Lesson from a Tortoise: The Power to Withdraw

14 Apr, 2021

The mind works like a continuous machine and continues to generate thoughts and feelings. The force of the mind is so powerful that it can carry us off track. Introspection, that is, stepping inside and meeting oneself a few times during the day helps to keep us on track.  This ability to withdraw can be correlated with the behavior of a tortoise.  A tortoise retreats within its tough shell when it senses any disturbance or danger. Like a tortoise; protect yourself in negative situations by withdrawing, moving within, behind your eyes, into your inner space of quietness. This recharges our spiritual battery and gives us power to transform any weakness into strength.  We can change the quality of our consciousness; that is, change from the vice of ego to the virtue of peace, from anger to nonviolence, greed to altruism, attachment to pure love.

The mind is within the soul. In order to charge our ‘soul battery’, create patterns of thought that give you energy. Enjoy a few minutes of morning meditation and spiritual study, avoid negative information, practice for a minute every hour a one minute affirmation and meditate before sleeping. Do not postpone these daily most important routines. When I go within, I remain focused and can prioritize as small tasks can be as important as larger ones. Our real work is to take care, protect and help each other. Withdrawing from outer chaos and our inner emotions into this inner stillness lifts the pressure, allows me to find creative solutions to problems and to give my best in every situation.

Realizing there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether I like it or not, allows me to draw closer to God and receive a current of pure energy that dissolves negative habits. Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down!  Once I get into the habit of connecting myself and God, I can continue to be with people amidst challenges but withdraw internally from the negative energy and emotions of the situation. It is an individual shift that brings clarity, so we do not act or react impulsively using old patterns of behavior.  This virus reminds us that the epidemic can be the beginning of a cycle and will continue until we learn a lesson. “It is not a disaster but a great error correction; it also will pass!”  To see that each situation has benefit in it and remain positive is a process that must be constantly nurtured as we become more spiritually aware.  Like the tortoise, protect yourself. Look within your mind, check and change any negative and waste thoughts. Focus on the positive. Emerge from your protective shell, feeling light and refreshed; move around and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine once again!

Chirya.risely@peacevillageretreat.org, Hunter Mountain, NY




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