Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Listening Point

Today's practice time synched well with Wee One's morning nap. It was comforting for me to occasionally look toward the chair where she slept and see her lying with her face tucked into a corner. Total peace. Total quiet. Total stillness.

Memories of yesterday's sunlight rest forgotten beneath today's snow-filled clouds and skies. More than two inches of new snow deepen by the hour. It's +10 degrees and pin drop quiet.

This feeling of peace in the midst of wilderness reminds me of Sigurd Olson's writings. Olson (1899-1982) was one of the north woods'--both Minnesota and Wisconsin--greatest advocates. He spent much of his later life as a conservationist, author, and leader in wilderness preservation being convinced that "to countless thousands, wilderness has become a spiritual necessity." In Listening Point, one of Olson's many books, he writes:
Only when one comes to listen, only when one is aware and still, can things be seen and heard. Everyone has a listening-point somewhere ... some place of quiet where the universe can be contemplated with awe.
I think of my daily t'ai chi chih practice as a listening-point ... a moment in time where "things can be seen and heard" in the midst of silence. This sense of peace and inner fulfillment returns me to my practice time after time.

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