be still

sunflower.endofseason.bestillandknow.2015-10-17“Be still, and know that I am god.” Psalm 46:10

Etegami of a late-autumn sunflower, bowing down under the weight of the flower, from a photo I took in my neighborhood, at the Park at LeDroit, Washington DC.

I’m not a church-goer. I was raised Catholic, grew apart from that, and try to read widely in religion and philosophy to help me be a good person.

Often my philosophical reading happens late at night, when I cannot sleep. A recent book I’ve been dipping in and out of is Richard Rohr’s Yes, and… Daily Meditations. This book gathers short essays on 7 major themes, and can be used for prayer, or contemplation of some sort. I like the idea of taking the “but” out of my vocabulary, to adopt the more inclusive “and,” acknowledging that there is no one way be and think.

One of the essays that really struck me was one on just being, just being still and aware. He concludes with the Psalm 46:10:  “Be still, and know that I am god.”

I love his recommendation to break the verse down slowly, starting with it in full, then shortening it to “Be still, and know that I am,” then “Be still, and know,” “Be still”, and finally just “Be.” I use this as a sort of lullaby to help me go to sleep, or calm down. It works for me.

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