“Give your attention to the experience of seeing rather than to the object seen and you will find yourself everywhere.”
There is a great power that is well within your reach. It’s the simplest thing. It takes very little time, it’s available always, and has the potential to radically transform your experience.
Do you want to stop feeding negative and damaging thought patterns? Do you want to be peaceful and at ease?
It’s the first step to freedom: shhh…just be quiet.
Be quiet? In the middle of all the noise? It’s revolutionary.
Everything in the world pulls for our attention. We are so used to being captivated by thoughts, consumed by emotions, and propelled forward by demands and desires. It’s obsessive and exhausting, yet it’s how many of us live.
Just a few minutes of quiet gives you space from this noise. It returns you to your natural state. It exposes the insanity of mindless habits that don’t serve which allows you to be fully aware of the choices being made.
The Value of Quiet
I recently reflected on my path in the search for truth and relief from confusion. Decades of therapy did next to nothing to get to the root of the problem. But everything started to shift when I began to meditate.
Instead of running full force into frantically trying to fix everything about myself that I thought was wrong, I stopped. During several meditation retreats years ago, in the vastness of the desert, layers of pain were set free. It was uncomfortable, intense, and joyous.
And it started with the willingness to be quiet.
Be Like the Sky
Being quiet, stopping, doing nothing is so simple. You sit down, close your eyes, and experience whatever is present.
The goal is not to stop thoughts or make anything change. Rather, it’s about simply allowing whatever arises to be there as it is.
Thoughts and stories? No problem. Emotions? No problem. Just let everything be.
Our normal tendency is to think, feel, figure out, do. When you are quiet, you shift your attention to the space in which everything arises in, so the doing part stops.
You are like the sky, with any kind of cloud welcome to pass through. Whether or not there are clouds, you are simply here, present, at peace.
The Nuts and Bolts of Being Quiet
If you’re not used to being quiet, start small. Just a minute or two when you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep is a good beginning.
You might sit in your car for an extra minute before you go on to continue your day.
Or you might spend a half hour or more quietly being. It’s up to you. Once you get started, you’ll know what is needed.
It might feel awkward or scary at first, which is always the case when things are new. Be brave and commit to spending time in quiet for maybe every day for the next week. Give it a chance. Just do it as an experiment to see what it’s like.
Here are some times when being quiet is especially helpful:
- When you’re caught up in emotions
- When something has triggered you
- When you’re consumed by thinking (Hint: notice sensations in your body)
- When you know you are avoiding admitting the truth to yourself
- When you’re feeling stressed or out of sorts
- For no reason at all.
Try it out without any expectation, and simply let things unfold effortlessly. Who knows what will happen?
What Quiet Reveals
It’s radical to realize that you can have space from thoughts and feelings which sets in motion the possibility that they don’t have to dominate your life.
Then you are free of conditioned habits, fully conscious, and awake to presence that is overflowing with everything that is needed.
Shhh…just be quiet. Stop and be. No stress, no separation, no drama or discontinuity in your experience. Very simple…being who you are.
What is your experience with being quiet? What are the challenges? I’d love to hear…
Note: Please check out this beautiful project and book called “RE:INVENT” by reader and artist Derick Tsai and friends inspired by his friend with ALS .