One of the most gorgeous poems I have ever heard is by Franz Kafka. It goes like this:
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
When was the last time you took a dip in your own private oasis? You know, that quiet place where you can go to recharge your batteries, get away from it all, hear yourself think, renew your energy.
Now, I’m not talking about your hot tub, or the neighborhood watering hole, or a glass of wine on the train ride home – albeit all wonderful and worthy things.
And I’m not talking about taking a spin around the social networking sites you belong to, or listening to your IPOD cranked up to the max or texting like a madman while driving (please stop!!).
And I’m not just talking about silence or being alone, although that’s a start. I’m talking about sidestepping the never-ending stimuli that makes up our day. Stepping out of the circle of chatter we all live in. Putting aside all the stuff that fills our brain from the moment we wake up in the morning until we drop off to sleep at night. Giving it all a rest.
Whether we create it or participate in it, we do decide how much to take in and how much to tune out. It’s our natural state to ebb and flow to and from the things that engage us or not – so that we don’t become overwhelmed. It’s so natural that we don’t even have to think about it.
But what are we doing when we tune out? And what are we tuning in to? Are we really getting to that oasis we’re thirsty for? Where we get to just be with ourselves. To contemplate the You-niverse.
Even beyond that, have we mastered the art of quiet contemplation of – well – Nothing? Have you ever tried it? I promise, as a balm for the spirit, it is more delectable than a vat of Ben and Jerry’s and more long-lasting than a week at an all-inclusive.
And it’s available in the blink of an eye. No booting up – no scenery change – no chemicals – no waiting needed. Like Mr. Kafka says, “You do not need to leave your room.” So why not take advantage? Your heart and your mind are dying for a break.
Take A dose of Nothingness
What’s your daily minimum requirement for Nothingness?
You’ve heard of the daily minimum requirement for vitamins and minerals. And most of us are aware of the optimal amount of food, water, exercise, sunshine, human contact and other basic elements we need for healthy living. When we wake up in the morning, we know that a certain amount of time is going to be dedicated to certain things essential to our well-being. We have a plan, even if it’s a hazy notion in the back of our minds.
But how much time do we plan for nourishing our spirit and our soul – that ineffable but somehow very identifiable sense of our larger self? How much time do we allow ourselves each day to disengage from the trappings of everyday life? To reset our state of mind to a place where well-being and happiness begin? To connect with what really drives us – whatever we may call it? To simply be?
What’s the purpose of this? Think of it as a change in venue to a place where you experience yourself “as is”, unencumbered by daily needs, expectations and concerns. Kind of looking behind the curtain of daily life to see what’s driving the train. To simply listen and hear what you cannot hear when you mind is occupied with the stuff of daily life. To be there, when the world freely offers itself to you.
No training required, but practice makes perfect
So what can you do? Where can you start? Is there a book or a website or a blog you can plug into? Sure, but how about plugging into yourself and what you already know? You already excel at tuning out and tuning in – you just need to decide when to tune out and what to tune in to.
A lot of people use mediation to get to this place. It’s something anyone can learn to do. I meditate often and find that it is always beneficial. But I also know that life can be a living meditation, where at any moment in any day, we can decide to flip out of connection to the daily stuff of life and coast along in the space between two thoughts, as it were.
I do it while I’m alone and not engaged with anyone or anything that needs my attention. Surprisingly enough, in my busy day, that provides countless opportunities to immerse myself in nothing special and let amazing realizations bubble up. I’ve been doing it for so long; it is completely natural and effortless.
I also find that certain types of communication, like writing, for example, can be done in a kind of meditative state. When I write, I tend to do that, letting things flow directly from my brain, down my arms, to the keyboard – and seeing what shows up there. We can also enter into amazing dialogues with others when we can let go of preconceived notions and limiting beliefs and open ourselves up to the truth.
Experiment. You will find what works for you. Embrace Franz Kafka’s words. But, however you choose to tune out to tune in, you will know when you have arrived.
It will be as if the universe is whispering in your ear. And the world will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Originally published by www.newjerseynewsroom.com
To your happiness, Wendy Dolber