Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Meaning: Where Monk and Child Meet

--by David Steindl-Rast (Oct 15, 2007)



The monk in us is very closely related to the child in us or, if you want, to the mystic in us and we are all meant to be mystics. We do a great disservice to mystics by putting them up on a pedestal and thinking of them as a special kind of human being. The truth is that every human being is a special kind of mystic, and that creates a tremendous challenge for each one of us to become precisely that mystic we are meant to be. [...]

Now when I say that this has something to do with the child in us, I mean that there is in the child a longing to find a meaning, an openness to meaning which tends to be lost or at least overshadowed by our preoccupation with purposefulness. I should say right at the outset that when I use these two terms, purpose and meaning, I'm by no means playing off purpose against meaning or meaning against purpose. [...]

When you have to accomplish a particular purpose, the main thing is that you have to take things in hand. If you don't know what it's all about, somebody has to show you the ropes, as we say, so you know how to handle the thing. You have to take things in hand, to handle the matter, to come to grips with the situation, to keep things under control otherwise you are never quite sure that you are going to accomplish your purpose. All this is very important for dealing with the situation in which a particular purpose has to be accomplished.

Now think of a situation in which something becomes meaningful to you. [...] Now you are not the one that keeps things under control and handles them and manipulates them; instead the experience does something to you. "It really touched me," or if it is very strong, "It hit me over the head!" or, "It swept me off my feet!" something like that. That's when something becomes meaningful to you. So what really happens is that you give yourself to it, and in that moment, it, whatever it may be, reveals its meaning to you. Again let me stress, this is not an either/or proposition. The two have to go together, but certainly in order to find meaning in our purposeful activities we have to learn to open ourselves, to give ourselves to what we are doing. And that is typically the attitude that the child takes.

--David Steindl-Rast, From The Monk in Us


Add Your Reflection:

Send me an email when another comment is posted on this passage.
Name: Email:

Previous Reflections:

 
On Oct 15, 2007 suneelkumar wrote:
its good

On Oct 16, 2007 Dominic Mogavero wrote:
This one sentence for me is the meaning behind this. "When you have to accomplish a particular purpose, the main thing is that you have to take things in hand."

Somewhere and somehow, many folks seem to miss the need to take personal responsibility for themselves. You can see this when you notice all the "get rich quick" schemes running rampant on the internet.

Everything we do requires that we "take things in hand" that is, take personal responsibility for. This allows each of us to know that we can accomplish anything we desire when we take things in hand, and take action to accomplish our desires.

On Oct 16, 2007 Conrad wrote:
Excellent selection-This shows there can be very little difference between Catholics and Buddhists (and other religions).

On Oct 16, 2007 Ramanand Kowta wrote:
A child is seed- programmed to bloom into a specific flower, fruit and seed and so on...
It is not an empty bucket- to be filled up by the parents, teachers...
It is also not a lump of clay, to be shaped by the potter(society) and then baked into a hard, inflexible, fragile, brittle piece !

On Jul 30, 2018 Anna Sally wrote:

Very useful info. Hope to see more posts soon!. Surveys For Money 99



On Jul 31, 2018 Saqib 12 wrote:

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value. Im glad to have found this post as its such an interesting one! I am always on the lookout for quality posts and articles so i suppose im lucky to have found this! I hope you will be adding more in the future... Attorney



On Aug 6, 2018 morning world wrote:

I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... It's a good post .. keep posting and updating information. research paper writing service



On Aug 6, 2018 dsds wrote:

 

Thanks for sharing the post.. parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family. http://www.brochuresxpress.com/


On Aug 6, 2018 Sunny Deol wrote:

 Right away this website will probably unquestionably usually become well known with regards to most of website customers, as a result of meticulous accounts and in addition tests. ICO data



On Aug 12, 2018 Denise Parker wrote:

After i bought against your site however adding desire only marginally touch submits. Exciting way of permanent, Soon we will be book-marking each time get hold of styles entire can come in place. Zonnepanelen installateur Genk



On Aug 16, 2018 SHARIQ KHATRI wrote:

 I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. aptim



On Aug 20, 2018 Jordan Ramos wrote:

Wow, cool post. I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real hard work to make a great article... but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. penthouses for sale in marbella