January 26, 2017 – The Power of Mantra


“Erase the false impressions from your mind by constantly saying to yourself, I have it in my soul to keep out any evil, desire, or any kind of disturbance – instead, seeing the true nature of things, I will give them only their due. Always remember this power that nature gave you.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.29

This past fall we spent a few days in Asheville, NC. While there we attended a Band of Horses concert, enjoyed the sites of Asheville and took a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to consume the beauty of the changing of the leaves. A destination of the drive was Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi.

While atop Mt. Mitchell we hiked the Deep Gap Trail to Mt. Craig. Enjoying the beauty and quite of hike we happened upon three people resting on a rock that allowed for a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape. From what I gathered a couple had been hiking together and met a solo hiker along the way. I only caught part of their conversation, but it was focused on Donald Trump and how the couple, specifically the man, were trying to remain calm in the face of this unappealing candidate. The solo hiker asked a simple question: “What is he doing that directly impacts you?”

The context to this question appreciated that Trump could make decisions that harmed them directly or indirectly, but the gist of the question was about not letting this person control their outlook. We’ve meditated on goals and prizes. We’ve looked at what distracts us. As we close out on the month of January this is a wonderful reminder that we have this power that nature gave us. A mind that has the power keep out disturbances.

Do you have a favorite quote? A favorite song? A favorite story? What can be your mantra? What can you use to remind yourself to focus on that which edifies? That keeps you focused?

One of my favorite lyrics is from The Avett Brothers “Murder in the City”. My daughter created a piece of art with the lyrics. It hangs in the kitchen and reminds me every day what matter. Why I do the things I do.

“Always remember there was nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.”

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