“Be Still and Know”
Here is my latest column in the Murfreesboro Pulse. Enjoy!
I love to fly. I love soaring thousands of feet above everything with time completely to myself. Even though technology has now invaded my quiet space, I can still decide whether or not to plug-in on airplanes. More often than not, I opt out and settle for a few hours of peace and quiet, free from any outer distractions.
In today’s world of constant connectivity, times where we are completely unplugged are rare. But maybe we should not treat time in the quiet as a luxury rather see it more as a necessity.
All of the great masters taught the importance of retreating from our routine. Jesus told us that when we address the Infinite to go away by ourselves and shut the door behind us. The prophet Elijah heard the voice of God after he fled to the mountain top to escape the chaos around him. Only then was he able to hear the still small voice of the Infinite that resided in him.
We live in a noisy, demanding world that can drown out our connection to Source if we let it. Our busyness borders on violence causing us to mistrust our internal voice. Yet, all spiritual traditions teach the necessity of time in the silence in order to reclaim our essential selves. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali says, “Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind…When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature which is unbounded consciousness.”
Many traditions call this inner knowing consciousness, our intuition, the still small voice or the Spirit of God within. Whatever you call it, it is that part of us that awakens us to our divine nature, then molds and guides us toward that which is holy. When we can’t access our sacred connection because of the noise all around us, we lose ourselves, depend on others to tell us what to do and become even more alienated from who we really are and those things that matter most.
For many of us, prayer meant beseeching some power outside of ourselves to rescue us. But upon closer examination, we see how the masters taught that prayer or meditation is actually the act of returning home. It is the time we spend quieting the outer chatter in order to hear our internal divine knowing. We all have access to the Creative Source but we have to take time to cultivate a relationship with It, to learn to recognize Its presence, and to trust Its guidance.
This process does not have to be complicated. It doesn’t necessarily mean sitting for long periods of time in elaborate poses, instead it can be as simple as spending time appreciating the beauty around us. When we give ourselves permission to be still, the the static in our heads begins to subside. We learn to recognize our own voice and begin to trust it’s wisdom and love. We become more sure of ourselves and come home to our own skin. Consequently, we find that as we are more present for ourselves, we engage more with the people around us. As we learn to listen deeply to our own voice, we awaken our ability to really hear what others around us are saying or not saying. And life just becomes a bit sweeter.
As summer comes to an end, I invite all of us to experiment with the quiet. Take some time, unplug from all electronics, sit in the stillness and just be aware of the seasonal noises. When you hear your voice, introduce yourself and listen to your own wisdom, beauty and love. Complete this time with a prayer of gratitude for the Divine Intelligence that flows through you.Then notice how life just gets sweeter.