Now that the sunroom is stripped of furniture, I stood in a different place to do today’s morning meditation, which led my eyes to a new sight out the window: an empty nest. Right behind it across the alley to the West is the house of the neighbors who have now bought our house. Perhaps this empty nest is a sign from the …….. (fill in blank with force or deity of your choice) that it’s time to leave now… and to embark on our journey to the West!
Tag: letting go
One of the poignant things about moving is letting go of things we once held dear. I’ve been abandoning books right and left (to the bins managed by Better World Books, but still…). Rich has abandoned his garden, once a crowning achievement which fed our family for weeks in the summer. Gazing out on the garden this morning while meditating, I savored its lovely untidiness, which brought up the connection to one of my favorite quotes of all time, by the French Renaissance philosopher Michel de Montaigne.
Thought of the day: Letting go is healthy and delightful (even if it feels wrenching at times).
“I want death to find me in the garden planting cabbages, but not afraid of her, and even less of my imperfect garden.”
“Je veux que la mort me trouve plantant mes choux, mais nonchalant d’elle, et encore plus de mon jardin imparfait.”
Michel de Montaigne, Essais, 1580
Imperfection and letting go are key concepts in Zen philosophy as they are in T’ai chi. As Bob Klein writes, “Many people are drawn to T’ai-chi-Ch’uan because it enables them to let go of their tensions permanently. Without tension, anxiety and worry, life is a lot more enjoyable. … to release this tension, you must go through the nervous system, for it is a nerve, constantly sending its signal to a muscle, which causes that muscle to tense. You are making yourself tense. Tension, therefore, is not released by doing something extra, but by letting go of something you are already doing.” (Movements of Magic, 16)
Did Montaigne know of Zen philosophy?! Or perhaps the Stoics before him? sure seems like there is a connection between East and West deep down …
At any rate, Bon dimanche!
Hello on the final day of the five day meditation in the mirror challenge,
This experience has made me realize that I was on the right path before this challenge. Despite whatever anyone else might think, gazing out at nature is more valuable than getting too immersed in the self. Perhaps for those just starting out, it is useful to gaze into a mirror, but after ten months of the morning routine I have found the mirror meditation to be a tiresome and unnecessary addition to my life.
I also find many human interactions tiresome and unnecessary. (Sorry!) As Bob Klein has noted, “Usual human interactions, centered around issues of self-worth, control and power in a social sense, become bewildering to a person involved in spirit breathing. The purpose and benefit of such interaction becomes unclear when viewed from the perspective of the Body-Mind. This perspective does not include the idea ‘I am better than you because…’ It is a perspective of connecting and unifying rather than overpowering.” (Movements of Power, 75).
Nevertheless, here are the photos and descriptions as promised on 3/7. The setting: the sunroom of my beautiful historical house which will go on the market this Wednesday, via Cressy & Everett. The mirror: an antique hand mirror with a long handle inherited from my mom, Mary Somerville (Sept. 7, 1930–March 11, 2015).
The photos are here and I leave you to draw whatever conclusions you choose.