Friday, December 3, 2010

Inner Tranquility in a Noisy World

We live in a world polluted with noise.  We cannot avoid it.  How do we gain the inner tranquility necessary in the spiritual life?


Elder Paisios advises as follows:
Our goal should be to take all that comes our way and make the best out of it for the sake of the spiritual struggle in which we are engaged.  We must strive to acquire the inner tranquility, and to this end even noise can become a good thing if it is met with the right thought.  What matters the most is handling a problem in the right way. We must face up to everything using good thoughts.  When, in very midst of noise, you manage to reach inner tranquility, you have achieved something of great value.  If you cannot find tranquility in the midst of disturbance, you will not be able to be tranquil even in the midst of tranquility.  When inner tranquility comes to a man, everything inside him will be tranquil, and he will not be disturbed by anything.  But if he requires external tranquility in order to find inner tranquility, then, when he does find himself in such a place, he will want a cane to chase away cicadas by day and jackal by night, so they will not bother him!  In other words, he will be chasing away what in fact the devil is gathering.  What do you think the devil's job is after all?  His job is to create difficulties and to obstruct our efforts, until he has completely turned us upside down.
The challenge of our spiritual growth is to find tranquility in the midst of external disturbances.  We should not try and cover it with another noise like the music from an iPod or TV.  We have to learn to find the inner tranquility in the external noise that surrounds us no matter what it is. This we can learn from the practice of the Jesus Prayer.  Our continual prayer brings us the inner tranquility we all seek.


Resource: The Pain and Love for Contemporary Life, p 201 - 202.

4 comments:

  1. ...thank you for this meditation ...i needed to hear this today..i have made great personal strides over the past 3 years(since sobriety)Thanks be to God!..In particular this past year since using the Jesus Prayer has wrought a significant deepening of my anchor so to speak..I owe a debt of gratitude to this blog.

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  2. Deacon Charles, thanks for all your posting. they are all very relevant and timely. I have a question.... what do we do with subconscious noise (ie: dreams ). Will meditation quite the soul at rest?

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  3. This is a big subject. I will try and post something later. As you undergo purification and live a more virtuous life the disturbing dreams will disappear. We should not act on our dreams until we have discussed them with our spiritual father and this is a common way we are misled.

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  4. Thank you for your response. I'm looking forward to your future articles.

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