Meditation and Stillness: What’s the big deal?

Undoubtedly you’ve heard the word meditation tossed about in recent years. You’ve been told that it has value, helps reduce stress and anxiety, clears your mind and helps with focus. (If you want more, Deepak Chopra offers much in his article, Why Meditate?)

If you are still not convinced or willing to devote time to a personal meditation practice, I’d like to give you an image that may help.Thank you to Joan Halifax who shared this in her OnBeing interview with Krista Tippett: Buoyancy rather than burnout in our lives.

Imagine a pond after a stone has been thrown in or on a windy day. The surface is busy, moving, unable to reflect the world around it with any kind of accuracy.

Imagine that same pond on a clear, still day. The surface is calm and flat as a mirror, the reflection is pure. Clarity, the ability to see clearly, comes with stillness.

Imagine now your mind as that pond. Your thoughts swirling as the winds around you blow and pebbles of fear, worry and anxiety drop in and ripple out. In all this busyness, how can you possibly be aware of what is actually happening around you? Your conflicted inner world is all-consuming, yes?

Enter Meditation …

… the impact of which includes stilling the thoughts, calming the turmoil, anxiety, worry, stress. What might you be able to perceive from this inner stillness? What might you hear when you aren’t listening to the swirling within?

Try it. Set a timer for one minute, maybe two or ten. Close your eyes and focus on the pond in your mind. Inhale deeply. With each exhale, imagine your thoughts and concerns floating away, one by one.

Sit in your calm reflecting pool.
Listen from the stillness.

What do you sense now?

What is YOUR wisdom?