Tag Archives: Henri J M Nouwen

Is it time to stop running?

“Is It Time To Stop Running?” is excerpted from some journal entries where I speak to myself. Sort of a metta-journal, if that makes any sense.


queen anne's lace in snow (ckg photo)


I am creating a post so that I might explain the voice that is used.

This, and some other pieces I hope to post in the near future, are not meant as didactic pieces. As with the practice journal, they are not prescription, rather they are a description of my process.

They are self-talk that I do to lift myself up or give me a kick in the butt, or pats of encouragement to keep going.

It’s self talking to self.

Inspired by Henri J.M. Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love, which is a truly incredible work.  You should stop reading this and FLY to the library to pick up a copy to savor in your own meditation.

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Stop running and running and running. Sit still. The universe is speaking. Are you listening?

Can you quiet the ceaseless chatter? The endless drone of nonsensical words in a stream so thick, it gives you the heebiejeebies when you finally take a break from doing doing doing and sit and watch what’s going on in your little patch of gray matter.

And then what happens is you decide to TURN THEM OFF: all those voices cramming your station. You realize the static confuses and throws you off balance. Everything, every thought, every feeling, every “accomplishment” belongs to someone else. You want to know your self, some call it the TRUTH. Like a starving beast, you hunger after your life, no matter what it tastes like.

As your practice grows, so do the small spaces, the little deaths, momentary breaks, the lapses between the thoughts crowding your grey matter. It’s quiet there. Deep within, in the ancient place, probably the amygdala or thereabouts, is a locale where you exist in a pre-civilized state. It’s a state of joy (you can agree or disagree as you wish), a place of primordial bliss.

When sitting in that sweet neighborhood, all sense of time, all direction drops away. This is entering the GREAT UNKNOWN. Funny thing about this place is that you’ve always known it. It’s familiar, no doubt about that. You don’t feel lost when you are there in momentary bliss. Nope, not at all. You feel, for once in your half-century of “living” that you are finally home. Home at last. Home free. And afterward, whenever you are not there, you will remain homesick, unconnected. Not lost anymore though, because now you know the way home.