You know that I write down a list of things about which I want to write to You. These are things that simply occur to me or about which I read;or things I hear from others. As I write to You about each one I cross it off on the index card on which it is written, and go on to the next item. I’ve gone through a lot of index cards, front and back, this way over the years.
Today is one of those days on which everything on my current index card is crossed out. There is no “next one” to go on to. This has happened before and it always amazes me that when I think I have nothing new about which to write to You, something just automatically pops up.
In Richard Rohr’s book, Everything Belongs, he talked about the nature of contemplation. He said, “The calculating mind is the opposite of the contemplative mind.” Then he said the following is a prayer he used to get himself in the right frame of mind: “Be still and know that I am God; be still and know that I am; be still and know; be still; Be!”
If anyone ever had a calculating mind, it’s me! I am very much aware of the great joys of stillness and simply being in the present moment. These are attributes of the heart. But the mind races on. Rohr’s little prayer is the spot-on key to contemplative spirituality. Solitude is being alone WITH YOU. Silence is listening peacefully TO YOU. The calculations of the mind (which persistently refuse to exit for more than seconds at a time) need to be vaporized without direct or aggressive focus on them – to be where your body’s at now without consciousness of your body.