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A Quiet Mind Hears More Clearly

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A Quiet Mind Hears More Clearly

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John Michael’s newest Life Is a Sweet, Tender Bruise column, “A Quiet Mind Hears More Clearly,” is about contentedness, quieting your mind and truly listening to the universe.

A week ago, I was feeling content. It appeared my days of fight-or-flight reactivity and heavy panic were over, and I still believe they are. However, I then had a thought that I lacked vision for myself. I wasn’t sure what this meant so I asked God about it before I fell asleep. I had a dream that the vision for myself was of country music and farm animals, which makes me laugh as I write it.

A quiet mind hears more clearly from the universe. When I awake, I generally move to the easy chair by my bed and start to either pray or recite my mantra, I love you with everything that I have. But yesterday as I was getting started, I hear myself thinking, I prefer it quiet. So, I gave up keeping my mind busy with prayer and mantras and allowed the mind to quiet itself. A more Zen approach to things.

I had a dream that the vision for myself was of country music and farm animals, which makes me laugh as I write it. … A quiet mind hears more clearly from the universe.

Love is intrinsic, is something I thought maybe even a year ago, so that essentially backs up the Zen approach in that I don’t have to train my mind to do it, I just have to accept and experience it. As if to confirm this approach, I was walking by Bengal Field yesterday and a football game was going on. As I was striding behind the bleachers, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup came flying out of the stands and landed on the sidewalk in front of me. It was just one cup, kind of reminded me of my hobo days and I enjoyed it as it is my favorite candy from childhood.

I’m getting better at saying “no” when people ask me for help if I have other things to do that are important to me or I’m not caught up on my self-care. After having the vision for myself of country music and a farm, I decided to carve out even more time for myself so I could write more and learn to play guitar.

With the quieter mind, I learned it was good for me to “nest” a while between seasons. So yesterday and today, I have done very little. I have trouble allowing myself the internal gentleness I crave, maybe because I feel it isn’t manly. I generally keep the windows wide open in my place and have a few flies. I swatted at one here a few minutes ago and just injured it. After that I had the thought, remain callous. I think maybe subconsciously, to follow that vision for myself, I would have to toughen up a little to the suffering and needs of others to pursue a more personal path.

Also on The Big Smoke

This may sound ridiculous, but I had a moment of deep compassion for the fly, like I would rather have anything else happen than to have it suffer. Thoughts are only thoughts, and I may not even need or want a vision for myself. However, if I chase it, I’m not going to shut my heart off to do so. I will continue to develop compassion as nothing feels better in my heart than when it’s settled in compassion.

Even writing this may be about my ego. Look at me! Can’t you see how loving I am?


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John Michael

Hello, good people. I am rarely sure how to describe myself. If I say I am a Christian, many things may arise in your mind that ain't necessarily so. I was homeless for seven years and learned more about myself in that stretch of time than in any other segment of my life. I read the Bible a lot out there and came across a passage in Proverbs that has shaped my approach to life: "A man's pursuit is his kindness." I am well educated with a Master of Social Work degree and have worked a wide variety of jobs in my 52 years. None have lasted too long however. When I was homeless, the beauty of Texas wildflowers made me decide to want to live again. Along with kindness, beauty, play, and self-expression are life-guiding ideas. My shadow contains things like feeling sorry for myself, a truckload of defiance, a desperate need to please women, and no small amount of cruelty. A quote from Luke also has had a lasting effect on me: "For God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." When I read that I thought, "Hell, I have got a fighting chance." I am here to tell you, you have a fighting chance as well. Besides Christianity, practicing Buddhist and Shamanic techniques inform my relationship to God and the world.

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