Retreating into Cultivating Vigilance

Vigilant Roses


One of the keys to success is the cultivation of virtues. Some spiritual teachers assert that the cultivation of virtues is the purpose of life, period. To discern this week’s theme, I drew a virtue card from a deck and the selection is VIGILANCE. The Sanskrit word is sajagata and the Webster definition is “to Be alertly watchful, especially to avoid danger.” Yipes, sounds intense!

What dangers shall I alertly, watchfully avoid? Let’s see, fear, unworthiness, impatience, selfishness, arrogance, pride, judgment and excess responsibility, to name a few. Really, the whole wall of “thieves of the heart” that I began tearing down last week. What about vigilance against allowing limiting beliefs to run the show. Did I say FEAR???

The virtue of vigilance has me stay alert and awake. To simply notice when I have slipped into thinking that does not serve and then…ah yes, to remember who I am and allow Grace to perform the miraculous task of releasing me from the unhelpful pattern and turning me back to LOVE and my best Self.

You might ask why retreat with vigilance? Why not advance with vigilance? I’m thinking that vigilance is enhanced by quiet reflection. Once we are trapped by fear, more advancing doesn’t necessarily serve our escape. Deep wisdom arises in the compassionate silence of retreat.