Empty Mind

Today, Becca wrote a haiku mentioning “empty mind” among other things here. Her haiku got me to thinking about “empty mind.” So many spiritual traditions teach you to empty your mind so that you might “receive.” I can remember years ago, most likely in my late twenties or early thirties being told to “let go and let God.” It is interesting to look back and see things through the vernacular of the day. Years ago I studied and practiced shamanism with Michael Harner. More accurately; I studied with him and practiced on my own. He published the Shaman’s Drum magazine. As a shaman one “goes into the void” to seek knowledge, wisdom, truth and healing. At that time I was very interested in healing. The “void” is another manner of emptying one’s mind. I remember my void perfectly. I would travel by car to Lake Carlisle, dive deeply into the ground via this body of water and enter the void. My void was the dark blue night sky filled with stars. It was a very rich and dark, almost velvet sky. I used to travel across it with lightening speed acquiring what it was that I needed, healing, wisdom, spirituality. Have you ever had long periods of time when you felt spiritually void? I am just now coming out of one. I used to criticize myself when I had these periods as if I was sub human. Today I realize that these periods are restful and rejuvenating.

I had an experience with The Christ long ago, an experience of deep and all encompassing love. Among other things this opened me up to the understanding that all religions were simply languages, given by God to the different cultures so that God and the culture could communicate. Thus, bringing more goodness into ones life. So why is it that we constantly war over religion. Perhaps we are too interested in the study of our religion and not in emptying the mind. Empting the mind is fairly egoless. This experience also introduced me to many Christians, first in person and then on line. Forgive me if I offend any of you but for the most part they were not particularly nice people. Not everyone mind you, but many. So, what is it about this “empty mind thing” anyway? I know that it does bring me a calmness.

I have a spectacular view from my bedroom window. It is entirely man made, no greenery and nothing particularly natural. Seven floors up, I look out upon the whole north side of St Louis. Within my vision are several steeples and church spires. But most glorious of all is my view of the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge. I just love it! It is my bridge. I took possession of it the day we moved in here. There is also space where I can watch the traffic. I like to say that I can see the movement of the city. This calms and pleases me. It makes me wish for a wonderful and interesting view for all who are homebound. My mind empties with ease when watching, looking and seeing all that is behind our building. Following is a photo of my bridge taken this morning. At first I had decided to take a photo of it daily for the new year. However, I have decided that I shall only take photos of it randomly when it exhibits extraordinary beauty to me.

I have to tell you that I just looked at a comment from my friend Becca. It is odd how we humans interpret the words of others. She never said empty mind. No, she spoke of empty bedlam, something entirely different. None the less she did inspire me regarding empty mind.

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22 thoughts on “Empty Mind

  1. Sometimes, we see what we need I think–maybe you needed to see empty mind–I too am coming from a place and moving toward something else spiritually. I am not sure where this path will take me right now. Happy New Year to you!!

    • Audrey – I had not thought of that. But you are so very right. Thank you! I do hope that your path, the path that you are currently navigating … is smooth and a pleasant one. Happy New Year & thank you.

  2. I tend to agree with Audrey…we sometimes see what we need to see in the words of others…but that is the magic of poetry…wishing you and yours a wonderful new year.

  3. I love your view, and that you can sit and watch the movement of the city. Loved this post, too, so interesting. Fallow periods are indeed times when the spirit is nurtured – times of gestation, as it were. I LOVE what you say about religions being language created so God can communicate with different peoples and cultures. That is just exactly right. It is man who creates the division and misinterprets it. Awesome post, my friend.

  4. Ah, I am glad my piece created a source of inspiration for you. I agree with Audrey and slpmartin … depending on how I read and “feel” the words written last night, it can reflect an empty mind. I am going through the process of grief; at times my thoughts are still and healing until another layer of emotions surface erupting into a brewing sea of bedlam. 🙂

    • I know this must be so hard for you. I am sorry for your loss Becca. Thank you for sharing your words here and those that inspired me upon your blog.

