Zen Spot #175 — Mindfulness, meditation and turning the quiet on March 25, 2018 00:00

Stability and explosions

Over the last five years of his life, my father struggled with his hearing. Near the end, if he wasn’t wearing his hearing aids, he was noticeably pleasant — a rare quality for a man who was notably caring and pleasant with which to begin. Named for Francis of Assisi, he lived up to his name, naturally and effortlessly attracting children and companion animals with his inner glow. Throughout the course of his life, he never generated enough controversy to start an argument and, when involved in an verbal scuffle, would remain so inexplicably composed that his counterpart would often explode.

In an interdependent world, where stability exists in opposition to explosion, the irony of stability causing explosion was confounding. 

Turning the quiet on

My father was not impervious to the barbs of everyday life. He struggled in a unique way that was traced back to the day he was born — literally. Despite his calm demeanor, the explosions of daily life were perhaps more common for him than for most people because of his birth experience. 

His poise was rarely interrupted in my presence but, after his death, it was revealed that his life position demonstrated more poise than I supposed. His faith — Roman Catholicism — offered the profound solace within which the poise was grounded. In short, the explosions of life, with an emphasis on the loud and intrusive, took a toll.

At the age of seventy-five, he ordered the hearing aids shown above. Among the benefits, existing in direct opposition to their purpose, was the ability to turn them off. The explosions created by life tuned out. The explosions created by stability tuned out.

Mindfulness practiced by a man unaware of mindfulness . 

Zen? Perhaps.

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What are The Four Noble Truths?

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering
  4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering

What is The Noble Eightfold Path?

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

What is a Dharma Wheel?