Loftier Thoughts

Today is day 17 of having one leg out of service. It is day 4 of going back to work. I recognize that the rest of my body is tired of hauling around the one bad leg. But work hardening is occurring and already I notice my hands are not as sore from the crutches and I\’m not a tired when I go home.

This morning, I was noticing a mental component to all this; which gave me an insight for my spiritual journey. The past 4 days I have wanted to use my disability as an excuse to work fewer hours. It is an attempt to feel sorry for myself and slack off; even while there isn\’t really a need for this. At the same time, I notice a governing drive which gets out of bed anyway, gets me into the shower anyway so I am sweet smelling and gets me to work on time anyway, and keeps me here for 8 hours anyway.

As I worked on my spiritual study this morning, I noticed the friction going on between the slacker attitude and the governing drive. I realize that the governing drive always wins even though the slacker chews at the governor\’s edges. It is a friction, a tension. But I realize that while it became apparent in reflecting on my disability, it is actually a life long issue. The same friction is apparent in the struggle to get out of bed everyday or exercise everyday or practice contemplation when I have free time.

Some people might even say that the slacker is sin and the governor is virtue. The slacker is not sin. The slacker is also not my essence. It is just a function of the illusion of this world.

Now that slacker is identified, I can use it as a tool to raise my thinking. Now I have got to the crux of the matter. A monk has a desire to know God. Over the ages, monks have retreated to deserts, hermitages and monasteries as environments that provide space to think spiritual thoughts more than worldly thoughts. As a monk in the world, I can now consider how slacker drags back governor and prevents contemplation (loftier thinking) even when I have time available for it.

When I thought about being out of commission due to leg surgery, I thought it would be an opportunity for contemplation as I would be off work. But that didn\’t turn out.

Now, with the new insight on slacker vs. governor, I want to refocus on contemplation. I want to make it happen even if I have to be a monk in the world. It must grow more each day; no excuses since I don\’t live in a monastery. Even when I did live in a monastery, I noticed all us nuns were often wrapped up in non-contemplative thinking.

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