Being fully present in moments of silence, we can experience deep connections – with ourselves, with nature, with God, and with other human beings. This mindfulness and connection feels so rare these days….
So often I find myself in the habit of moving mindlessly from one activity to another. Our lives are bombarded with messages and images from news, advertising, and social media.
But where is our time for processing experiences? For taking the messages and images and translating them with deep thought and emotions? Is this how we become as a culture numb and immune to the suffering of others? Or succumb to a sense of overwhelm?
I recently had a very deep and meaningful experience that I will not even attempt to translate into words here for fear of failing miserably and destroying the beauty of it. But it was as though I had the opportunity to step outside of the dizzying pace of our modern life and to feel a profound sense of peace and connection.
As I take time today to digest this experience, I realize how it only became possible through the mindfulness and presence of my mentor and teacher Kathleen. She has an amazing ability to create and hold sacred spaces.
I am not speaking of physical spaces, but of emotional ones. This experience was with a group, and the level of intimacy, trust, and comfort we shared together was unlike anything I have ever experienced within a group outside of my family. I felt and experienced true unconditional love in a community. And it gave me hope.
“When we see the Beloved in each person, it’s like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us.” — Ram Dass
We spend our lives feeling so separate from one another. Believing that we are alone. In rare moments we feel our connection, but then the feeling passes and we believe it to be an illusion.
It is no illusion. But unless we remain mindful and present, the tenuousness of our attached souls evades us.
I have to admit, during the weekend, there were times when I felt myself impatient to move on to the next moment, to the next experience. I recognize now that I was resisting. Resisting the present moment. Which is both sad and disturbing. How can we rush through moments of beauty and joy? Hurtling through life how often do we lose the opportunities to experience the very reason for living?
I am alone today. For the first time in a very, very long while I have a chance to experience a stretch of quiet uninterrupted alone time. I could be doing so many things that need doing. Or I could be avoiding these activities with the mindless distraction of the news, a movie, or searching the internet. But I find these mindless activities leave me feeling the same as I do after over-indulging in junk food – dissatisfied, a little sick feeling, and still hungry for nourishment.
Instead I have chosen to spend my time thinking, writing, and creating. These activities always, always leave me feeling nourished and rested. And while I go about my day in solitude, I will be digesting the wonderful experience of my weekend. And pondering on how I can hold onto the sense of connection.
“We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them.” — Ram Dass
Some questions for you –
Do you ever feel alone and disconnected from others, from yourself, from life?
Do you feel bombarded by information and and obligations?
How can you step back and feel grounded again?