My my, how much time has gone by since the last entry. The days fly by until I find myself in my favorite restaurant and I can write a little…
Now, as most of my work has to do with stillness and love , I would like to use this blog to examine the term stillness and how stillness relates to love.
So, first of all, what is stillness?
What is STILLNESS?
I think the best way to explain stillness is by giving you your own experience.
EXERCISE: Please take a moment and be still. This means you close your eyes and observe what is going on in your physical body right at this moment without letting your mind interfere.
You just simply follow the various sensations you feel in your body but don’t think about them.
How long were you able to keep still and remain focused on your inner sensations without your mind starting to chat away.?
Was it 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute? Couple of seconds?
EXERCISE: Please do it again and reaaalllllly keep your focus. Don’t let your mind interfere.
How long could you hold your focus now?
To tell the truth and to be fair, for most people it is impossible to hold the focus for longer than a few seconds at the time before the thinking brain takes over.
Well, that is ok, it’s normal, no worries, no sweat, no stress…..
It’s normal for all of us thinking addicts, but it is not NATURAL.
You see, STILLNESS IS A NATURAL STATE BEYOND THE THINKING BRAIN.
In other words, stillness is a very blessed state where the thinking brain (the one that causes you so much restlessness) is suspended.
Do you know this stillness? Yes you do!
You actually know this state of stillness naturally because this is how you were born.
All the mindclutter came right after that.
HOW CAN YOU BECOME STILLER?
As you have just experienced and as you will frequently observe in your own life, if you take the time, your brain is hardly ever still, even (and especially!!!) if you try.
So what can you do?
There is really only one way to be stiller and that is to practice BEING stiller in all situations of life. You stop thinking when driving a car for instance, or being on the loo, doing dishes, eating etc.
You can be still in all those situations where the body knows exactly what to do already. Don’t try it, just do it.
That sounds certainly easy and you’ll catch yourself thinking a lot but still you keep doing it. It’s the only way.
Wouldn’t it be nice to become stiller by chanting mantras, praying or by reciting sacred texts in the brain, like we have done for thousands of years?
Millions of people do that and report many benefits, no denying that.
But really, if you look closely, mantras, praying or reciting texts and the like involves an active thinking brain, does’n it?
Yes, you certainly change to some degree when you chant mantras, pray or recite holy texts, sure, but YOU WON’T BE STILL!.
That is because stillness is a state BEYOND the brain. In yoga it is called SAMADHI, to give it a name, but really names don’t matter. Giving names activates the thoughts.
It is the experience that counts!
So if it comes down to the nitty gritty, the only thing you can do is to practice MEDITATION.
Meditation means you learn how to suspend your brain and learn how to be alert and aware right now in your physical body as often as possible. And not just by sitting cross legged on the floor.
You can meditate anywhere (car, toilet, dishes, watching TV, mowing the lawn….).
EXERCISE: Give it a go right now. Shut off the brain like you would shut off the TV and feel what it is like inside your body. Circulation, breath, heart beat, warmth, gravitation, body electricity?
If you should notice that your brain gets very active and thinks about what you are doing….doesn’t matter.
It does not matter that you can only do it for a short while; the important thing is that YOU CAN DO IT! Because if you can do it for a short while you will soon be able to do it longer.
WHY IS SENSING THE BODY SO IMPORTANT?
Because the body is the closest thing you have to the ”HERE AND NOW”.
The famous ”HERE AND NOW” is always wherever your body is. It is never in the past (where the thoughts come from) or the future (where the thoughts would like to be).
EXERCISE: For a short while, observe your thoughts. Does not matter what thought it is.
Now observe where that thought comes from?
Would it be true to say that that any thought you have is based on something from the past?
Something you have learned, experienced or have been taught?
And now go on to ponder this:
THOUGHT IS ALWAYS OF THE PAST!
Because thought takes time and stillness is now.
At it’s very best, thought is just a few seconds old (like in a new scientific discovery or a fresh insight).
At it’s worst thought is thousands of years old (and we really love our traditions, don’t we?).
