“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.
When there is
silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself”
― Lao Tzu
"Be still and know that I am God."
― Proverbs 46:10
Sometimes the magic happens when you are sitting alone in silence. The thin veil dissolves. The Ultimate Connection is made.
Sometimes the magic happens when you are meditating with others. In the silence, the illusion of our fundamental separateness evaporates. The "I" becomes "we" -- and we know it.
I think it's even sweeter when it happens that way.
I remember one of those times distinctly. Sitting here now, it seems like it happened in a different world, a long, long time ago. I guess it was. The year was 6 B.C. You know -- six years Before COVID.
were fifteen of us gathered to Just Sit Still during the Wednesday Evening Mindfulness Circle at
the Recovery Learning Community's Greenfield Center that night. As is our Practice, I rang the bell three times and we sat in silent meditation for twenty minutes.
At a certain point, it happened. It got really quiet. Really, Really -- Quiet!
In the silence, I could feel our Shared Presence.
When I rang the bell to end the meditation and begin the Heart Council, the air was electric. I knew that what I had just experienced wasn't just a subjective personal event occurring within the confines of my own skull. I could see it in
As we went
around the Circle to compare notes on what we had each experienced
during our meditation, the first person exclaimed, wide-eyed, "you could
actually hear the
"Yes. The Silence was deafening!" a second added. Others nodded.
The magic had occurred. In the silence, what my first Zen teacher called the Soundless Sound had emerged as a shared experience. Whenever that happens, even for a few moments, our Essential Oneness within the embrace of the One Love becomes less theoretical. Reality Asserts Itself. You can feel it in your bones.
I love it when that happens.
The Theory and the Practice
as we are in a patently materialistic society, a milieu that fosters individualism, greed,
speed, fear and frustration, Just Sitting Still can be challenging. We have been conditioned to experience our world through mental and
emotional states that manifest a lot of noise, restless motion -- and a deep sense of separation.
Bombarded with stimulation and stress, our minds habitually
filled with incessant chatter, most of us have spent much of our lives
constantly distracted and disconnected from our True Nature.
Disconnected from ourselves, we are disconnected from one another. A
direct experience of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls Interbeing, our fundamental interconnection with one another and the entire Web of Life, is rarely encountered on a conscious level. Yet it is always there -- always here, more correctly -- in the embrace of what contemporary spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and others have called the Eternal Now.