Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stillness Speaks

It seems like the message of "being still and silent" keeps showing up in my life so obviously it is a message I need to hear. It's been the primary message in the two books I'm reading right now and the focus of the last two homilies at church. Clearly, God is working on me and wants me to understand and practice the act of being still and silent. It is the one practice that truly allows you to connect to that inner spirit and be present and open to divine guidance. It is a place free of stress and anxiety. Being silent and still allows you to disengage from the constraints of time and space and just simply "be". I'm learning to discover that it is in that place of just "being" that the true essence of who we are can be found and heard.

In being completely still and silent, we disconnect from the endless mind chatter that seems to rule our thoughts every minute of the day and connect with the divine presence that is in each and every one of us. We can go searching everywhere outside for answers but the real answers lie within and we need to recognize that the inner-reflection and space we make to be silent will allow those answers to be heard. The answers don't lie in the past or in the future, they lie right here, right now in the present moment. When we go outside the present moment to seek the answer, we immediately disconnect from that divine presence and allow external thoughts and forces to guide us and it is in that moment that stress and anxiety enter into the process of finding the answer. God just "is"; He is not bounded by a past or a future, He just "is" as stated in Exodus, 3:14, "I AM THAT I AM" and we're reminded again in Revelation 22:13, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." God is purely present and for us to connect with Him, we need to be purely present as well. The act of being purely present lies in the stillness of our hearts and minds as we are reminded again in Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." To know God is to be still and listen.

God knows the desires of our heart and is eagerly waiting to lead us to them. "For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also" – Luke 12:34. Our ego will not lead us to that treasure, we have to tap into our inner spirit and that happens when we become still and silent. I am awed by the realization of this and know it is a message worth spreading!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A new view on the “problems” in our life

I just finished the chapter in Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now" that really stretched my thinking and radically shifted my concept of what a "problem" really is. Tolle initially makes a statement that "all problems are the illusions of the mind" which immediately took me aback and actually made me a little angry. My first thoughts where "Why would anyone want to create problems in their life?", "They are anything but an illusion!" and "Aren't problems a natural course of living and it is our role to learn how effectively find a solution"? But as I read further, I really began to understand where he was coming from in making this statement and it really shifted how I view problems now.

Problems simply exist when we are unwilling to take action. We live in indecision and as such are not living in the "NOW". What really helped me best understand this was his analogy about being in a life or death emergency situation. If you've ever been in that situation, you'll understand the concept that you're mind didn't have time to process it as "a problem". Your adrenalin is pumping and you are completely present in that moment. You are not weighing your options, you are taking immediate action. You not allowing past conditioning of your mind to play into your actions at that moment. You are totally aware and present and tapping into your intuitive response to that situation. For example, if a loved one was in a car crash and you had to quickly get them out of that vehicle, you would not sit there and postpone taking action to evaluate your options. You'd be fully present in that moment and immediately do whatever it takes to get that person out of the car. You'd trust that inner voice with complete faith and take immediate action based on its' guidance. I then understand what Tolle was referring to when he said problems exist when we're not willing to take action. "Problems really are just situations that need to be dealt with or accepted", as he puts it. When we add the element of time to that situation, our mind takes that situation and creates it into what we perceive to be "a problem". It means we have decided to not take action on that situation now and allow that situation to survive and take on an identity within our lives. And once we do this, we take on the burdens that come with carrying problems around – guilt, resentment, fear, anxiety just to name a few. I can now see the truth in his statement, "When we you are full of problems, there is no room for anything new to enter, no room for a solution."

While it will take me awhile to fully grasp this concept and consistently apply it in my life, I feel he's provided the seeds that will help nurture that process. I will forever be more aware and present anytime I perceive a problem to exist and try to separate it from the element of time by taking action on it right away.