Silence at the Center
A couple of weekends ago we had a dynamic gathering of women from different parts of the world here to our home in New Hampshire for a Coming Into Your Own faculty training session. It was one of those experiences that when it gets put on the calendar eight months out all looks spacious and open. By the time the actual program arrived, I had found my calendar in the category of ‘double-booked’ if not ‘triple or quadruple’ ~ Into the midst of this time, Mother Nature decides to add a snowstorm of historic proportion.
As is my temperament, while all this is going on I managed to feel simply present to the moments as they unfolded. It was auspicious that the first day of the training was focused around ‘finding our own place of Center ~ of Being’, where all the participants including me got a chance to not only BE at this place but to think together about the ways we find this again in the midst of all the hectic motion that fills our lives.
What was most interesting to me about all this was when the time arrived and all the people had left our home to return to the four winds, I just assumed I was going to pick up all the other work that had been put on hold for over a week. Instead I found that my body went into what I would call an ‘absolute refractory period’. The most beautiful aspect of this kind of time is that unless my mind remained quiet and empty ~ empty of all the ‘stories of the past and anxieties of the future’ ~ my body would go into complete vertigo.
Rather than being silly enough to attempt to change things, I surrendered to the momentary practice of suspending stories of what had been and letting go of any attempts to think about what needed to be done. Sure enough in about 48 hours all the energy of this time had been sufficiently digested and integrated that I could resume my other external responsibilities.
I share this story in preparation for our upcoming Silent Sunday only because it is precisely the practice of going ‘empty’ that lands me squarely back into myself ~ my Beingness ~ where the place of life filled ‘silence and dynamic emptiness’ resides. This weekend experience and the subsequent need to ‘practice a place of center’ deepened my capacity to find this place much more easily than I have ever been able to before.
May you all deepen & broaden your own ways of finding your place of Center ~ of Being.
Peri and Barbara