There is something deep within our nature. A guiding light if you will. A voice that always speaks of goodness. A voice that is always moving us towards more love, towards more life.
Can we hear it?
Sitting in silence is an attempt to become in tune with my own self, with my own voice. Now there is nothing to distract me, no noises, no conversations, no pre-occupations, there is only silence.
Yet, I am distracted, still there is noise. Now it is my own ideas, my own thoughts, my own day-dreams. Even as I sit here all alone, in the dark, with no sound to stir me, there is still noise.
For better or for worse, I know that my mind governs me. I see that much of who I am is just a product of thoughts and emotions that float by. How do I discipline my mind to respond with love despite any circumstance in life? As an exercise, I try to bring my attention to the present moment. My breathing is present here, my heart beating is present here, my body is present here. In this moment a feeling arises, that I am alive, that everything is okay in life. That everything is exactly as it should be. Meditation becomes gratitude.
Quickly, however, my mind runs away again. And a paradox blossoms: my mind's running away is also a reality of the new present moment. So I accept this new reality and consciously move my mind back to my body, to my breathing, and to my heart beating. My mind finds its way back home again.
This exercise of bringing my mind's attention back to the present moment becomes the antithesis of addiction. The last thing my mind wants to do is to observe breath coming in and out of the body. It would rather entertain itself with ideas, conversations, and dreams. This exercise helps create discipline, it strengthens my mind.
The more I am able to cultivate this effort, the more I am able to sit with a still mind, the more I am able to respond to life in a manner that is free from my own fears, free from my own insecurities, free from my own beliefs or ideas. It allows me to be available for others. To approach each moment, each task, each person with a sense of freedom, a sense of openness.