Quiet Time, Spacious Mind

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Image for post
Found on Facebook

“At any meaningful turning point in life, we must face our deepest fears in order to grow. And typically a turning point can feel like the worst thing that could happen to us. At one level we are at a collective turning point, we’re at a place where we must stop and listen to the body of humanity, even listen to the voice of the earth. We have to stop despite the fears of the stock market crashing and in spite of the common belief that everything must keep expanding, so that we must avoid all possibilities of a major descent.

And yet, we may have already reached that point where individual travel is being restricted for the benefit of all. Where instead of rushing about, flying about, we are being asked, not just to stop and hold in place, but in a way to turn inward. For we don’t know how long all the journeys of life must come to a stop. Not just that people have to cancel vacations. But pilgrimages to holy places become dangerous, not just for the seeker, but for everyone in contact with those who seek. It’s a strange thing. But the human soul is always seeking to grow and transform. That’s what usually sets us off on a journey or a pilgrimage. But the essence of a pilgrimage is not simply that we arrive at some Holy Grail place somewhere in the world. Rather, the outward journey is intended to separate us from the daily rounds of life, in order that we might make that great journey, which is the inward journey. — Michael Meade

We need spaciousness. Our minds are too crowded, too full of getting and spending and keeping. Only with a calm, spacious mind can we see where we are and know its beauty. We are, after all, living in a miracle. In fact, we are a living miracle. A busy-body mind can’t see that. That blindness goes to the foundations of our culture and unless we can step away from that cultural static, we embody it.

I chose the image above for its sense of calm, meditative space. I think we all need access to a mental version of this image. Into that space can come something real, leaving behind the fictitious, the quasi real edifice we have constructed to live in.

We don’t need an idea of love to be able to love. Our ideas of ourselves, of others, of how things work may be needed to master the mechanics of life, but if we are to find our humanity we need a quiet mind. Out of that quietness can come the most amazing things — love, vision, perception of relationships, energy pathways between events, hidden motives, karma, revelation of meaning. Insight comes unbidden because the mind is not chasing anything.

We live in a noisy world. Fortunately, it has suddenly gotten quieter. It may be brief, but we have a chance to observe our lives, our thinking and what all that has made us. We are a reflection of the noisy world we inhabit. How could we be otherwise?

Now is a good time to explore the space between thoughts and see if we can lengthen it. Spaciousness has a lot to teach. Busyness not so much.

But of course we will cling to our habits at first. If this quiet time lasts a year, we will evolve into different humans. Maybe we’ll like that better. The animals and plants certainly will like us better, because we can’t ignore their souls while we convert them into notations on a balance sheet.

There is something to discover in this time. Just follow the rainbow to the pot of gold.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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