Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Being Still


One of my favorite pastimes is reading books on spirituality.  I’ve read Joel Osteen, Deepak Chopra, St. Augustine, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and many more.  I just finished The Buddha and the Quantum by Samuel Avery which I will definitely have to read again since the only C I ever got was in physics. 
I know that people have opinions about all of the differences among the traditions that all of these people represent, but when I’m reading these books I don’t really see them as Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, or New Age.  I am most struck by the things they have in common.  I could probably write a thesis on this topic, but I didn’t major in theology and this is a blog so I’ll keep it short.
The thing that I have found these traditions to have most in common can be summed up with the statement, “Be still and know that I am God”.  They all ask us to take our hands off the steering wheel, to stop trying to control everything.  I was at the movie theater yesterday watching Guardians of the Galaxy when the screen froze and went blank during the trailers.  One person quietly got up and let the staff know, but another woman got angry and indignant.  She called them stupid and marched out of the theater to take control of the situation and demand that it be rectified.
And that was just a movie.  When my principal called and told me that I would be moving to fourth grade and that my classroom would move to one of the most distant portables on campus, my first impulse was to get angry and argue.  I love teaching third grade, I love my third grade team, and I love the convenience of having a classroom inside the main building.  I wanted to stay, but I couldn’t, so I chose to be still.  While being still I remembered that I could choose what I wanted to focus on:  what was missing or what was possible, what I was losing or what I was gaining.  I chose to remind myself that the 4th grade team is pretty awesome, too.  And that I would get to spend another year with some of my favorite students.
I’m not quite a yogi yet, but I try.