In a deep and untamed forest, there is both tranquil silence and the roaring sound of life. Which one you notice depends entirely upon where you are coming from. If you wander into the forest after a commute in rush hour traffic, the first thing you probably notice is the deep, soothing quiet. But, if you have spent the entire afternoon wandering through it, it’s not quiet that you hear. It’s a whole symphony of sound. There are birds singing and squirrels jumping; water trickling and leaves rustling. .
In much the same way, we too are simultaneously deep wells of stillness and brimming with mental chatter. Deeper still, we are in a peaceful but not silent place where the wind whispers secrets as it brushes past us. Which of these truths we experience depends upon where our attention has been focused.
In the forefront of our awareness there is the mental noise. It is the endless and often times pointless clamor, much like the honking horns, squealing tires, and roar of rush hour. The boisterous sound of the mind demands our attention but rarely benefits us; we consider it much more important than it actually is. We consciously follow the trains of thought as they twist, turn, and crash into one another. But they never actually reach a destination because the mind will switch from one side of an argument to another and then back again; anything so long as it can keep on making noise.
Once we become aware of this noise, we have stepped into the place behind our thoughts. Here we can find peace and rest because we have rediscovered our true self; the being that observes the thoughts. No longer are we lost within them, where the speaker is ruled by her voice. We have taken back control and wrapped ourselves in silence, tranquility, and calm. This is the deep breath of relief after we take our first steps into the forest, the moment when we notice the deep stillness and bathe in the quiet.
The longer that we remain fixed in this deeper state of awareness and the more that we lean into the arms of that calm, the more that the curtain of silence lifts and we begin to hear the sounds within it, much like the sounds of life within the forest will slowly become apparent the longer that we are in it. When this happens, we have sat down in the seat of our soul, controlled by nothing but aware of everything.
This place of true communion is where the real work happens; it’s where questions that we didn’t even know we had are answered. The only sound is the whispers of spirit. They are subtle but engaging, gentle but compelling. Once we hear them we are rapt because they are not just beautiful; they have meaning and purpose.
The center of our being, where these gentle whispers float by, is so unlike the roar of the mind. We feel safe, loved, and at once exalted yet humbled. It is the home of deeper truths and a place that we would do well to visit as often as we can remember.
When you start to feel uncomfortable, or you feel yourself being pulled down into lower vibrational feelings, take a virtual trip to the forest. Ask yourself where your attention has been and give yourself the time to hear the soft buzz of life in the forest. In doing this, you can continue on confident that you are where you should be and you are going where you are meant to. In doing this, you have everything you need to put the brakes on that thought train, at least for a while, and just enjoy the simple sound of silence.
©2015 Cristen Rodgers
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