The answer for most of the questions I receive should be, “Meditate on it”. That isn’t the answer most people want to hear. It is a bit ironic as that is the right answer. In 1654 Blasé Pascal told us “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone….” That quote may explain what is going on in our world today. Most of us have difficulty in sitting alone and quieting the inner chatter. It is not the silence we need, but what is revealed in the silence.
It isn’t simply about stopping the noise but is about embracing a completely different state of consciousness in which time and space disappear. It is as if by sitting quietly we free ourselves from the constrictions, fears, and separation that keeps us trapped in an energy of constant doing and striving. After our “quiet time”, we come back into space and time….what we normally consider “reality.”
And yet by touching the realm of the sacred and going beyond our usual mundane thoughts, when we come back into our daily lives some remnant or residual memory of transcendent wholeness stays with us… reminding us of the paradox that we can be in this world but not of it.
Meditation is about taking time to experience the stillness and silence that lie below all the busy thoughts and activities that usually preoccupy us. Taking time to close our eyes, quiet our mind, and go within offers a profound opportunity to go beyond our ego’s tight identification with the transitory aspects of our personality and personal lives – and connect more deeply with our essential nature, which is infinite and eternal. Then when we emerge from our meditation, our mind is refreshed and we’re able to see the same experiences from a slightly different perspective – one permeated with the peace and clarity we have tapped into during meditation. This is the basis of authentic love, healing, creativity, and transformation.
Why does the human mind seem so reluctant to experience silence? When people begin to practice meditation and other methods to quiet the mind, they may experience some discomfort ranging from restlessness to real agitation. It’s somewhat common to feel resistance because so many of us grew up with nearly constant sensory and mental stimulation. If you’ve never sat alone quietly with your eyes closed opening to silence could feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first. The shift from outer activity to inner awareness in the long run allows us to generate an internal state of peace and happiness that is independent of the people, situations, and circumstances around us. With continued practice the transition from activity to silence reduces stress and becomes the source of the most blissful state of awareness you can experience. It is worth the energy to go through this transition. When our mind quiets, we experience the silent space between our thoughts. This is where God Energy resides. And the thoughts that do arise are less conditioned and come from a deeper and less predictable place, and less “every day” layers of awareness. The philosopher Alan Watts described this as the “wisdom of uncertainty,” which tells us that in the ambiguity of life, we can drop into a deeper domain of awareness that touches the sacred source of all evolutionary impulses….some call this place God.
Uncertainty is woven into the fabric of creation, and we cannot always predict which sensations will unfold… happiness or sadness, pleasure or pain, enthusiasm or emotional stagnation, love or anger. Stepping into the unknown sometimes fills us with terror but it also is what makes life compelling, powerful, and meaningful. We become more experienced travelers in the realm of silence, and we can learn how to consciously choose interpretations that generate more comfort than distress.
The mind is very complicated. Most will never master it because its very nature is to generate new impulses, ideas, concepts, and associations. As long as our mind with its innate paradoxes, is the dominant place we choose to live in, we will experience some level of discomfort and uncertainty. Expanding our sense of self to deeper dimensions of awareness where we can embrace ambiguities and contradictions accelerates our ability to experience silence.
Then…. The universe will lay itself at your feet, it has no other option.