Called to Silence

wpid-2014-02-03-23.39.13.pngI have been a person who defines herself in relation to others.  My needs are usually put second to those around me, like my daughter or my siblings.  At some point, I realize how bad an idea that is, but it is often prompted by anger.  I have learned that anger in me always means that a need I have is not being met. (It also means something that is happening is making me feel like I am not enough, which tends to intersect with my needs not being met.)

I own all of that.  It is mine to change.  So lately, I have been changing that, actively.  Like any new choice or skill, it takes practice.  I have run the gambit from doing it so badly that I needed a lawyer, right up to graciously taking time to reflect and find my silence.

In fact, I am called to silence more and more.  I was a woman who liked to get out and do things – try new restaurants, travel, go to concerts, see a play, work hard, keep my house to a standard.  I was a perpetual motion machine!

Now, as I begin working on my vision, listening to the source is more important than going to a menu of options and trying to set goals.  If I look at my creation lists of the past, they are more like wishes than they are reflective of the flow of the current of consciousness.  Some of them I laugh at now.

If I listen to my silence, it is longing for more silence.  I have joined a new community, and what draws me is the silence.  We sit and meditate.  We connect, but it is not over the mundane.  I look at my work, and I create silence in issues as they are shared with me.  In that silence, the next thing that is needed arises.  From the silence, all that needs to be arises.  It does not need me to force it.  It does not need me to be its stick.

This poem speaks to the insight that is coming to me.

 

The waves of the mind
demand so much of Silence.
But she does not talk back
does not give answers nor arguments.
She is the hidden author of every thought
every feeling
every moment.

Silence.

She speaks only one word.
And that word is this very existence.
No name you give Her
touches Her
captures Her.
No understanding
can embrace Her.

Mind throws itself at Silence
demanding to be let in.
But no mind can enter into
Her radiant darkness
Her pure and smiling
nothingness.

The mind hurls itself
into sacred questions.
But Silence remains
unmoved by tantrums.
She asks only for nothing.

Nothing.

But you won’t give it to Her
because it is the last coin
in your pocket.
And you would rather
give her your demands than
your sacred and empty hands.

**

Everything leaps out in the celebration of mystery,
but only nothing enters the sacred source,
the silent substance.
Only nothing gets touched and becomes sacred,
realizes its own divinity,
realizes what it is
without the aid of a single thought.
Silence is my secret.
Not hidden.
Not hidden.

Adyashanti – Emptiness Dancing

Shut Up and Listen

It’s sort of funny…I check in with my spirit to see if it wants to date. It says No. I ignore that and sign onto a dating site anyway. Last question on profile: do you really want a relationship ? I type in No and delete the whole profile. It is hilarious watching my ego and my soul at work.

This has been going on more and more since earlier this year.  It’s quite amusing. And lovely. 

Ego: I am too tired to grocery shop – let’s get pizza. SOUL: drives into Superstore lot and gets fresh food.

Ego: Let’s just go to bed. You can meditate tomorrow.  SOUL: places me on my cushion at my altar for 10 minutes.  

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Ego: My back hurts. I am skipping yoga today. SOUL: turns left towards studio instead of right towards home.

Ego: Long day. Order in. SOUL: prepares salad greens with poached egg, fresh bread and cheese.

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When you are tuned in to your true essence, your ego is like a radio playing in the background. It’s just chatter. 

If I shut up and listen, it’s truly amazing. It isn’t a matter of shutting off the ego. The ego can exist. It’s moving to Consciousness and just witnessing the ego chattering like I would the wind blowing.

You Think Too Much

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A man I was close to used to tease me when I asked what he was thinking by replying “You think too much!” As a person responsible for strategic planning and long term impacts of things, it seemed like an inevitable occupational hazard.

In time, I have learned that we do not control whether thoughts arise or not – they just do, and we decide to attend to them or not.  We decide to give them energy and go along with them, or not. We decide to believe them, or not.

