Quick Look

When I’m restless, the world tells me it’s

  • normal,
  • ambitious, and
  • commendable.

But in truth, it often really means I’ve abandoned my center, the inner home. And when I abdicate personal peace, I become “driven,” feel edgy: I’m headed for trouble; rest (the inner kind, not just a vacation or a day off) is becoming crucially necessary.

A Tale

I told some acquaintances I was completing a Master’s Degree. They became uneasy. Three of their responses were, “What are you going to do next?”, “Have you got a job yet?” and “You must be glad it’s over.”

My responses were “Don’t know”, “No” and “Not really.”

The Tale Wagged

Like my friends, “free time” can make me uncomfortable, too. I may have longed for it, but when it arrives, before too long, I start to squirm. Clearly, I need a refresher course in Being (as distinct from Doing).

When my mind is shouting for action, but no course of action lies before me, I may need to settle down. To do this, I must sometimes pass through a kind of firedance of loneliness, almost like detoxing from too much alcohol or some other kind of high. This may take a moment or a month, but, either way, it’s not easy.

But it’s worth passing through the “sweats” to come to a deeper rest. Then, action or non-action often arises with a Rightness of its own.

Coupla links:

Practicing Calm


Echo: What Hafiz says about Restlessness


About RayMunn

Husband, father, Zen guy, web designer, film-maker.
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