"Some people think that meditation takes time away from physical accomplishment. Taken to extremes, of course, that's true. Most people however, find that meditation creates more time than it takes." -Peter McWilliams
The world transforms itself to match our inner world. If I have learned only one thing over the last 390 days, this is the essential takeaway. This knowledge, sometimes deeper than my own name, has come to me through practice. Its truth is documented in thousands of books, including some of the oldest scriptures on the planet about the power of the mind to transform our lives.
There is no more powerful life practice than meditation to find the spaces between your thoughts. At first, it is just about learning to pay attention and watch the endless thought parade without needing to act. Just learning to allow thoughts to go by and not needing to do anything but watch them is transforming. It provides a space cushion in daily dealings so that we trust that we have time to respond. Learning to feel the stillness that exists under the thoughts is where the practice of meditation becomes a retreat. Silencing the chatter even for minutes at a time allows you to sometimes hear the quiet, clear voice of acceptance and love.
Now I am able to tell when my reactions are coming from being cutoff from any connection to that voice. It happens to everyone, but a remarkable number of people live in this place day in and day out, never able to recognize that the thing they are most deeply searching for is waiting inside. I can't say how grateful I am to live in that recognition. Today at a monthly business group I attend, I listened as one of our members, an articulate art administrator shared his struggles with the state of things in the art world.
He was bereft and felt out of time and choices, although he was as positive, generous and active as he could be in the local art scene. I asked him if he had a meditation practice and tried to share with him my belief that coming to a peace and clarity in his inner world, may well be all that is missing. He listened respectfully but I am not sure he believed me.
It is a hard sell to those who haven't discovered the power and renewal that comes from making our strongest relationship with ourselves. It is the foundation of every relationship and most other outer manifestations in life. I lived for four decades working tirelessly to get the outer world to reflect me accurately. I wish I hadn't wasted so much time trying to push the river.
Now I have learned how to wade in and hold my own in the river. I know I can keep my head above water so long as I keep searching for the one place in me that will always reflect back who I am truly- and love me for it.
Do this- sit still for five minutes, close your eyes and see if you can find a single moment when there is only stillness.