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Stillness

How can I go more deeply into the quiet of myself? This is a question I have asked myself hundreds of times over the years and I do not believe I will ever be able to truly find an answer, especially when there is always all this noise happening around me.

Many, many years ago I stumbled on meditation. Right around the time I went back to university at the age of thirty-six and when I say stumbled, I found myself in this rather strange curio shop. I had wandered in and was browsing all the incredible dragons. Dragon toys, dragon ornaments and even dragon jewellery boxes. The shop suddenly emptied out and the sales lady and I began to chat. I found myself telling her why I was going back to school after all these years at my crazy old age, about the therapist I had seen to help me navigate my midlife crisis and why there was so much noise around me. She gave me a pamphlet from the Brahma Kumari’s World Spiritual University, telling me that they offered free beginner meditation classes and told me that she had a feeling that this was exactly what I was looking for. We finished chatting and I found her just staring at me, blurting out: “So that is why the shop emptied out. I had to give you that message in a quiet space.” I thought she had totally lost the plot.

I signed up for the beginner’s classes and have never looked back. I did find that the Brahma Kumari’s were a little too strict for my taste. Vegetarian, which I could manage, but no onion and no garlic - apparently, they have aphrodisiac properties. Wake at 3am, meditate and then if you wanted to, you could go back to sleep and no sex, definitely no sex. That was reserved for procreation. They did have their redeeming qualities, teaching me that when there is a lot of chatter and noise going on inside our heads, this is manifested externally.

Meditation, I have learnt after many years in the lotus position, is the ability to increase the silence between the thoughts. Pema Chodron taught me that I did not have to beat myself up if I was not able to stop myself from fidgeting or better yet, stop myself from thinking. All I had to do was notice when I went off course and just come back to the breath. The wanderings were just an indication that I had left the present moment and I could easily return by refocusing on the breath.

Michael Neill has further taught me that when I was fully engaged in the task at hand - my writing, cooking a meal or with a client - and then surprised time had flown by was really a form of meditation and that I was fully engaged in the moment. The more I have practised this over the years, the more I noticed how present I have become in my day to day, the more quiet my surroundings have become and most importantly I have dived head first into the quietest parts of myself and I am always so surprised and of course delighted by what comes up.

We do not know what we are capable of until we push the extremities of what we believe are our boundaries and in dong so discover that we are so much more.



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