Two mindfulness narratives for Tim Parks

A fascinating and honest account of taking up mindfulness or meditation exercises by novelist Tim Parks.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/aug/30/meditation-mindfulness-tim-parks-more-than-medicine

He says: Being simultaneously immobile, wakeful and wordless is an experience that runs contrary to all our habits, and for which there is no model in our culture, nothing we can visualise, no narrative we can follow.. . 

I’m reminded of a couple of specific chapters from the Daodejing I have been working on for the last year or so . . .

Resistance

chapter 10

Can you stop your mind from straying?

Can you hold to the one? Never let it slip?

Can you make your breath soft as a child’s?

Can you listen to its long-drawn out and in?

Can you renew the glass through which you gaze

so the world is sharp and vivid?

Can you feel love of others? And persuade them?

Yet resist the desire to dictate?

Can you latch and unlatch the doors of perception—

yet be content to play the female part?

Can your insight range, penetrate far and near,

then back away—not interfere?

Then raise them, every one—nourish them all.

Raise them, but make no claim.

Influence them, but do not dictate.

Govern them, but do not legislate.

Only this, says Berenice, can be called power.

Focus

chapter 12

The spectrum of colours

dazzles the eye.

A plethora of sounds

dulls the ear.

The palate is coarsened

by explosions of taste.

Excess of pursuit,

too much of the hunt,

leads to nothing but

the mind’s disturbance.

The much-coveted rarity,

the limited issue,

serves only to cramp

its owner’s liberty.

The teacher’s focus

is steadily within—

not on what catches

the common eye.

The truth is: she shuns

that, prefers this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s