This Quiet Mind is essential for the change you want to see in the world, the change you can be. As I read down the passage, paragraph by paragraph, insight after insight, I was reminded that attentiveness is awareness, and being aware is a practice.
I remember my first meditation class. I was very fortunate to be in the presence of a wise young teacher who guided us through a quieting practice that asked only that we be attentive to the patterns of thought and what arose for us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually with those thoughts. We were reminded that thinking is human. Quiet mind does not imply ‘no thinking’. Quiet mind meant being at ease with thoughts swirling and twirling, and actively releasing attachment to these thoughts.
For over a half century of my life, meditation as a term was defined as an ancient form of religious practice that I was taught to avoid because of the eternal ramifications. Now, of course, I realize meditation as the amazing calm that flows when I am at peace with everything and anything going on around me and within me. I know nothing is outside me. I am That…and there is much peace in this quieting, allowing, and releasing. This has been the journey toward experiencing what is real.
This experience of calm and quiet does not indicate at all that my life is rosy and perfect in the eyes of my culture. I am also deeply affected by the suffering of others. However, being able to focus instantly and to be fully present with the suffering has been the practice. Listening within and awareness through attentiveness gives grace and space to experience this life one breath after the other, mindfully and deeply. Susi Hately Aldous wrote “Where attention goes, energy flows, and awareness grows.” Living moment by moment, and remembering this as practice, is helpful in developing skills to focus. This second half of a century for me is developing clarity through a daily yoga practice. I also have the honor of guiding others, especially young ones, to thrive in the ‘rich experience of knowing a quiet mind’, as the author states. Yes, this knowing is present within each of us, within the Big Mind at the heart center, and within the intuitive center of the Third Eye, and even better, within each cell of our body and the Light we vibrationally emit by our presence at this time in this moment.