Thoughts arise against the backdrop of our consciousness all the time.  They arise without prompting by us.  In fact, I dare you to cause a thought right now.  I challenge you to stop thoughts arise for more than a few seconds.

“The human condition is characterized by a compulsive and obsessive personal relationship to thought. At its best, thought is a symbolic representation of reality; at its worst, thought takes the place of reality. Our thoughts describe and interpret both the external world and our internal experiences. To conceive of a life lived any other way is incomprehensible to most people. Thought tells us who we are; what we believe; what is right and wrong; what we should feel; what is true and what is false; and how we fit into this event called “life.” We literally create ourselves and our lives out of thought. Further, we associate the end of thought with sleep, unconsciousness, or death. It is this very personal relationship with thought that is the cause of all the fear, ignorance, and suffering which characterizes the human condition, and which destroys the manifestation of true Love in this life.”  – Adyashanti

I have learned that when I believe my thoughts I suffer, but when I question them, I don’t suffer. It’s not reality that makes us suffer; it’s our thoughts about reality.  Normally, it is thoughts that suggest that things should be different from what I am experiencing that causes suffering.  As Byron Katie says “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time.”

There is no doubt that I am in silence much more than ever before in my life.  It is not an external silence.  It is not even a quiet mind. I am in the silence behind all of that.  I use thoughts as a way of noticing they occur within the “ever-present, silent-still-source that not only precedes thought but surrounds it”. – Adyashanti

Do I think too much? No, not really.  It is all part of the pathway to something greater: ” What I am talking about is a condition where the mind never fixates; where it never closes; where it has no compulsive need to understand in terms of ideas, concepts, and beliefs. A condition where you are no longer referencing the mind, feelings, or emotions for security in any way. What I am talking about is the complete surrender of all separateness until liberation becomes a permanent condition, and you are forever lost in the freedom of the Absolute.” – Adyashanti

Lady Loquacious Goes for a Walk

You have spent your whole life with elegant speeches.
For sometime you should walk alone in the gardens of silence.~ Rumi

 
My Magus has been teasingly calling me Lady Loquacious.  It is true that I can be chatty, social, and I go out of my way to put people at ease by talking to them in a way that suggests I am interested in finding out about them.  Of course, I am an Extrovert (Myers Briggs) and I interpret the way I present myself from that place.  The Magus is an Introvert, so I am sure that what I see as putting people to ease looks a lot like not being able to shut up…*L*  On the other hand, he makes a hamster look talkative, so…
 
Enough teasing.  This post has a more contemplative purpose to it.  I have been thinking about silence, and about the need to go within, to listen within.  I have been more actively practicing meditation, and striving to connect not just to my body, but to the essence of my Divine nature.  Today was a significant snowfall, and while driving is quite difficult today, the beauty of the snow is magnificent.  I had an opportunity to go for a short walk at lunch, and to hear the peace and silence being created by the snow. 
 
While every one around me is complaining about the weather, I find myself in a place of joy and peace and happiness.  I did some great meditation and energy work yesterday, and had a fulfilling evening with the Magus and my daughter.  (Bhikku has been working very hard, and I think he also enjoyed the break and the silence yesterday). 
 
I do not have enough silence around me.  I am becoming good at silencing my mind, and gradually untangling the voices I carry from others while recognizing the true voice, the voice of the Observer, the Witness.  But not nearly often enough do I have silence.  I have a 5 year old, and if I am talkative, then she is Loquaciousness to the power of ten! She chats about everything going on in her head, and expects a response to her thoughts! It is a joy to share with her, and a joy to find the space for silence.
 
This weekend I will be up in the mountains.  Many of my friends will be there, and it could be an opportunity for Lady Loquacious to drink her fill!  But I suspect, and hope, that what I will really be doing is yoga, meditation, walks, and finding cozy corners to read.  I will blissfully, openly, and receptively embrace the opportunities for silence.