Mindfulness: Present Moment. Kairos: Appropriate Time

2 Comments January 16, 2011 / Posted in Meditation, Mindful Business, Mindful Leadership, Mindfulness, Uncategorized
Erin Reflecting

Erin Reflecting

Bruce Peters is a dear friend, former fellow Vistage Chairman, host of WCEOhq-Radio, and like me a champion of the work and wisdom of Lee Thayer. Check out his archives with his numerous dialogues with Lee.

I wanted to share Bruce’s response which reflects: When the mind is ready, the message appears.

Bruce shares: “I am reminded of a personal retreat where I was struggling a bit at one of life’s crossroad’s with my own “question”. After a long walk and conversation with myself I wandered into the poetry section, took off the shelf a book of Rilke which opened almost magically to the these words,”

“(Have)….. patience with everything unresolved in your heart—-and try to love the questions themselves. Don’t search for answers which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is to live everything.

Live the questions now!

Perhaps, gradually without noticing it you will live the way to your answer”

Bruce continues: “Buber, once described our lives as our conversation with God and that life’s challenge was to make that conversation “holy”. That included, he felt the conversations with ourselves and each other.”

In conversations one speaks and one listens. What often happens for many of us is we do not listen. Hidden in the work “Listen” is the word “Silent.” More often we are either speaking or getting-ready-to-speak. Mindfulness is being present. When in dialogue, it means listening silently and quieting our own minds. This kind of listening allows the person speaking the gift of being heard.

Throughout history these moments of being open to the present moment bring a true change of mind, heart and spirit. One of these moments in literature is expressed in St. Augustine’s Confessions. Augustine is open to the moment and his life is changed:

Tolle Lege, Take and read…

“But when a deep consideration had from the secret bottom of my soul drawn together and heaped up all my misery in the sight of my heart; there arose a mighty storm, bringing a mighty shower of tears. Which that I might pour forth wholly, in its natural expressions, I rose from Alypius: solitude was suggested to me as fitter for the business of weeping; so I retired so far that even his presence could not be a burden to me. Thus was it then with me, and he perceived something of it; for something I suppose I had spoken, wherein the tones of my voice appeared choked with weeping, and so had risen up.

He then remained where we were sitting, most extremely astonished. I cast myself down I know not how, under a certain fig-tree, giving full vent to my tears; and the floods of mine eyes gushed out an acceptable sacrifice to Thee. And, not indeed in these words, yet to this purpose, spake I much unto Thee: and Thou, O Lord, how long? how long, Lord, wilt Thou be angry, for ever? Remember not our former iniquities, for I felt that I was held by them. I sent up these sorrowful words: How long, how long, “tomorrow, and tomorrow?” Why not now? why not is there this hour an end to my uncleanness?

So was I speaking and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when, lo! I heard from a neighbouring house a voice, as of boy or girl, I know not, chanting, and oft repeating. ‘Take up and read; Take up and read.’ [’Tolle, lege! Tolle, lege!’] Instantly, my countenance altered, I began to think most intently whether children were wont in any kind of play to sing such words: nor could I remember ever to have heard the like. So checking the torrent of my tears, I arose; interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book, and read the first chapter I should find…

Eagerly then I returned to the place where Alypius was sitting; for there had I laid the volume of the Apostle when I arose thence. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence.’ [Romans 13:14-15] No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”1

1. Aurelius Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine, translated by Edward Pusey. Vol. VII, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909–14

2 Comments... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. Bruce Peters said on January 17th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Got to thinking that the remainder of Rilke’s Poem speaks to faith in openings…….
    ” You must not be frightened if a sadness arises in front of you…larger than you have ever seen
    if an anxiety
    like light and cloud-shadows moves over your hands and
    over everything that you do.
    You must realize that something is happening to you
    That life has not forgotten you
    That it holds you in it’s hands
    and will not let you Fall”

  2. Audra Baecker said on February 7th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    @Bruce Peters….wow, that is truly beautiful! The next time I am frightened, saddend or anxious, I will remember that poem.

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