The Value of Stillness

Some quotes from Tuesday night’s talk:

“Peace is a natural mind-state in every one of us.  Peace has been there since the day we were born and it is going to be there till the day we die.  ….
Experiencing peace is like looking at our hands.  Usually, we see only the fingers — not the spaces in between.  In a similar manner, when we look at the mind, we are aware of the active states, such as our running thoughts and the one-thousand-and-one feelings that are associated with them, but we tend to overlook the intervals of peace between them.” — Thynn Thynn, Living Meditation, Living Insight

‘We tend to be particularly unaware that we are thinking virtually all the time.  The incessant stream of thoughts flowing through our minds leaves us very little respite for inner quiet.  And we leave precious little room for ourselves anyway just to be, without having to run around doing things all the time.  Our actions are all too frequently driven rather than undertaken in awareness, driven by those perfectly ordinary thoughts and impulses that run through the mind like a coursing river, if not a waterfall.  We get caught up in the torrent and it winds up submerging our lives as it carries us to places we may not wish to go and may not even realize we are headed for.

Meditation means learning how to get out of this current, sit by its bank and listen to it, learn from it, and then use its energies to guide us rather than to tyrannize us.  This process doesn’t magically happen by itself.  It takes energy.  We call the effort to cultivate our ability to be in the present moment “practice” or “meditation practice.”‘ — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever Yo Go, There You Are

“We’ve come to believe that the core capacity needed for accessing the field of the future is presence. We first thought of presence as being fully conscious and aware in the present moment. Then we began to appreciate presence as deep listening, of being open beyond one’s preconceptions and historical ways of making sense. We came to see the importance of letting go of old identities and the need to control….Ultimately, we came to see all these aspects of presence as leading to a state of “letting come,”of consciously participating in a larger field for change. When this happens, the field shifts, and the forces shaping a situation can shift from re-creating the past to manifesting or realizing an emerging future.” – Peter Senge