurines, and paintings on my home office wall.

The only limit is imagination.

Such a practice of ritual change joins with the continuities in our daily round to honor the yin/yang of the soul, the need for a dynamic rebalancing of the constant and the flux. I find that, by doing these things, I am better oriented and ready to appreciate and more fully experience the surprise, the variances, and the times of seemingly “out of left field” occurrences.

All the best to you as you consider the change-ups that keep you just off-balance enough to be really alive and to better hear the “still small voice”.

© Brother Anthony Thomas and The Harried Mystic, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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