I have meditated since the early 1970’s. So when I went to sit the other day and I went truly into the Silence, I was surprised to realize that lately there have only been brief moments of it.
The meditation style I mostly do is Buddhist meditation that is all about silence. There are a variety of useful teachings which help one let go of thoughts, feelings, and other reactions in order to simply be present.
Trance states, contemplation, spacing out, getting lost in fantasies, thoughts and feelings are merely things that come up, happen. The practice involves noticing but not attending to these things. This involves not so much pushing them away as not engaging them.
Over the years there have often been moments, and sometimes more than moments, when there was true silence. There is ease, little or no sense of myself or others, awareness of the present and the deep, replenishing stillness. Recently in meditation, while my mind would go through things and release them—the analogy I use is taking a psychic poop—the moments of true Silence have been fleeting.
Taking longer times apart to practice meditation can be helpful, yet perhaps ironically the present is always here. It is possible to fully release the distracting mental activity at any moment. This is not only in formal mediation practice. It is more about resting in peace rather than other, more agitated mental states, anywhere, anytime.
After that morning re-awakening, having lunch with Allen, I was able to let him talk without having to engage. I not only ate more slowly—I have always been a relatively fast eater—but was satisfied with less. Allen asked if I was OK. I was, am more than OK.
I have been blessed with so many tools to enable me to let go and relax in the Silence, yet how often do I use them? Mind engagement and entertainment is habituated as well as enticing. When I remember and choose the Silence in my life, I get less caught in life’s dramas. I feel peaceful and get things done with less stress and more appreciation.
Learning to be truly still is a gift that can take some time to fully appreciate. I hope in sharing this reminder with which I was blessed will be of use to you as well.