The title of this blog is the name of a book written by Eckhart Tolle. My first response to this idea is this is the opposite of our cultural values. We seem to value movement, doing, achieving. Which then brings me to consider what are we trying to achieve with our frenetic pace, the increasing speed of information?
For me, I was looking to achieve a sense of peace, which required gaining information, accomplishing things, and getting recognition. What I didn’t know was I was unconsciously trying to get away from my own interior. The part that was screaming at me hat something was wrong.
When I was first introduced to the idea of meditation it was in the 1980’s when I read a book by Dr.Herbert Benson, “The Relaxation Response.” I could see there was a lot of evidence a meditation practice would improve my physical health by reducing stress. Even though I thought it was a good idea. I did not begin to meditate, I thought I was too busy. Now that I reflect back, I was just too scared.. It was at least another 10 years when I took a mind, body, spirit program that I was taught to meditate and began this practice.
It was then I became conscious of how much stress I was creating for myself with my own thinking. I recognized that I was afraid of stillness because there was nothing to distract me from my own inner critic. I persisted with meditation initially because I wanted physical and emotional health. I was not consciously looking for spiritual health. I will tell you the good news now- whatever you are looking to gain with a meditation practice, you will gain all of the benefits, mind, body and spirit!
I have already talked about my challenge with self-acceptance in previous blogs. My focus with this blog is to explore stillness and how it speaks. The image that comes to mind is the ocean, or any body of water. There is often turbulence or activity on the surface. The surface is easily disturbed, just like my mind. When you go below the surface, there is stillness and the deeper you go the closeryou get to the grounding of the earth, the closer you get to soul or spirit.
This is all theory until you put it into practice. It requires trust in the possibility that I can get beyond the disturbance, to let go of the judgement of my inner critic and restore the connection to my true nature, my unsuspected inner resource. One way to begin is to take the image I heard in my meditation meeting today: picture a stream entering one side of your head, as it flows through the mind it picks up the slugand negativity, and washes it out the the side. This is one of many possible images to allow the thoughts to just pass on by. I now accept that thoughts will continue to come during meditation and I can allow them to pass. Sometimes I don’t drop into stillness, but most days it gets quieter in my being as a result of meditation practice. I experience peace in the stillness, my heart opens and the love of my true nature flows out.