Sunday, March 18, 2018

Being The Quiet

I want to be still. I want to let go of busyness, of planning, and of the pressures of my various to~do lists. I want to open to the silence that lies beyond and beneath all things. And I want it to consume me.

“Just sit there right now,” urges the 14 Century Persian poet Hafiz. “Don’t do a thing. For your separation from God, from Love, is the hardest work in this world.” Yes, that’s it. I want to give up the hard work of separation. I don’t so much want to disappear, as to soften or make more permeable that false barrier that seems often to surround me.

When one wakes in the predawn dark while the world still sleeps, the silence is profound. It runs deep, and seems to fill to overflowing every molecule of air and substance. At such times, the sacred is a palpable presence. The outer silence doesn’t last. The world awakens and resumes its steady chatter. Yet sacredness remains, flowing like an underground stream through the bustle of our days.

Drinking deeply of that stillness in times of quiet allows us to more clearly recognize the sacred when we’re once again swept away by the clatter of our lives. It also lets us engage with that clatter more effectively. A deadline to meet, a conflict with a loved one, cooking and cleaning and the other duties of life…a subtle shift occurs in all of these things when we engage them out of that larger awareness. Researchers across disciplines speak of the observer effect, noting that the act of monitoring an event can alter it in significant ways. How much more powerful, then, would be our conscious interactions? 

“Be the quiet place,” Sharon McErlane writes on “Amidst the onslaught of trauma and drama, be the steady, quiet place. The center in the wheel of peace.” When we engage in life from that center point, even the most difficult situations can be altered. At the very least, our precious energy will not make them worse.

Interacting in this way is not always easy. Yet, as that wise man whispers to us from centuries past, keeping ourselves separate is uniquely burdensome and the hardest work of all. So we engage in whatever practices open us to the Infinite. And as we remember ourselves into the larger web, the barrier dissolves for a few moments. We can then return to our lives realigned and refreshed, better able to hold a steady peace, no matter the disturbance.

We don’t need to do it perfectly or always. We’re in this together, and so, can rely on one another. I can hold you as you flail about. And when I’ve again lost my way, you shall buoy me.

Over time, we all become more conscious, more aware. And gradually, we let go of the hardest work of all, as we open willingly, gratefully, to Love.

Love & Peace, my fellow travelers,