To go to the bed of the Dark One [Krishna].
Body and mind, Mira wears only the color of God.
*Robert Bly. Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems.
The Way is secrecy and silence. Within us is a deep well of contentment, a vast, all-embracing silence into which we relax and through which all good appears to us. Seek the atmosphere of Godís presence and rest; seek the consciousness of His presence. "In quietness and in confidence shall be our strength" [Isaiah 30.15, AV]. He leadeth us beside the still waters and into green pastures [see Psalm 23.2, AV] that we may rest from strife, from struggle, and from effort, and behold the glory of God risen round about us. ... In this understanding, we have entered that sanctuary where the noises of the world never reach, and where the troubles of the world never penetrate. Where is this? It is in the very depths of our own consciousness, in the very depths of our own Soul, when we have refrained from strife, from struggle, and from taking thought.
*Joel S. Goldsmith. Practicing the Presence.
You see, out of this aloneness comes a virtue that is virile and which brings an extraordinary sense of purity and gentleness. It doesnít matter if one makes mistakes; that is of very little importance. What matters is to have this feeling of being completely alone, uncontaminated, for it is only such a mind that can know or be aware of that which is beyond the word, beyond the name, beyond all the projections of imagination.
*Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti.
* * *
Over five months ago, I left a job and entered a season of waiting. Not waiting in a sense of desperation, anxious as to when I would sense an inner summons, or readiness, to seek employment or move, or both, or simply to write self-employed. I am still in this season. I am doing much work, and much of it is inner, some outer. Persons ask me, "What have you been doing?" I cannot tell them. I try. I need to stop trying. The society I live in knows little of inner work, and sees worth attached to employment, income, a house, ... I have few, if any, markers of this success, if you wish to call it that; yet, I cannot recall a time in my life of being more fulfilled and at-peace. Wonderful happenings happen, even if subtle, when we allow space for it, and this does not require a set season apart, as I am engaged in presently. Or you may be summoned to enter such a sanctuary time apart. Either way, the well of contentment Goldsmith speaks of is always here, wherever you are.
* * *
One message I saw inwardly, when leaving the job, was not to do anything out of desperation during this season. Also, during a month silence I saw guidance as to this: "Let the road meet you." And I envisioned a spontaneous sight of a highway literally lifting itself up and moving toward me.
I have realized, from past experience, desperation is not helpful when being receptive to inward Guidance. Desperation, an obtrusive energy expressing fear, blocks listening inwardly, the flowing of Grace.
Still, let us not misunderstand listening, for here is not meant trying to hear something, effortfulness to receive guidance, nothing like that. Joel Goldsmith speaks of this, "The Way is secrecy and silence. Within us is a deep well of contentment, a vast, all-embracing silence into which we relax and through which all good appears to us." He refers to this "atmosphere of God's presence and rest." Maraibai says here she meets her Lover, Krishna, and wears only her Beloved, being divested of herself, only Grace. Yet, we can use nonreligious imagery to refer to the same fertile spaciousness, if we choose. The key is this inwardness, this sanctuary, is a space for relaxing effort even to listen, to be anyone, to get anything. Then, from this atmosphere of relaxed receptivity, we can see what arises. Yet, we cannot control the timing or content of what arises. We cannot manage receptivity. The moment we begin to try to listen, listening stops. This is like a door opening on its own, and if we grab the handle and try to open it, the door is held in place by our trying to move it from its place.
* * *
So, you can invite receptivity, now, by
simply stopping, breathing in and out naturally.
Sounds arise and leave.
Feelings come and go.
Sensations arise and fall away.
When a thought shows up, let it move on, disappearing back into nothingness.
Thoughts arise, but do not engage in thinking.
Often, when doing this, one feels being fitted into a calm spaciousness, a quiet flowing, and, at times, everything drops.
Yet, even if you do not feel this well of contentment arise, that is okay. Sometimes it does, sometimes not, likely for everyone doing this.
So, this is simple, not esoteric, not difficult.
This is an organic process of awakening more deeply, to now,
without attachment to anything ~ this inward intimacy is not a thing to aspire for, get, try to keep.
One need not call this meditation, contemplation, religious, spiritual, ... anything.
If calling this something helps, good, do so.
Wherever you are, this always is.
* * *
So, as I noted yesterday in affirming we cannot think apart from engaging solitude, this solitude is aloneness. "What matters," observes Krishnamurti, "is to have this feeling of being completely alone, uncontaminated, for it is only such a mind that can know or be aware of that which is beyond the word, beyond the name, beyond all the projections of imagination." And this is the listening, a guidance not of words, even if arising to us in words. At times, we will have an image, at other times a sense of subtle feeling. Sometimes, we will receive a mixture of means of discernment.
Yet, how can we hear, without an inner solitude, whereby we drop our clinging to all thought, which is based on memory, and rest nakedly in this one moment ~ not trying to receive anything, so being open to receive or not, and in this we at least receive the peace of solitude itself?
* * *
Then, I refer you to what I call the first listening. This listening is not any guidance. This listening is simply the being-with the silence, the secrecy, the intimacy of Life. This, too, is listening, and listening arises from this first listening. When in the Quiet, we may go long periods of time with no clear guidance, yet we relax into and listen to the Quiet. This Quiet is the most beautiful ever heard, the content before all contents.
* * *
Joan Tollifson, in Bare-Bones Meditation, shares of a session with her late spiritual teacher, Toni Packer: "Do you have the essence? Tony askes. If you have the essence, the future will emerge. ... You have to stay open. See what happens."
This is the secrecy and silence Goldsmith refers to. No one can enter this sanctuary, this inwardness, for you. And no one can be there with you; you alone were born from here, you alone live from here, you alone will die into here again. We each have this intimate inwardness. We can live among others, worship with them, meditate with them, do any number of things with them, yet this aloneness is a withinness given only to us each, so intimate to our particularity no one can enter it with us, even if he or she were in silence and secrecy beside us. Solitude can meet solitude, but no one can enter your solitude, no one can wait in your place there, no one can receive for you there, no one can love for you there.
* * *
We are too prone to go to other persons for guidance. Nothing wrong with that. Often this can be helpful. Yet, also, we need to learn to trust more this secrecy and silence, learn how to stay there and not run away into advice. As advice can help, advice can muddy the waters. If seeking guidance from someone, likely better someone who facilitates your own openness to listen, not someone with ready-made answers to give you. When we can wait alone in this sanctuary, sitting in the well of contentment, we grow to be more trusting and patient, we learn to be and listen for ourselves. We grow to be more comfortable with the discomfort of nothing happening, our looking at the door, refusing to try to open it, and even playful and cheerful with the not-knowing. We may even find it oddly humorous persons walking all around and being so certain they are actually walking in the right direction.
* * *
Could it be this secrecy and silence, this patient waiting, is more powerful than assumed in societies defined by action, not waiting, hurriedness, not patience, anxiety, not calm, getting, not receiving, greed, not gratitude? We are all needed, however, and our different ways can join together, if we allow. I see no hope for this world, unless there remain persons who listen, who can bear the pain and bliss of solitude.
*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at firstname.lastname@example.org .
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.
The Sacred in Me bows
to the Sacred in You