Exploring Quiet

One of my intentions when I began this blog was to post regularly. I was doing that for a number of months and the main reason for posting here is to chronicle my inner journey as I find more focus and clarity. As I learn and become more aware, the clarity is increasing, but the focus is still quite fuzzy.

Small insights have been happening over the last month, and I’d ask myself if it was worth writing an entire blog post about. For example, on Columbus Day, which was on Monday, several friends on FaceBook remarked on how Columbus was actually a horrible person. I kinda knew that already, but to what extent I did not know. Then someone posted a link to my favorite cartoon called The Oatmeal with a historical account of the real Christopher Columbus and it was rather shocking.

Was it worth a blog post, though? Just because I have a way to publish my thoughts doesn’t mean I need to do it every single time something of any significance at all happens.

Introverted, but not shy

I’m a bit of a quiet person by nature. I don’t post a whole lot on FaceBook or Twitter. I like to comment on others’ posts, but I don’t normally put myself out there on social media. If there is nothing to say, I’m simply silent.

Over the last month, nothing earth shaking has been happening on my journey of self-exploration. I’ve also been prioritizing getting more paintings finished and photographed, like the one you see above. So writing has gone down on my to-do list, but it is something that has gone on in the back of my mind – I should be writing about this, I’d think.

To me, writing is like speaking – you’re putting something out there that you want people to be aware of, through reading or listening. If you’ve decided to write a blog, you are encouraged to write every day or at least several times a week. But what if you don’t have anything meaningful to add? There’s already so much mental diarrhea spilling over the internet I don’t want to add to it. I will not write or speak unless it is useful. That is part of the 8-Fold Path to the end of suffering.

The power of silence VS habit

Vipassana meditation retreats are held in silence. Silence stills the mind, and a stilled mind is open to wisdom and awakening. When I get up so early every morning, it is so that I can meditate in as much a quiet environment as possible, before the commuting traffic becomes noisy. Silence is that space between sounds where you find your being.

Seems like every spiritually aware person has said this or something similar, and so I have been filling my gaps of time with silence instead of entertainment – whether through radio, podcast or surfing the web on my tablet. I don’t watch television, so these other forms have increased over the years.

It is not easy though, because these are habits, deeply entrenched compulsive habits. I made an effort over the summer to cut down on the audio input by eliminating most of the time I listen to the radio. I am still greatly tempted though and I still do listen, but not near to the extent I used to.

I need to cut it out even more because I find that I have want to listen to the radio to fall asleep at night, even though I don’t remember a thing that was said later on. First thing in the morning it is VERY tempting  plug my ear buds in and listen to the news as I lay down on the sofa and wait for my coffee to brew. A clear gut feeling told me one morning not to do it when my compulsion was strong.  Useless radio last thing before sleeping and first thing upon rising does not induce that space of silence that connects with your being.

More ideas in the works

But I don’t plan to stay quiet for another month. Now that my seasonal work with the school district has come to a close, I have more time in the mornings and a greater chance to share with you an idea I have.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am deeply affected by Eckhart Tolle’s books. I have finished The Power of Now and have already listened to the audiobook version of A New Earth. I’m listening to it a second time now, and was also pleased to discover that Oprah has a webcast series on YouTube featuring Tolle and A New Earth where they discuss each chapter in an hour and a half show.

What I would like to do is write about my experience with each chapter and invite you to share yours as well. We can get a discussion going in Google Plus or here in the comments.

 

 

 

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