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Pause and Reflect

By Christine Babson

We often talk about the importance this meditation group has in our lives. Last week I talked about how it helped me have a difficult conversation with my brother. The last time I read – it was about trying to stay still in the midst of the whirl of one’s life.

This morning I wanted to read an excerpt from a book by Thomas L. Friedman called “Thank You for Being Late”. It really speaks to why I enjoy and need to meditate.

Friedman writes:

“It’s no surprise so many people feel fearful or unmoored these days…. The three largest forces on the planet – technology, globalization and climate change are all accelerating at once. … it is easy to get overwhelmed by it all…. ‘The feeling being engendered now among a lot of people is that of always being in this state of acceleration.’
In such a time, opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction – it is a way to increase the odds that you’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around you.
How so? ‘When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start’ (says Dov Seidman) ‘You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible and, most importantly, you start to reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs. Once you’ve done that you can begin to reimagine a better path.’….”

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Asking for everyone's thoughts. Today is first day back at work and I’m scared. I haven’t been doing this. Everyone please hold me in your thoughts.

  • I will have a quiet half hour all to myself during which time I will try to get a better perspective of my life. That quiet half hour is the only time I get in touch with myself. I have a lot of time but can be very busy.

  • The death of my friend has been very significant. She was like a mother to me. But something happened yesterday: a relative has asked to be baptized in my pond. It’s amazing I’ve experienced this death and now someone has reached out wanting to experience rebirth. The world is shifting – moving so quickly.

  • The dawn is telling secrets – don’t go back to sleep. Stay awake – pay attention.

  • Good luck in your new job. Reassure yourself: everyone else is feeling the same way. You’ll be fine.

  • Pausing and reflecting resonated with me. The European Union closed flights from the US. We had a family trip planned to Europe which has been planned for a very long time. It’s been a real disappointment. I have to keep remembering this part of our time together is just on pause. I need to reset and think of something else for us to do as a family.

  • As you may recall, I was really sad this weekend because we were going to get together with our sons. We had a Zoom call instead, and a really good conversation. It’s been really good for us. We’re really getting up our conversational skills. Usually our sons are very egocentric and very rarely ask about us. But now we’re taking turns. When we finally do get together, this pause will make it even sweeter.

  • Pausing is very important. We have a lot of time but still not taking time. It’s the anniversary of a friend’s death, and his daughter called and asked how the day had gone. I was reminded that pausing is very important.

  • It was suggested to me by my spiritual advisor that when I get into the car to pause for a moment. And do it again when I get out. I’ve learned it but I forget. That pause is so important.

  • I liked “I’ve learned but I forget”. It covers a lot of ground.

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