Some Thoughts on Stillness

All of men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone

Blaise Pascal

Many of us will do just about anything to avoid a state of boredom. Alone in an empty room staring into the ceiling and doing nothing but examining our thoughts seems dreadful. Faced with this situation we quickly turn to our mobile phones scrolling aimlessly, browse the internet or watch television.

Any distraction will suffice to avoid boredom.

We pride ourselves on outward achievement, on constantly having something to do. Consequently, being busy has become a status symbol in our culture. It demonstrates to others that you are important and have achieved some level of success.

However, not all cultures think of this matter with the same perspective. Eastern philosophies emphasize the importance of introspection and stillness. The practice of meditation asks us to sit alone with the contents of our mind and thoroughly examine them. In doing so, we can watch what emerges.

Are we acting on our impulses?

Are we processing our emotions?

Are we thinking through our actions and goals?

The answer is not retreating from society in a Buddhist monastery, but rather incorporating the practice of stillness in our day to day lives. To be frank, not everything is as urgent as we think. We don’t have to respond to many of our text messages or social media notifications immediately. Things can wait.

Modern day society constantly fills our minds with information 24/7, and it is unsustainable to think we can consume it all.

So today, spend some time with nothing but your you and your mind – in stillness.

A Meditation on Silence

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Underneath the perpetual busyness of modern life lies a stillness

Vast islands of emptiness stretch far beyond the known horizons


It appears like clouds parting to make room for the crisp blue sky, or

Rocks peacefully settling to the bottom of the riverbed


Time will clear the path for silence

As we patiently wait for it to emerge


Therein lies an invitation eternally present in all of us


Can we make room for this silence?

Can we allow it to cleanse our frantic minds?


Through non-action, what needs to be revealed will make itself present

Sit with what comes to be, and embrace it


Only in silence can one know thyself

Only in silence, can one be free


For silence contains everything, yet nothing

Everything yet nothing

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