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Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Metaphor Monday :: The Question is the Answer

AA003059.JPGThe poet Rainer Maria Rilke, in his Letters to a Young Poet, says:

“You are so young, so
much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I
can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to
love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in
a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given
to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to
live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the
future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the
answer.”

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Consider this. We are conditioned to seek answers to well-defined questions: Who Am I? What is my purpose? What will make me happy? How should I live my life? 

Work is a process of cultivating uncertainty, nurturing it and using it to direct our actions. Life outside of work, too, requires the same navigation. 
Can we live our way into the answers that we need? This requires that we give up our preoccupation searching for answer and being impatient with the questions that beset us.
We have to be ready to live these answers and this cannot be forced. It’s an organic process and one facilitated by mindful living. In fact, Rilke’s quote strikes me as a formula for mindful living — keeping an open mind, loving the world as we find it, engaging ourselves to the fullest. 
  • Colleen

    Life is a work/play in progress. It is as important to be content with the questions, as it may be with anticipated answers. It’s all part of the exploration:>)
    “Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination”.
    (Roy M. Goodman)

  • http://yourspiritualtruth.com Lauri Lumby

    Dear Arnie,
    Thank you for this beautiful reminder. The mantra that has been given to me for dealing with those moments of “unknown” is “IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS” In otherwords, rest in the tension of the unknown and trust that God/the Universe is working out the details and the how. I have found enormous comfort for my inner worrier and compulsive planner by employing this mantra.
    Lauri Lumby
    Authentic Freedom Ministries
    http://yourspiritualtruth.com

  • Colleen

    I LOVE that Lauri…”It is none of your business”…makes me smile:>)
    I believe that we get whatever information we need in any given moment…when it is time:>)
    The unknown is really a very good place to be, because it is unlimited. Once we think we know, we usually close our heart and mind to more exploration and possibilities. Being in the unknown, is the most powerful place to be, in my perception, and one way to live in the unknown is to have the curiosity of a child:>)

  • Uneva

    Mr. Rilke, I would only change one word of your letter. It was full of profound insight…but rather that an “organic” process, I would call it a “spiritual” process. Thanks for putting in so few words what it took me many years to learn. I hope your fine words save other people a lot of time and trouble.clp

  • Theresa

    Hi Arnie! Thanks for sharing such wisdom, as usual. I recently retired as a teacher, which I did all of my life. I was quite anxious, and am still aware that my identity has been affected.So, I chose to volunteer in a school one day a week for now. I miss those kids!! However, I know that I am not defined by what I do . I have an old mantra that works for me, fashioned after the song “let it snow” I sing, “let it go, let it go, let it go”! really working on being in the moment, and your blogs and books help!! Stay well, Theresa

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment My Name

    Indeed, many things are none of my business. I used to think this only applied to so-called ‘serious’ things, like things that happen at work, or gossip from the neighbours. Now I know they apply to a lot of things I don’t know anything of, and which I don’t need to know. Thanks a lot for this mantra. I should make copies of it and hang or display it everywhere – my desk, my dashboard, etc.

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