It is sad to see how many persons must stay busy all the time, for if they didn't, they'd actually have to take a real close look at themselves and, possibly also, see that all they have identified with as who they are is really just a passing shadow. I guess if a shadow stays busy enough, it can delude itself into thinking it's not really a shadow after all. Possibly, this is a reason spiritual wisdom all over the world and over eons of time says, "Stop! and wake up." Living a comfortable and pleasing dream is still not truly living, is it?
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A farmer got so old that he could not work the fields. So he would spend the day sitting on the porch. His son, working the farm, would look up from time to time and see his father there. "He's of no use any more," the son mused, "he doesn't do anything!" One day the son got so frustrated by this, that he built a wood coffin, dragged it over to the porch, and told his father to get in it. Without saying anything, the father got inside. After closing the lid, the son dragged the coffin to the edge of the farm where there was a cliff. As he approached the drop, he heard a light tapping on the lid. He opened it. Lying peacefully, the father looked up at his son. "I know you are going to throw me over the cliff. Before you do, may I recommend something?" "What is it?" asked his son. "Throw me over the cliff, if you like, but save this wood coffin. Your children might need to use it."
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One of the last things I would want said in remembrance of me, after the death of this body, is, "He was useful." That is possibly as bad as, "He was really a nice guy."
What makes us essentially of worth and dignity is not our usefulness. There is something amazing about you that is prior to anything you do, even before the thought of doing enters the mind.
Many persons struggle with meditation and contemplative prayer partly for such practice does not appear useful. Likewise, some of us live in cultures that measure our worth by what we do, not who we are. I have even been in faith communities that do that - one reason some possibly did not agree with some of my pastoral style is I did not try to push persons into church work, for I more so wanted them to enjoy life over-all and be true to their responsibilities on a daily basis. In other words, I did not esteem those busy in church activities to be anymore Christian or faithful than those who simply came and worshiped once a week. So, possibly we need to do some daily practice that appears to others, and possibly ourselves, as useless.
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*Lotus of the Heart is a Work of Arem Nahariim-Samadhi ~ a Hospice Chaplain, interspiritual author, writer, poet, and bicyclist. He is someone in love with Life and inviting others to that same ecstasy of Love ~ and, by the way, herein is nothing he claims as his own.