Over the years some people have given me a hard time because I work for a corporation that supplies and meets peoples transportational "needs"... and this used to bother me... but I have come to understand that this thing we call a Spiritual Life is an INSIDE job... after all, Paul was a Tent Maker as my good friend Neil pointed out to me... and my old Buddy Bill W. was a salesman to his dying day (stock market)... still Bill W. allowed his Higher Power to use him in a way that reaches many lives, age to age. I best adhere to the philosophy "that we are not saints. We claim Spiritual Progress rather than, Spiritual Perfection!" This does not give me a license to do wrong, this just gives me permission to be human, because thats all I'll ever be, hard as I try in this Life....
I listen to people all day at work tell me all their troubles and concerns, everything from their car being broke down -- (which is for most of them a direct line to the rest of their hectic lives) to worries about their children, the economy and often times God pops up in conversation too. God does that a lot in my life and I have come to love it!! I have long ago given up the idea that I can change anything other than myself, which is hard enough, Lord knows... but I find comfort in listening to others... seems most people just want someone to listen with a receptive concern.
I still struggle to listen, depending on who is doing the talking... others are best served when I am able to be quiet... no small task, some will tell you. Thus all this socializing at work really drains me... and to get centered for me it requires effort. Here are a few suggestions that Centering Prayer guru's (just kiddn) recommend. It works for me when " I work it"... as much as I love people, solitude is the place where God does Gods thing. I have learned that the more God chips away at us... the better chance, we have at being at Peace with others and Ourselves... no matter, what is going on in the economy, our work life, etc.
Be still, and know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10
“There is a narrow human need to concentrate on the notes in the music, the events of life, the foreground in the picture, until the larger canvas disappears and robs the foreground event of its significance, its rest and its breadth.. We are each surrounded by an enormous silence that can be a blessing and a help to us, a silence in which the skein of reality is knitted and unraveled to be knit again, in which the perspectives of [life] can be enlarged and enriched. Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our [life] and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul's break for freedom.”-- Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity by David Whyte
Watch your breath...Our breath is our most basic gift of life. “Watch” your breath by focusing your awareness on your breathing. As you breathe in, feel the cool air, say to yourself “I am breathing in…thank you for life.” As you breathe out, feel how the air has warmed within you, say to yourself, “I am breathing out…receive my living.”
Focus on a sacred word Allow a word to rise into your consciousness. Receive that word as a gift. When other thoughts arise, come back to your sacred word.
Slowly repeat a passage of scripture “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” or “Perfect love casts out fear.” etc.
Remember who you are and “whose” you are...Repeat the phrase “I am a child of God” or “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” ----- from the CAC, Fr. Richard Rohr
Then there is my favorite form of meditation... not quite silence but a form of interior stillness.
Give yourself over to the chant so that the chant chants you. Let yourself be molded as the clay resigns itself to the strong sure hands of the sculptor. As if you were surrendering to the words and caress of your beloved. Just let go.”– Chanting: Discovering Spirit in Sound, by Robert Gass with Kathleen Brehony