“Stop. Please, just stop.”
David Carse, “Perfect, Brilliant, Stillness.
The next lines which followed the above quote were:
“Stop talking, stop objecting. Just for a moment
let quietness happen.
Notice how you cannot do that, you cannot bring that about. Notice how objections and judgements and resistance continue to arise…”.
Yup, the constant internal commentary. It just goes and goes and goes. So how do we stop it? What I’ve come to see is that we don’t. Wait…, what? So how do we find peace, quietness, and serenity if we aren’t going to stop the incessant chatter going on within. We don’t stop it because in actuality it just continues to ramble on no matter what. Trying to stop it would be like trying to push the river back upstream. Instead let the goal become attuning and attending towards something which is beyond the constant chatter; both internally and externally.
When I was on retreat a Colorado artist, Jordan Wolfson jordanwolfson.com, was in attendance and I felt a strong pull to see his art. I tracked him down in the hallway and told him so. When he pulled up his work and I silently moved through the images of one of his series ,** my mind suddenly fell into the background, and a profound Presence whooshed into the foreground. I actually had to pause mid-way because I was so “mind blown.” Attuning to his work brought me to a place beyond “that secondary level of thought: opinion, judgment, commentary… comparing, sifting, learning, struggling, imagining, feeling, thinking…” (Carse). Inner and outer stillness occurred; all need for any “other thing” stopped. There was just the Grace of immediate, full, silent, perfection.
You see, just like a stunning view, a moving piece of music, a perfect run, gazing deeply at someone you love, surrendering to sensual touch, getting lost in creative flow, you can direct your focus towards actions and experiences that connect you deeply to a full sense of Aliveness; unshaken by mental whims. Jordan’s work created what Rupert Spira described as a “vertical intervention of reality” into the horizontal dimension of time. In other words, it was like a Cosmic karate chop interrupting my habitual mind patterns- it stopped me. What a profound relief. And what was even more beautiful is that he could sense my inner response, and we could then share in a mutual understanding of the joy of getting stopped.
“Find ways to let life stop you;
Become stunned by beauty, love, taste, touch, scent.
Then let yourself fall back even further,
into the sweetness of Being.”
** SONG CYCLE WITH BLUE CLOTH