Most people actually carry loads and loads of old, past and outdated information within their brain (psyche).
This has the unfortunate effect of cluttering up clear intuition with the dust of the past and actually introducing time (because thinking takes time). And as our inner focus can hold only one thought at the time, all that old dust covers up the beautiful fresh original you that is so beautiful and living in your body right now .
LAST EXERCISE: Please REALLY SENSE YOUR BODY (AS 100% AS YOU CAN MANAGE) AND THINK AT THE SAME TIME.
What was your experience?
Were you able to observe in your own experience that it is impossible to sense the body and think at the same time? Amazing isn’t it?
And this is why sensing (and enjoying) the physical body so important!
Because the physical body has an inert intelligence that is far far more intelligent than all the things you have ever learned. All the scientists in the world combined have not figured it out yet ( and they never will unless they become still).
If they would have we would not have such a messy existence but a beautiful planet populated by people that live for love and joy.
To sum up:
ALL THE LOVE AND INTELLIGENCE IS IN THE PHYSICAL BODY THAT YOU LIVE IN.
Stillness is a state BEYOND the thinking brain. And this is why you can forget about all your scientific theories, religions, traditions etc…. IF YOUR AIM IS TO BE STILL.
The physical body carries all the love, intelligence and spirituality that you will ever need (This is why it is absolutely ludicrous to deny the body or strive for spiritual transcendence like so many ”spiritual” traditions do.)
Just learn how to BE. You already are the miracle. Humbling and amazing.
Now, if you have some more time, let us examine the connection between love and stillness.
It is my experience LOVE IS ALL THERE IS.
That realization comes naturally to you if you are sufficiently still and anchored in your body.
I will explain.
It is important to understand that when you are living your life in stillness, it does not mean that you are not experiencing anything or reducing your life to a boring nothing in some type of monastery setting, being a flower on the wall while everybody around you has a great time. That is a misunderstanding that I sometimes come across.
Right the opposite is true, in stillness you are actually flat out in the middle of life, sensing everything (because your senses are open when you are in your body)
When you have looked deeply enough into your own life (meaning if you observe yourself through meditation), you will realize that you are largely living your life according to choices you have made based on experiences that have occurred in your life.
Those experiences in turn are mostly based on what you have learned from parents, religion, television, movies, TV, books, the web, social media and talks with other people, right?
So now ask yourself who is actually living your life.
Is it YOU or is it your father, mother, priest, scientist, actor, sports person, some specialist or somebody else significant? How do you know? That is easy, because you can tell by the voices in your head!
So now remember that I said earlier that stillness is BEYOND the thinking brain.
So suppose you chose not to think anymore and instead spend more time in your body.
What would happen to all those people that normally speak in your head and occupy your psyche?
Well, they gradually disappear. Some will stick around like uninvited guests but all eventually all leave as you no longer show any interest in what they have to say. Let the voices go in gratefulness for what you have learned from them.
But what is then actually giving you guidance on how to live your life?
Life within your beautiful body with it’s vast intelligence and even vaster love takes over when you are still.
Does that mean you never ever think again? No it certainly does not. Thinking is essential when living in a society like ours. Every time you plan and organize your life you will need to think. But if you don’t plan and organize you are free to be still and natural and give yourself over to the SOURCE OF LIFE which is LOVE. You can then dance and sing and enjoy being here.
Living in stillness means that your thinking brain is in it’s right place. Your brain is a computer-type biological entity which has vast amounts of stored experiences and learned data which come in very handy when the time and situation is appropriate.
But you need to be able to shut it on and off AT WILL.
Yes, this takes time and and the current ZEITGEIST (the spirit of out time) would suggest that humanity as a whole has a long way to go (It’s just not easy to come away from the thinking addiction and all it’s perks).
But the point here is that it can be done, as you gradually realize that spending time on earth is all about learning HOW TO LOVE MORE AND MORE.
Time is what you have plenty though, until that blessed moment arrives when you stop your ”groundhog day ” experiences and realize that LOVE AND STILLNESS BEHIND IT ALL.