A Deeper Form of Rest
The Art and Practice of Creating a More Beautiful Mind
Often, the first doorway to a deeper layer of rest is the common experience
of a kind of divine discontent – the sense that things aren't quite as they should be and that whatever is needed, we don't have it within us, or that it lies beneath a too troubled surface inside us.
Just as we can create more beautiful music by good, restful, musical practice; by taking up an instrument and playing it every day in the right way, my experience is that we can do the same thing with our own minds. Having said that, it is almost impossible to really transform and shape the foundational mind without a deep sense of rest.
As to finding that rest, we often carry a mistaken idea that somehow, one day we're going to create a paradisiacal place that is insulated from all interference from the wild movement of the world. But we live amidst this constant, unceasing, tidal movement, so it's important to be able to return to, and experience, a rested centre that is able to hold a constellation of qualities all around us, no matter where we are, no matter what might try to break in on our solitude and peace, or what difficult or chaotic threshold we might find ourselves on. We might also, strangely, find ourselves on an unsettling threshold of joy and happiness and wonder how we can make a sure foundation for that happiness; how to continue experiencing it in a more restful way and thus take it a step deeper by understanding its source.
Often, the first doorway to a deeper layer of rest is the common experience of a kind of divine discontent – the sense that things aren't quite as they should be and that whatever is needed, we don't have it within us, or that it lies beneath a too troubled surface inside us. We might feel that wherever we want to go, we are not on the right path towards it. The invitation is to go deep down into the body to a rested place which is at the centre of all these horizons from which we will step out again. The word ‘longing’ has a kind of gravitational pull to it. When we are feeling longing – a pull towards something, it is often to begin with, something inchoate, something we cannot actually name, we just know that wherever we are, whatever discontented place we are inhabiting, we are not inhabiting it in a way that is going to lead us out of it. We have a longing to break our bonds at the moment, but we also know that in breaking those bonds we will be headed towards the place that's drawing us on.