“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behaviour. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain”.
I absolutely love this quote and find it so moving and so powerful. There was a time in my own life when if someone offered me the opportunity, the time and space to quiet my mind and just sit in stillness with my body and emotions, I would of ran a mile in the opposite direction! I would not have been able to do it because, to put it simply, the stillness under the chaos in my mind and body at that time in my life was too uncomfortable to embrace. It was too still, too exposing, too hurtful, too difficult to want to uncover. It was easier, but yet soul destroying, to just keep wading through each day, continuously running from the desperate craving of my soul to be heard and listened too.
I then came across Eckhart Tolle, who is a German-born author, writer and teacher and he is widely recognised as one of the most inspiring and visionary spiritual teachers in the world today. Some of his most famous books are ‘The Power of Now’, ‘Stillness Speaks’ and ‘A New Earth’, which were all life changing for me when I read them. I fell in love with his writings, teachings, concepts and focus on the ‘significance and power of Presence and the awakened state of consciousness’. I found them so incredible and very empowering.
It would be interesting to see just how many of us would jump at the opportunity to truly embrace ‘our stillness within’ or ‘our stillness beneath’ if we were handed the time and chance to do so! I would imagine that a lot of us would turn down the opportunity because sometimes we can view going ‘inward’ or ‘connecting with and exposing our soul’ far more difficult and emotional than choosing to be continually caught up and spinning in our own ‘mental clutter and noise, our own chaos, in what we create as our own reality’. Why is this do you think? Is it perhaps because we may feel that ‘what lies beneath’ can be stale, grubby, painful, poisonous, toxic and is better left buried that risen?
Just why do so many of us get so mentally, emotionally and physically uncomfortable in our own silence or even during silence with others? Think of how uneasy we can feel if there’s even a couple of seconds of ‘awkward’ silence during a conversation with someone else. We can automatically tense up and in turn we desperately try to fill the ‘space’ or ‘silence’ with some form of chat, motion or distraction. What are we afraid of that will happen in them few seconds of ‘space or of silence’? Perhaps we might just be able to catch our breath in the space, to really listen to what the other person has just said, to give both parties the honour and respect to let the conversation truly flow and open inwardly and deeply, if that is what feels right at the time. Just what do you think that those few moments of ‘stillness’ may speak of?
When we learn how to create peace and stillness in our lives, we truly can transform in ways that we might not have ever imagined. When we learn to drop from the continuous mode of ‘doing’ down into the stillness of just ‘being’, we can reach or find a level of consciousness that we may never have realised could exist. This can enable us to connect to ourselves on a deeper more intimate level where we can feel safe and comfortable in disturbing and unresting ‘what lies beneath’.
This level of presence and consciousness can help us to ‘still our minds’ so that we can ‘hear our souls’. It can give us the opportunity and space to really evaluate our lives and ourselves as people. In this silence and unconditional presence, we can truly meet ourselves, our true selves.
So, in conclusion, I personally do feel that ‘stillness can speak’ to us. It can tell us what we really need to know, hear, feel and embrace. We just have to learn how to create and invite this consciousness and stillness into our own daily lives.
A thought to leave you with:
“Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions”.
(Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks)
HOW to create presence and consciousness in your life:
The following is a step by step guide on how to create presence and consciousness in your life:
2. Now, take 3 regulating breaths. If possible, breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. If you prefer to breathe in through your nose and out through your nose or in through your mouth and out through your mouth, that’s perfectly fine. Whatever feels normal for you is perfect.
3. On your next in-breath, say to yourself ‘I am present and conscious’ and on your next out-breath, say to yourself ‘this is my present moment’. Say these words to yourself as you continue for 5 more in and out breaths.
4. See if you can notice any sights (if you have your eyes open), sounds, smells, tastes or even what you can touch now in your present moment environment. Try not to judge these if you can, just notice and then let them pass by with awareness.
5. On your next in-breath, say to yourself ‘I am aware and accept this present moment’ and on your next out-breath, say to yourself ‘everything belongs in this moment’. Say these words to yourself as you continue for 5 more in and out breaths.
6. When you are ready, let go of this practise and enjoy being fully present, accepting and conscious in your present moment, whatever that experience may be.
Thank you as always to Brian O’Loughlin and his team at Celtic Media Group (https://www.anglocelt.ie/, https://www.con-telegraph.ie/, https://www.meathchronicle.ie/, https://www.offalyindependent.ie/, https://www.westmeathexaminer.ie/ and https://www.westmeathindependent.ie/ for all their wonderful help!
As published by The Celtic Media Group in The Anglo Celt, Connaught Telegraph, Meath Chronicle, Offaly Independent, Westmeath Examiner and Westmeath Independent newspapers w/c 7/12/2020)