Epitrochasmus

March 21, 2011

A rhetorical exercise in epitrochasmus, partially inspired by an upcoming trip:

I run swiftly over the fields with joy, light step, coursing wind, throbbing heart, to my love I spritely leap across the plains of gently swaying grass, and pray the moment we, at last, embrace.

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On Using the Mantra of Rest

March 16, 2011

The Mantra of Rest is a counterpart to the Mantra Of Motion. Although it is a counterpart, it is much harder to train.

The Mantra of Rest is derived from breath counting techniques that are taught in many schools of meditation, including Buddhism and Taoism. Around those counting techniques I have placed the verbal formula “It is by quiet breath I set my mind at rest.” This verbal formula provides a counterpoint to “It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.” Treat them both as a yin yang pair: to be an effective mentat, you must train techniques that help your mind to rest and techniques that help your mind to think.

Breath counting techniques are meant to focus the body and calm the mind. Unsurprisingly, these techniques also help you focus your mind and calm your body. With both your body and mind calm and relaxed, you are ready to focus on the task or problem at hand.

Begin the Mantra of Rest by reciting its opening sentence. Then proceed to count your breaths. When you lose count, repeat the opening sentence and start again.

For more context and training concerning these breath counting techniques, consult any source that teaches basic meditation, such as Taoist Meditation by Thomas Cleary or Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham.


The Mantra of Rest

March 16, 2011

It is by quiet breath I set my mind at rest

{ INHALE } one { EXHALE }

{ INHALE } two { EXHALE }

{ INHALE } three { EXHALE }

{ INHALE } | { EXHALE }

{ INHALE } … { EXHALE }

It is by quiet breath I set my mind at rest

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A Parable

March 2, 2011

A well-dressed priest, followed by an acolyte with censer, steps up upon a podium to address his congregation. He begins to intone:

There is no truth, only persuasion. And at every occasion I will remind you that:

there is no truth, only persuasion. And without provocation I shall remind you that:

there is no truth, only persuasion. And as justification I hope to remind you that . . .

After five minutes of this, his voice begins to break. He leans back and asks the acolyte “Can I get some water? My throat is parched.”

To which the acolyte responds “Can I persuade you otherwise?”

(From the 13th Book of Relativisionism)