  5. I love haiku — and that one is great. Your insight, puts a particular soundness to the emptying of the mind concept… as long as we fill it with Christ, and not allow it to remain receptive to every wind of doctrine that floats down the Nile, we are safe… in my personal experience.
    “So why is it that we constantly war over religion.”
    My belief on that matter is… because “Religion” as a means of works and rituals is man made. Jesus was only about His Father’s business, not mans.
    Love you all… Love Thy Neighbor enough to offer them Christ… Only He can forgive.

  6. The empty mind.. is probably not empty at all.. just filled to the brim with things we normally suppress.. Many times these things are things we see as images.. I find the fact that you can concentrate to relax a little bit like an oxymoron .. but it actually works, and that’s what counts.

  7. “Filled to the brim with things we normally suppress.” I wonder if when one meditates and empties the mind – where do the thoughts go? Do we (sup) press them into a different chamber of the mind? Do we get them out of our heads altogether and push them into another part of our body? Do we push them out and into our auras – thus changing the colors of our auras?

  8. I think we all go through the ‘void’ occasionally. I know I do. I try to keep writing anyway, even if what I write isn’t ‘top notch’ for me. The writing helps me get to the other side of the void! And, on another note, what a beautiful view you have of the bridge!! I am sure it must be lovely in different kinds of light.

  9. it is a discipline…and takes no small effort, especially in this day and age…with all the distractions that we have and i think at times we keep it noisy to avoid those fill ups at times…ha…

    • And you too Brian. I do hope that your schedule (well it hasn’t slowed down), so what do I hope for you? That in 2015 you can ride your very busy schedule like a wave – a wave of poetry. Good to see you.

  10. I look at this as an opportunity to start anew and to fill our minds with positive energy ~ I enjoyed your reflections Liz and I wish you the best of this year ~

    Coming from Real Toads, I didn’t this post related to our challenge of writing to Huerta’s poems ~ Perhaps you meant this to be read with another writing community ? ~ If you don’t mind, I will remove it from Real Toads, Sunday Challenge okay? ~ Have a good Sunday and keep on writing ~

    • Hi Grace! So nice to see you. I think that you are right – I had not actually meant this to be connected to anything – oh dear. But so good to see you. Thank you for coming by.

  11. Hi Liz ~~ I haven’t met up with you before but really did enjoy this post telling a hint about your experience with Christ and then of your new digs (I popped into your other blog first–you have decorated so pretty and homey–and the view is out of this world) . I like views, I love our pretty open space of a link on the golf course here showing from our back porch. Our daughter had a view from her balcony in London to die for: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zePHtOAIeMM/VKN0Ft1O17I/AAAAAAAARoM/8imwERi8tYA/s1600/03-DSC07199.jpg
    which I posted in December 30, 2014.
    My experience with Jesus hit me like lightening, much as Paul’s experience on the Road. Not that I was a bad guy but never really knew if I was saved. Jesus said, ‘I am ready for you.’ My life has changed now after promising to follow him and my purpose and demeanor both are different.
    I really like to your thoughts on the different religions for different peoples. We won’t know the entire mind of God until perhaps when we meet him face to face (no Jewish or Christian person has ever seen him).
    ..

    • Hi Jim, thank you for your visit. Actually I haven’t been writing for quite a while until just now. Thank you for your visit. When you speak of your meeting Jesus – yes, it hit me like ton of bricks too. And oh yes, I became a changed person. Thank you for sharing your photo, what a lovely view!

  12. I so appreciate your writings my dear. I love the idea of emptying the mind … a beautiful challenge … to quiet ones racing thoughts … replacing them with enlightened clarity. I must try harder.

    • Tamera – your blog is such an inspiration – it is filled with so much uplifting beauty. I thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you for coming by.

Your words of response are greatly appreciated.

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