From Jonathan Lockwood Huie I recently received the following meditation:
The monsters are in your own head.
- Paula Cole
Beware the Rattlesnake of the Mind
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
"Rattlesnake of the Mind" is a metaphor inspired by the Zen term, "Monkey Mind," which refers to the mind's tendency to invent an unending sequence of creative stories about everything we see and hear.
Life does not consist mainly,
or even largely, of facts or happenings.
It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts
that is forever flowing through one's head.
- Mark Twain
If you want peace, stop fighting.
If you want peace of mind,
stop fighting with your thoughts.
- Peter McWilliams
You are not your mind. You, a Spiritual BEing,
are neither your mind nor your body.
Mind and body are your tools - to use as you choose.
Sometimes your body appears to have a will of its own,
as when it twitches or pains.
Likewise, your mind often appears to have its own will.
That incessant chattering of regret, disappointment, guilt,
shame, foreboding, worry, and fear
is your Rattlesnake Mind striking off on its own.
Know that your mind can be a vicious rattlesnake, and be cautious.
The mind can be tamed, but only with conscious effort and patience.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Huie advises “conscious effort and patience” to tame the Rattlesnake Mind. That conscious effort—in my opinion—can be “centering down” either in or outside of meeting for worship. As other Friends have reminded me, when we center down successfully, we encounter a still, quiet place where we see the Inner Light and feel the action of the Holy Spirit. I believe that Stillness is what I personally need to quiet the incessant chatter of my rationalist, secular mind. What will be left to speak to me is nothing less than the God imaged by Jesus as he ministered to the people of Judaea.
I am reminded of a prayer from my Catholic Church days:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
~ Richard Russell
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