12th December, 2022
Benignus O'Rourke, Finding Your Hidden Treasure (Darton, Longman and Todd), 49.
Image: Matt Nelson, Austin, Texas, USA, unsplash.com/@mnelson
This short image-backed quote, above, is taken from the longer quote, below, which is found in Benignus O'Rourke's Finding Your Hidden Treasure: The Way of Silent Prayer (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2010), 49-50. You can read more about this book by clicking here.
'In our journey into silence we are not left on our own. What we are invited to do is to find a quiet place and set aside some time. To find a quiet place where we can rest and allow the Lord to gather us into his peace we do not have to look far. That place is ourselves, but we have never been shown how to find it. "Leave behind all noise and confusion", Augustine counsels. "Look within yourself and see whether there be some sweet hidden place within where you can be free from noise and argument, where you need not be carrying on disputes, and planning to have your own stubborn way." …
To reach the quiet oasis of solitude within we first have to try to bring our body, mind and spirit into a state of quietness. But the more we try to bring our mind to inner quiet the more it seems to rebel. In a little poem of four lines, “The Balloon of the Mind”, W. B. Yeats [1865-1939] likens the mind to a balloon that is tossed around by the wind, and imagines his hand bringing it under control:
Hands, do what you’re bid!
Bring the balloon of the mind
That bellies and drags in the wind
Into its narrow shed.
Fortunately, there are techniques that will help us: sit still; sit straight; breathe slowly, deeply and naturally; hands on our lap; our feet firmly planted on the ground; sit alert, relaxed and receptive. We do not do anything except watch our breathing. … Whenever we find we have wandered, gently come back to the centre, to where Christ is, in the centre of our heart. And we keep doing this no matter how many times the mind bobs about in any wind that blows. No matter how often we have to drag the mind back to its narrow shed, we do not get bothered or give up. We rest and leave everything in God’s hands.'