The past days have made me think a lot of about slowness and in our Sangha yesterday the following was shared by my dear Sangha brother, Michael:

BUSY BUSY BUSY

Laughter. Angers. A swirl of conversation. A rush of foot traffic in every direction. Stop for a moment. Become a rock which redirects currents in multiple directions. Bodies and voices are going everywhere at once. Do any know where they are or where they will end up? Do they care?

Is the movement the meaning? Are the words simply a musical accompaniment to endless purposeless search? The sun rises, the sun sets, thunder rolls, rain falls, the sky clears, and up and down the street people rush rush rush. He she who is still, who is no longer part of the swirl, becomes suspect. Those passing look suspiciously at any solitary figure. Has he no purpose? Is she lost? Is there danger here? Move swiftly away, swiftly forget. No time to worry about the lost, the silent, the ones who move too slowly. Pick up your feet, accelerate, must not be left behind. – Michael L. Newell

There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist…most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by the multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence…It destroys the fruitfulness of one’s own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful. – Thomas Merton

Despite our good hearts and equally good intentions, our life and work rarely feel light, pleasant or healing. Instead, as it all piles endlessly upon itself, the whole experience of being alive begins to melt into one enormous obligation. It becomes the standard greeting everywhere: “I am so busy.” We say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our real exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a mark of real character. – Wayne Mueller

This is what we mean by the term spiritual: It is the ecstatic force that stirs all our goals. When we perceive it, it is as if our mind were gliding for a while with an eternal current. – Abraham Heschel

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