By Venerabla Dr Khammai Dhammasami
Professor Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Bishop of Oxford, 1987 – 2006
Wordsworth wrote about “Central peace, subsisting at the heart of endless agitation”. Many people today are looking for such a peace. The endless agitation of the modern world – the pressure people experience at work and tension in their relationships, together with anxiety about life itself – leads them to wish for an inner calm. So it is that a good number are taking up different forms of meditation and contemplation, or are embarking on mindfulness programmes. For some this is a rediscovery of the mystical strand in their own religious tradtion.
Yet it is possible for this quest to be misunderstood as an escape from the pain of the world, a way of shutting it out. What stands out in the tributes in this festschrift to the Venerable Dr. Khammai Dhammasami is the way he combines an inner repose and joy with a real concern for those around him. When T.S Eliot was baptised as a Christian, he wrote “Ash Wednesday” as a mark of where he found himself and what he prayed for now. In it we have the lines:
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.
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