I’ve started reading the works of Thomas Merton, Trappist monk , writer and peace and civil rights activist. I finished “The Seven Storey Mountain” and now I’m reading “The Intimate Merton”. Why am I reading these spiritual works? I’m fascinated at the conversations we’ve been having about the mind and the body. If you read the works of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross you begin to see themes that have continued to be asked over time.
I got two pages into the book and read the following quote; “Merton became a monk by writing about becoming a monk”. I read that and stopped what I was doing, put the book down and began considering the huge implications of that statement. After I read that phrase I began thinking about the process of “becoming”. How do we get from point A to point B in our physical, emotional and spiritual lives? I know that making cause and effect connections creates a calm within and I treasure that feeling.
My next step in the process was to begin the process of generalization. If Merton felt that he became a monk by writing about becoming a monk, what can you do or become by writing about it. If you began writing about your fears could you have them dissolve? If you wrote about health and wellness can you slow down or reverse illness? If you write about becoming less encumbered can you live a stress free life? Writing about the particular is one thing. Staying with the process long enough to see results is where the rubber meets the road. We live in a world that thrives and demands instant gratification. Last week I wrote a post about emotional and spiritual dialysis. I invited a client to engage in this process. After two days she e-mailed me to say I’m not detoxed yet from the negative feelings. I was amazed and amused to think that anyone can or would be willing to believe that two written entries will eradicate years of negative energy flowing through their veins.
What would happen if at the top of the page you wrote the same question every day? Do you have the perseverance and the courage to stick with one question long enough to get to the “real stuff”? Are you willing to go an inch wide and a mile deep? Do you have desire to rid yourself of the questions and concerns that keep you bogged down? If the goal is health and wellness, can you hang out in the question and truly explore what lies beneath?