"Water, if you don't stir it, will become clear.... the mind left undisturbed, will find its own natural peace." -Sogyal Rinpoche.
I tend to write about what I most need to learn...writing more for myself than those that read this blog.
In order to be still and know, we first have to be still enough to listen.
It's trendy to discuss mindfulness, meditation and inner peace. Yet few of us really have a personal experience of any of these states.
In this fast moving world, we are increasingly able to control our lives in many ways, our movement and even our space....as though we can connect with anyone, anywhere. But time is exerting more and more tyranny over us. The more we can contact others, the less we contact ourselves.
Eckhart Tolle says, "we need to find space between our thoughts. The mind gets full of stuff...one thought after another, one worry after another. Externally we always need to do, complete or address so many parts of our lives."
I find that when I'm multi-tasking, I'm skittering on the surface of myself, in many places at once. Then something in me is getting denied, neglected....and it's probably the best part of me....my inner, beautiful, still self! When I'm bang in the middle of stuff I can't begin to see the woods, all I do is stare at the trees.
My surface personality is what emerges as I check my mail, send messages etc...there's nothing new about any of it. But when I'm silent I can journey into my inner space, into areas I didn't know even exist.
I'm not just referring to the absence of noise, it's actually the presence of something else....a place within us all, that is creative, invigorating and alive.
So why don't we visit these places more often?
My feeling is that silence is something we experience as uncomfortable, an awkwardness we want to cover up with our voices or any distraction. If we are constantly dizzy living at inhuman speeds, it gets harder for us to communicate deeply.
To offset the exhilaration of constant movement and digital distractions we need to address that something inside of us that is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness.
When I spend too much time on the outside rhythm, it gets hard for me to cultivate those parts of me such as empathy or understanding that require more slowness. My culture says that when I'm 'slow' I'm being lazy or stuck in inaction...which is regarded as negative. It's not! It's actually an action and a powerful one. What's more, this being still can change my day and in doing so it can change my life.
When you're in the middle of a frazzled day, swamped by work or hassled by kids or errands....Pause! Stay still for a minute and breathe. Close your eyes and find a stillness within yourself. This stillness becomes a transformative action.
I often hear people say, "I sit and meditate but it doesn't do anything for me!" It takes practice and commitment. With refinement inner stillness becomes like a personal elevator to our highest view. It's not a trendy thing to do, but a practical way to creating a happier life.
The closest analogy I can think of for stillness is comparing it to the sky. We can begin by seeing the ordinary mind like clouds...some days there are clouds that obscure a clear sky, and it seems that's all there is. But as we go above, in a plane, there really is the clear blue sky and the clouds are way below us!
In a loud and distracting world, we need whatever pockets of stillness we can create. We owe it to ourselves. Outer stillness is not always achievable but inner quiet is a choice we can make.
As Wayne Dyer says, " Everything that is created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your essence emerged from this emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness."
Until next time....