When the mind is quiet

will's picture

Notice that when the mind is quiet, often the first thing you feel is anxiousness, restlessness. Notice the urge to constantly be doing something. This is why meditation is so difficult for people. You meditate because you want to relax but instead the opposite occurs! Instead of feeling peace, you become frustrated, and I wonder how many people quickly abandon meditation because of this?

You may feel you're doing something wrong because you feel anxiety when you were expecting peace, or you believe you're simply unable to still your mind. However, this isn't the case at all, and the fact that you're feeling this restlessness, this constant desire to be doing something, is the first step to overcoming it.

One may be led to believe that the restlessness was brought about by the meditation, but it was actually there before you even started, you just weren't aware. The mind combats this feeling by staying constantly busy, always doing doing doing. The mind is constantly restless, and moments of real Peace are few and far between. Real stillness has become something foreign, and this constant anxiousness has become "normal". Of course, because it's "normal" now people are barely aware of how much stress is in their life, especially because of the way our society deals with this anxiety, through distraction.

Nobody wants to feel anxious, it's unpleasant, but the way anxiousness is normally dealt with doesn't eliminate it at all, it just masks it over. People keep themselves very very busy all day long, always something that needs doing. Work, school, chores, television, internet, all of this is often nothing more than a distraction, avoidance. Subconsciously, people want to know themselves, but collectively, we keep looking outside. In our society we place huge value on the external, so what you do largely defines who you are.

To anyone who's really done some soul-searching the absurdity of this should be obvious. What you do is superficial, you can't really know a person based upon their job or their hobbies. While those things may reflect something of what they've discovered and developed within themselves, their real being transcends all of that.

So the question becomes, how do you get deeper? It's so simple, yet so difficult because our whole society is based upon denying this deeper sense of self. We've created a million ways of distracting ourselves from our authentic feelings and only a handful of ways of getting back in touch with them, though in truth there's only one way, and that is you. Even all of the various spiritual techniques and practices very easily turn into dry ritual, and then they're just another distraction. No two people are the same, yet people try to promote this one-size-fits-all type of spirituality!

There's no escape from those feelings of restless and anxiousness that come when you begin to get in touch with what you're really feeling. In fact trying to escape those feelings is what makes them so powerful. Anxiety is born of avoidance, and while constant distractions may mask it, they also make it stronger.

Don't just believe this, make sure you experience it for yourself. Can you really just be still, and do nothing? What happens when you try? For most, one of two things will happen, there will quickly be the urge to go and do something else, or they will get lost in thinking. Both are forms of distraction, we really lack the ability to just be still and feel. Simply feeling without thinking, the simplest thing in the world, yet a lifetime of doing otherwise has made it ridiculously difficult. Something a baby can do effortlessly, yet near impossible for an adult.

If anything is important in life, it's this ability to simply Be. It may seem trivial, even lazy, but it's truly neither of those things. It may seem completely ineffective, like you're doing nothing, but that's not the case either. When you're simply Being, you stop feeding into the chaos of the world. You take a pause, and in that moment you can choose a new direction, you're no longer living unconsciously. Living from that place of Being is how one can really make positive change, within and without. It's not an exclusion of all that doing, in fact it breathes new life into everything you do.


The Galactic Free Press
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