What to watch for:
* It’s a Pluto/Uranus kind of day, which means the cathartic depth, power, and heaviness of Pluto is synching up with the rebellious, innovative, and disruptive or shocking qualities of Uranus.
* Meanwhile, with Venus enclosed between Saturn and Mars there are also strong themes of beauty, desire, grace, and containment, restraint, impulse, and action in the air.
* While spending time with the I Ching this morning the 52nd hexagram of the I Ching came up, which is called “Keeping Still” or sometimes, “Mountain.” The very first line of which says, “Keeping still at the toes is auspicious.” The entire hexagram displays the wisdom of keeping still from the toes all the way up to the head, but action is thought to begin in the toes and hence this line tells us to watch the toes and keep them still.
* This hexagram points to the process of slowing things down, but it also points to a situation of forced or pressured containment…of being “bound,” and of how we should react to feeling stuck or trapped or suspended temporarily.
* Yesterday’s I Ching study focused on hexagram 51, shock or thunder, and so today’s emphasis on the 52nd hexagram fits nicely with the themes of the weekend. There are all kinds of events in the course of life that may throw us out of our center; this is natural. It’s also natural that as we are finding our center more deeply and learning to separate ourselves from things that tend to keep us fragmented or scattered that all sorts of things will arise to try to throw us off center, test us, try our patience, provoke us, etc. The I Ching tells us that not only is this sequence of events natural, it is predictable. Knowing that it is predictable, we should keep steady watch at our toes, the source or starting point of action, and avoid the temptation of impulsive reactivity.
* With Venus enclosed between Saturn and Mars, we may find that deep satisfaction and beauty is available to us without needing to act on our impulses or desires.
* Contentment in life is found in the content of life. What we fill ourselves with fills us, and we are either content or discontent accordingly. Much of the time we do not stop to ask ourselves who or what we are trying to satisfy. Instead, we move from the base of intentions that we do not understand and do not care to understand, and if anyone suggests that we examine our intentions we become defiant. Our defiance in this regard is not revolutionary, or personal, and it does it awaken us to anything new. When we become defiant about things that are not good for us, we are actually predictable, impersonal, machine-like, and asleep. For example, when you try to take drugs from a drug addict, or sugary treats from a child, they become predictably defiant, they appear as though hooked directly into a machine, they lose any sense of being an individual person, and they forget the reality of others around them. 🙂 We are all like this when it comes time to evaluate our unhealthy patterns! We find it impossible to imagine that deep beauty, harmony, and happiness can come from within, or from less, or from demonstrating patience, or from moderation.
* On the other hand, there is an art and skill (Venus) to designing or crafting something delicate, intricate, and beautiful at once. For example, while I was in India I was amazed at how much care and thoughtfulness were put into even the smallest things. Recently, I was thinking the same thing while watching my daughter bake muffins with my wife. My wife is a double Taurus and loves taking her time with things. These were simple muffins, no big deal, but for my daughter, each small step of the process was taken in very deeply and was clearly very satisfying and pleasing to her. So similarly, when we practice mindfulness, it turns out that we need less of what we desire because we have slowed down enough to experience a deeper level of joy available to us in each moment. The contentment comes from the content…it’s not so much the meal we eat but the quality of the entire process that brings the soul happiness.
* When we apply this same principle of personal mindfulness to our spiritual life, then every activity can also become an activity done in the service of the divine…so we are not just thinking, “how can I get more happiness,” or “what is the art of my personal moment of happiness,” but “how can I make the divine happy in how I am moving through these experiences.” Then our spirituality becomes relational.
Prayer: Make us relational beings. May our happiness be your happiness.