May I find in myself...a secret stillness... and tranquility... beneath the turmoil. John O'Donohue
It’s been a very exciting time here on the Sunshine Coast - not exciting like going to Disneyland, vacationing in Fiji or taking a cruise up the inland Straight to Alaska - No, exciting like those times when you fall into a creative trance, and spend the whole night working on a project or when you’re climbing up the face of Half Dome in Yosemite (Not that I’ve done that), or when you lose yourself in the tranquil vibrancy of a full-on ecstatic dance. (That I have done) It’s been a time of dropping into the stillness of silent awareness, of being in the zone. (I hope you consider contemplating the poems of stillness and silence in this month’s newsletter)
For the past six months meriel and I have increased and deepened our daily meditation. With the brilliant guidance of one of our teachers, Christina Donnell, we feel that we have reached new levels of accessing the depths of stillness and it has deeply impacted our work. As someone who has sporadically practiced meditation for over 50 years at different levels of intensity, I have entered one of the most creative and productive times of my life and yet it often feels as though we are moving in slow motion, guided by a growing inner silence. In the past month we have created a new consulting business, designed a workshop on transcending anxiety, stress and depression with our colleague Mel Schwartz, put together a summer workshop with Christina Donnell and designed several websites, on top of the normal radio interviews, coaching and teaching. We wanted to share all that with you and at the same time try to convey the stillness behind the doingness…
A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind.In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part. Nisagardatta Maharaj
It has been a very stormy month outside our window, colossal waves crashing on the beach throwing trees and logs in the air like toothpicks, howling winter winds in the woods behind our home and torrential rain reverberating on our metal rooftop. Each morning meriel and I awaken and sit in stillness, opening up all our bodily senses to explore the expansive inner world. Sometimes it’s hard to pull ourselves away from the richness of the infinite interiority and magic of how it merges with the outer world. We have turned off what little TV we used to watch, let the news come through osmosis and steep ourselves in gratitude for the simple things in our lives.
We have been practicing living the distinctions that we will be teaching in the upcoming online video workshop with Mel Schwartz on Transcending Anxiety, Stress and Depression. http://www.welloflight.com/michaelandmelschwartz.html One of these distinctions of the quantum worldview is embracing uncertainty. People ask, “why would I want to do that?” Because, it is our search for certainty, perfection and how things “should be” that keeps us in a state of perpetual anxiety, stress and leads to depression. When we can let go of our need to know the outcome, we can step into the wonder, curiosity and awe that leads to the miraculous. Surrendering to whatever arises does not mean that we don’t have goals and intentions. It simply means that we do what we need to do to make something happen, then get out of the way, and allow ourselves to be grateful and learn from all that comes to us.
In the nanosecond before your next thought, you are in a state of pure potential. Mel Schwartz
To truly release our need for certainty we cultivate a practice of witnessing our thoughts and begin to notice “what is thinking us.” By that I mean becoming aware of the sabotaging thoughts and habitual patterns from our past that limit the possibilities that are open to us - not to suppress or try to change them - just becoming aware of them, lets us be more adept at choosing different actions and reactions. When we can embrace and allow whatever arises within and without us, we develop the freedom to choose our responses from the vast field of pure potential that exists in the silence. It is the unexamined beliefs behind our thoughts that shape our view of reality and produce the outcomes of our often ill chosen choices.
This practice of becoming a witness and questioning the validity of our underlying beliefs takes us from having thoughts to thinking. Meditation takes us beyond thinking into the vast spaciousness of the silence that is our divine nature. We deepen our ability to witness and separate ourselves from our thoughts, beliefs and busy mind when we deepen our meditation / awareness practice. This leads us to experiencing a profound depth of interconnectedness with all of life. Meditation allows us to expand our ability to pay attention, focus and drop into a space beyond thinking, a place of pure potential and possibility. This ancient practice validates and is consistent with current thinking in quantum science. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle teaches us that until we observe or name something it exists as pure potential. As we learn to drop down into the silence where everything waits, we discover a deeper interconnection with everyone and everything in the world...
What is inside of us is worthy of our whole love. Become attentive to what is alive in you. If you bring attention here, you will discover something much larger than you. Christina Donnell
One of the great challenges that we continue to work with - perhaps it is a life-long practice - is the embracing of whatever arises and allowing this to be our guide, our teacher, our inner guru. In this place of love, of total acceptance of things as they are and as they are not, we can discover a new freedom and aliveness that goes far beyond our “I-hood”or ego, which separates us from the world and is at the heart of all suffering...
In these times of turbulence, transition and uncertainty it is easy to become distracted in fear, frustration and foreboding. We invite you to expand your time of meditation and contemplation on the vast spaciousness of silence, to still the mind from the tumult of the times, and allow the deepening of love to blossom in your heart. What we resist loving is at the heart of the myth of separation and the truth is that everything is always influencing everything else. We are all connected and what we think, do and say affects the whole. We invite you to imagine a world awakening into unity consciousness. How would living from this recognition, of how deeply we are all connected, alter the way you’re living your life today?