The writer’s life is by definition contemplative.

I have a book due at the end of next year, plus I’m about to do a regular twice-a-month column for a magazine. So it’s time to get my writer’s hat back onto my head.

The writer and activist inhabit different parts of the brain, yet in my case they feed off each other. I’m out there doing things I have written about, and I write about things that I learned because I’m out there doing them. I don’t think Americans do enough just sitting around doing nothing – and I’m not kidding.

The word contemplative shouldn’t only apply to some special retreat we go to. It should apply, I think, to a part of each day. We should “contemplate” more, so we’d react less. The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said “every problem in the world can be traced to man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

That’s why we’re mindless in places where we should be mindful. We’re lured to the periphery of things by so much false data, so much illusion and deception of the mortal ego, when all we have to do sometimes is simply sit there and come home to ourselves.

Stop spinning. Center. Gaze at a flower. Pray for peace. Be real with yourself.

It’s a blessing in disguise perhaps that we can’t do quite as much running around these days. Sometimes we’re like chickens running around with our heads chopped off, doing but hardly being.

And now, with the quarantine, there’s a lot less doing and perhaps there will be a lot more actual being. We need that, because we need a reset. We need to turn off our minds and turn them on again. So just “be” today.

More than anything else, just be. I will if you will.

The world could be a quieter place for all of us, and that would be good…

One Comment

  • Tracie Nolan says:

    Almost done re-reading Return to Love for the second time. I need more. Bless you and run for President again.

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