I wrote the following in February, 2013, ‘Truth is found in silence and stillness. It is not found in activity. Doing ritual practice, reciting mantra, studying Buddhist philosophy and participating in voluntary work are all good things to do, and are very helpful in putting you on the right path. But they are activities and so your mind is agitated. Truth will only come when you sit down and meditate. When your mind is calm, still and silent.’
I was recently sitting on a bench, in a busy shopping centre, people watching, and these words came back to me. I was observing people frantically rushing from pile to post. I started to wonder if they ever just sat in stillness and silence, or did they spend their lives on full speed ahead. When was the last time you just sat in silence, not planning the future or worrying about the past? Can you even remember?
We rush around, filling every waking hour, trying to get some peace and happiness in our lives, but the irony is, these cannot be found in activity. We may be able to find fleeting moments of happiness, but they are soon gone and we are back to having that uneasy feeling in our mind. Calmness can only be found in stillness and silence. Not the silence you get from turning off your iPod, but the silence of just sitting and letting your thoughts be.
How happier life would be if we just spent ten to fifteen minutes a day just watching our thoughts arise, and then just letting them be. Not engaging with them, just observing them. Not judging them, just watching them come and go. Not being engrossed with what has happened or what we want to happen, but just engulfing ourselves in the stillness of the moment. Oh how our lives would be so much calmer and more peaceful.
I know this sounds very simplistic, but actually this is what can happen when we give ourselves the time to just be. Don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Commit to sitting in silence, just observing your thoughts coming and going, for ten minutes a day for 21 days, and I assure you, you will feel the difference.
Our lives are complicated enough, so shouldn’t we take the time to just sit in stillness and release some of our tension? It seems like a no-brainer to me.