“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” -Thoreau
A monastery isn’t a place of professional goody-two-shoes. It is a place where people live deliberately, so much so that the deliberateness soaks into you if you spend some time there. Everything seems to have been done on purpose. In my guest room, when I arrived, there was a flashlight set by the lamp. It is Kansas. It is just past tornado season. I had a moment when I had a good cry, and I went out into the common area to get some kleenex. There was kleenex in my room. I didn’t see it. I am working on living deliberately.
What do you do there? people ask me. I sleep a lot. At night, and in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoon. I love to sleep. I have always been an extravagant sleeper, and this sleep isn’t a sleep of depression or avoidance, but a recovery sleep and a processing sleep, a break in my reading to let my experiences and the words and ideas I’ve eaten to digest.
The role of sleep is much overlooked.
What I read:
“We cannot plan our way into achieving…results, only live our way into them by taking on the challenges that life presents us. Like Dorothy washing the witch’s floor, we achieve our breakthroughs not by setting out to break through, but by doing the work that is right in front of us.” – William Bridge
“And let us be wise, so that we do not wed one another’s madness and then make them in debt to us for the deep gash their helpless raging lance will cause.” -St. Francis
“Millions of people who otherwise would be completely lost in the conceptual reality of their mind are kept sane by living with an animal.” -Eckhardt Tolle
“Letting go is connected with letting go of any vestiges of doubt or hesitation or embarrassment about being who you are… so that you can proclaim your goodness and basic sanity for the benefit of others.” – Chogyam Trungpa
The sisters aren’t perfect, but they know what the center of their lives is. They are weighted down more than a lot of us. They have chosen a life that pushes them to understand who they are and what they should spend time on. I’m sure that presents its own challenges, and life is nothing but one challenge after another, but I appreciate some weightiness just now, since my life is untethered. Another good line from Trungpa: “That is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself.” Being yourself on purpose, deliberately.