As the seasons are beginning to change, it has me thinking about what a great…
When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. – Eckhart Tolle
I hope you had a great summer solstice. I recently spent a week in Sedona, AZ and the beauty and silence were profound. I felt so attuned to my environment and the creative energy of the canyon I was staying in that I rarely felt a need to speak. So much was communicated by not speaking. I felt at first, that if I was required to speak to fill in the air, it would upset my inner harmony. This awareness of the power and fulfillment in silence made me turn my attention inward.
“If you are not good for yourself, how can you be food for others?” – Spanish Proverb.
I recognize that for many of us, it has increasingly become difficult to be spiritual, to have an inner nature or awareness, or to be still. Our culture is so focused on creating noise and doing. We have cell phones, which people seem to need to talk on all the time, TV, radio, and DVD players in the car. We cannot get away, with email and texts. Most people work more than 40 hours a week and still try to find time for their families. There is no downtime.
Many people are oblivious to the level of stress they are harboring. The body reacts to this continuous level of stress by releasing stress hormones. The body’s natural ability to recover a healthy state and equilibrium is diminished.
The price is both mental and physiological. Many studies have linked chronic stress to many illnesses. The spiritual price is also enormous. There is no time for an inner of spiritual life.
“The Silver threads of the Dream Weave are fed by imagination and inspiration. They form the paths that take us safely to the heart of the invisible wonders that are every-present in physical life.” – Berta Broken Bow
Now let me take you to the other end of the spectrum for a moment. Imagine this life; there is an indigenous culture still in existence today, in the Amazon region of the Ecuador. The Dream People, who each morning upon waking, every member of the tribe will go and sit with the chief, and tell him their dreams from the night before. In this way the chief becomes aware of any issues affecting the members of the tribe. Great value is placed on this communication; it is the essence of the tribe’s culture.
Here is another one to think about, let’s go to another area of the globe. In Iceland today, the government will construct a highway around a tree or large rock if it is believed by the local people to be inhabited by fairies. Rather than removing it, because this is most upsetting to the fairies, and not acceptable to the locals.
Unfortunately this is not the culture we live in. How easy it would be to stay in touch with ourselves, if we lived in a culture that honored and encouraged that.
Many spiritual practices throughout the ages have recognized the value of silence. Many monks take vows of silence, as do some Catholic nuns. Many traditional martial arts training, as well as most yoga practices incorporate silence and meditation into their study, as a way to achieve the balance that is necessary for well being. Angeles Arriern, PH.D writes in the Four Fold Way, “Many shamanic traditions hold the belief that any solitary time that is spent in nature for purposes of reflection and guidance reawakens us to our own life purpose and remembering the original medicine that is our to offer all creatures and human beings.”
Native Americans in this country speak volumes in their silence and are so grounded in their bodies. You will find there is a comfort to quiet and a true joy in being quiet in the presence of another—you begin to recognize how little words sometimes contribute to the true connection that we create with self and others.
So I invite you to take some time in the spirit of summer to be still for a period of time. Be silent with yourself, and experience the profound beauty of quiet. And to discover what peace and joy await you in the stillness. What calm you find and what inner beauty awakens to you. Turn off the sound for a day or a weekend, take time to meditate, or just breathe. Be as silent as possible, watch a thunderstorm or the clouds move by. If you can’t do that, try driving with your radio off. Turn off the TV. As you return to your daily life, observe what you feel. Enjoy!