Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.
              –Morgan Freeman

 

The TV’s babbling, the kids are chattering, the phone is ringing, the dinner’s burning… the bills are due, the work is piling up, the car is broken, the deadline is looming, the traffic’s stalled, the texts keep coming, the laundry is dirty, the party’s starting, the driveway needs shoveled, the email inbox is overflowing, and my head is going to explode with the details…

Where is the stillness in our complex world? Where are the tinkling harps and candlelit rooms? Where are the people, sitting around campfires, singing Kumbaya? Where is the babbling brook and the restful sound of wind in the trees? Instead it’s all hard pavement and harder truths.

When do we ever have a minute of peace and awareness in the midst of BUSY?

Maybe this is just the new way, a globe full of people who think meaning comes from accomplishment, not tranquility. Wisdom is talking, not listening. Success comes not from paying attention to the silence; it comes from filling up the silence. Connection means how fast your wifi connection is, not how many human relationships you’ve cultivated.

In a world like this, is it even worth trying to find time for stillness?

YES. Time away from the chaos of the world is the only thing that can save you. You need to get away from the chatter and pandemonium and the noise and confusion in order to come back to your mind, which is essentially the mind of God, the mind of eternity, the mind of truth. You need to get away from your own thoughts, which are probably false in some form, anyway, and plug into the source of all goodness and love. This source has nothing to do with what year it is or what technology is currently available. This source is not related to money or your job or your mortgage payment. This source is the beginning that has no end. It’s timeless truth. It’s formless expanse. It’s soundless voice. This source is in you, IS you, but is larger than you. This source is the connection of everything that ever existed and, though it makes absolutely no sense to the rational mind, is the most beautiful connection available to us as humans. But we don’t think about any of this in an average, hectic, busy day of rushing around to man-made buildings to carry out work that may or may not be essential. If we’re really going to give up control enough that we open ourselves to miracles, if we’re really going to realize we aren’t experts and we don’t have everything figured out, then we’re ready to find out what’s next for us. But we can only find out if we listen.

I don’t know a lot about what you’ll hear if you listen. I’m learning to listen myself. But I do know that, when I take time–even a few minutes–to close my eyes and bring my mind to a quiet place, I always feel better. Sometimes, I have to trick myself into meditation. The thoughts just won’t stop coming so I pretend a white light falls over the screen of my mind, clearing away all the images and thoughts. If I’m able to clear everything away, often I’ll simply sit and enjoy the nothingness–which is more feeling than nothing. But, usually, thoughts and images start pouring back in. When that happens, my fall-back plan is to at least try to direct my thoughts into peaceful and positive ways.

Thoughful Woman

And it doesn’t really matter what you call it: meditation is one method of clearing and calming the mind. Prayer is another word for it. Either way, the results are the same. You’re emptying the worldly out of your consciousness and allowing truth and brilliant light to flow in.

When I take time to be quiet in my mind, my soul sings. My body feels better. I feel peace and love shining radiantly from within. I feel strong. I feel peaceful. I think about the purpose of my life and forget about the excessive details that don’t move me positively toward my life’s mission and dreams.

Listening deeply, however you find that it works for you, clears the clutter from your mind. It wakes you up. It simplifies things. It answers questions. It refreshes you. And it gives you freedom to move your life forward.

Learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Your body and mind will become one, and you will realize the unity of all things. –Dogen Zenji