Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sitting in silence, doing nothing in particular

Sitting in silence, doing nothing in particular

It's nice to take a break sometimes from all the methods, techniques, theories, ideas, conceptual maps, and spiritual pathways we attempt to follow, which ironically are leading back to Nothing.

Of course, the mind, also known as the egoic personality, loves progressive spiritual paths, and all other forms of progression- from New Years resolutions, list making, affirmations, to meditative spiritual pathways. The reason being is that a future is ensured, thus ensuring the survival of the mind or individual personality that we have taken ourselves to be. We now have a reason to continue, a purpose in life, something to aim for, and an identity to live.

Unfortunately, there is no end to progressive paths. Very few, if any people we know or read about don't seem to attain Enlightenment, Buddhahood, Self-Realization, or The Big Mac. This isn't to say that those who do follow arduous paths don't often come across wonderful personal experiences.. new states of consciousness, blissful experiences, and pure clarity. It happens... for a short time. Then back to the path.
Interestingly, those rare people who did seem to attain "The End" in this life, by accident or experimentation, often come across as the simplest of people. They are content to teach or not, and give out the simplest of advice, such as "Be quiet.", "Investigate yourself.", "Be mindful of yourself.", or "Abide in your being-ness".

It's a real treat to be able to set aside 15 minutes, or whatever time one has, and just sit somewhere comfortable, eyes closed, with the intention of having no intention to do anything. Likewise, just sitting in silence, or keeping quiet produces the same effect.

This isn't commonly taught in spiritual schools. How could it be? There would be one class and one instruction taking about 15 minutes. Yet whole movements have grown out of this little seed-like action. The Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) is one such movement, starting in the 17th Century, and still exists today. As one of my own pet favourite groups to visit- anyone from any background can visit a Quaker meeting, and just sit in silence for an hour in the company of others. No instructions, no guiding, no teaching, no advice. Simple, yet profound. I have never come from a meeting where insight didn't manifest in some shape or form.

As individuals though, we have access to all we need to perform this little activity- our own presence and some uninterrupted time. The usual meditative advice applies, being alert and relaxed, upright and in a quiet area. Yet apart from this, the delight of sitting with no instruction, no purpose, and no doing, can really form the seed for profound transformation coming totally from within rather than without.

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