"Go now ... tend to the small things ..." (Hexagram 62)

I've been reading Kathleen Norris' Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and A Writer's Life ... and just came upon a story about how fourth-century desert monks troubled by "bad thoughts" -- of uselessness, futility, negation -- were instructed by their elders:

"Go, sit in your cell; your cell will teach you everything."

Go, sit in your cell ... your cells ... your body ... your being.

Your cell(s) will teach you everything.


Once a truth is realized (Hexagram 61, INNER TRUTH), it calls for enactment; expression. There is a laser-like focus to Hexagram 62 -- CONSCIENTIOUSNESS. We are almost at the end of the 64-hexagram cycle ... and here, we are reminded of all that has come before, all that has condensed and distilled into the epiphanies of INNER TRUTH. The gem of the Real is smaller than our eyes can see ... and It pervades all that is (Hexagram 57, PENETRATING) ... including us.

God is in the details. (Mies van der Rohe)

We are called here to discern ... hold to our inherent dignity ... act with impeccable intention and scrupulous awareness ... "fly close to the ground," as the little bird does when guided by the oracle's wisdom:

Small things may be done; great things should not be done.
The flying bird leaves behind its song:
"One should not go up; one should go down."

(Jack Balkin, The Laws of Change)

Tend to the basics ... Discern what is real ... Stay close to home ... Take one small step at a time and pay attention to each step.

We think in generalities, but we live in detail. (Alfred North Whitehead)

... Truth, expressed as grace ... humility ... reverence ... kindness ... moderation ... A will guided by what is good ... natural ... real.

These are the truths that set us free ...

Those of a mystical bent still bait [the Dalai Lama] with such questions as "What makes His Holiness the happiest?" Instead of the quasi-mystical revelation they expect, he answers, "Good food and a sound night's sleep." (Jeffrey Paine, Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West)

Now there's a man who tends to the basics ... ;-)


i like your play on the word "cell" in the desert monk tale- it has given me much food for thought...excellent!

thank you
Jaliya said…
Roberta, you're welcome :-)

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