Stillness & silence in two forms, and how finding ourselves as it can be profoundly healing

How do we relate to stillness and silence? Is it scary or comforting? Do we see it as other, or can we find it as what we are?

It’s not uncommon in our culture to have some fear of stillness and silence. We are used to distractions.

What we fear is something else. It’s not having distractions and having to meet what’s unprocessed and unresolved in ourselves.

In reality, when we find and sink into the stillness and silence we are, it’s the most peaceful of all. And at a human level, it allows our whole system to relax in an amazing way.

These are two different stillnesses and silences.

THE STILLNESS & SILENCE THAT BRINGS US FACE-TO-FACE WITH UNHEALED PARTS OF OURSELVES

One is stillness and silence that brings us face-to-face with what’s unprocessed in ourselves. This is the stillness and silence of our environment, and the stillness and silence that happens when we are not caught up in our thoughts.

What we fear here is meeting these parts of ourselves. And really, we are fearing what our unexamined thoughts tell us about it.

THE STILLNESS & SILENCE THAT’S PART OF WHAT WE ARE

The other is the stillness and silence inherent in what we are. When we notice and sink into this, we find a peace beyond all understanding. It’s literally beyond understanding since it has nothing to do with thoughts, and thoughts can only very imperfectly reflect it.

Here, the contractions and scary parts of ourselves can also find a deep peace.

We find ourselves as the stillness and silence inherent in what we are. We notice a contraction and unhealed part of us, and the physical sensation component of it. We notice this contraction as also stillness and silence. We rest in this. We invite the contractions to find itself as the stillness and silence it inherently is. We allow it to sink it into it and find deep peace. We allow it it’s own process and timing.

HOW THEY ARE CONNECTED

These are two different types of stillnesses and silences. One is the absence of distractions and brings us face-to-face with what in ourselves we sometimes rather would not meet.

The other is inherent in what we are, and is always here. It’s what takes the form of all our experiences, and it’s inherent in all our experiences.

In a very real way, the second is the answer to the first.

In the first form of stillness and silence, we see the stillness and silence as other. Possibly even as something threatening.

In the second form of stillness and silence, we find it as what we are. And here, all the parts of us living in unrest can find deep rest, peace, and even healing.

MY OWN STORY

After the initial awakening shift in my teens, I became familiar with the stillness and silence inherent in what I am. That was a part of the reason why I loved silent meditation and prayer, and would sometimes do it for hours a day. It was also part of why loved the silence of nature.

About ten years ago, and in a moment of careless bravery, I asked life (the divine, God) to “show me what’s left in me”. (What’s still unprocessed.) Shortly after this, a huge amount of primal fear came up in me. A visceral and profound survival anxiety that prevented me from sleeping and functioning, and felt overwheling, disorienting, and brought me to my knees.

This dread and terror lasted at a strong level for about nine months, and at a slightly lower level for years.

During this time, I got scared of going inside since what met me there was this dread and terror. I would still do inquiry and heart-centered practices like ho’oponopono and tonglen, but silent meditation was difficult for me. What once was my refuge and joy was now my terror.

And now, it seems I am refinding this stillness and silence, much because of my friend Amy and her group focusing on just this.

INITIAL NOTES AND DRAFT FRAGMENTS

Fearing stillness and silence
In reality, noticing/sinking into the stillness and silence we are, is the most peaceful of all, allows our whole system to relax
What we fear is something else, it’s not having distractions and having to meet what’s unprocessed and unresolved in ourselves,

…..

One is the one in our environment that brings us face-to-face with what’s unprocessed in ourselves. What we fear here is meeting these parts of ourselves. And really, we are fearing what our unexamined thoughts tell us about it.

….

DRAFT

It’s not uncommon for us to have some fear of stillness and silence, perhaps especially in our society. We are used to distractions. 

What we fear is something else. It’s not having distractions and having to meet what’s unprocessed and unresolved in ourselves. 

In reality, when we find and sink into the stillness and silence we are, it’s the most peaceful of all. And at a human level, it allows our whole system to relax in an amazing way. 

I am speaking about two different stillnesses and silences here.

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