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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann

“So how do we find inner freedom?

We can begin by noticing that whenever we suffer pain, the mind is always quick to identify with the negative aspects of things and replay them over and over again, wounding us deeply.”

Fr. Richard Rohr

There is a common thread to the discussions of our talking circles and healing groups these past few weeks. We’ve discussed setting resolutions, or intentions, as we enter a new year. The common thread I am hearing is “self-care”. What has been most interesting is our measurements of self-care. This week in particular, the measuring guides have been in terms of stepping stones rather than milestones, inches instead of feet, and lifestyle changes rather than diet and exercise.

I hear in these discussions a reflection of Fr. Rohr’s thoughts of our experiences with suffering and pain. He maintains that our mind wants to keep us connected to the negative aspects of our suffering. Our mind wants us thinking in terms of miles and pounds instead of bites and hugs ....... The more attention we give to thoughts of miles and pounds, the deeper we sink into our anxieties and depressions – our sense of hopelessness.




How do we shut off our mind?

Where do we hide to find a moment of peace and quiet?

As we discussed this question: where do we go? It was interesting to hear that we all have a place to go, a place we have been, AND we don’t go there very often.

We don’t go there very often.

Our yogic place is a MANTRA

MAN: thinking

TRA: guide, protector

A place of protection for our thinking, our mind. Oddly enough, this place takes us out of our thinking and offers glimpses of being.

Many of us go to water. Others go to high places. Many have healthy sayings.

Where is your place?

Once we have experienced such a place, it takes practice to rest our mind there. This is the practice of meditation. Meditation is the simple process of stillness, breath, relaxation, focused breath, and Mantra. Yes, sometimes I get the process a bit mixed up. Yet, I find with a set intention to “care” for myself in meditation, I benefit from every effort to practice.

I’ve realllllllllly gotten tired of suffering.

I’ve realllllllllly gotten tired of suffering!

I hear this same fatigue in all of us.

I love our group and individual connections, as there is a growing power in us. Each time I am with us, I am reminded of our healing – our acceptance, encouragement, our hugs, our tears, our laughter............ We are becoming my healing space.

We are becoming self-care.

In gratitude!


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