Stillness Within: A Communal Intelligence
In moments of deep stillness, it would seem that Silence surfaces from the deepest recesses of our being. By some mysterious hand of unspeakable ease, Silence offers a Knowing Intelligence that gently lifts us far beyond habits of an individuated “self.” Within a field beyond time and space, there is an inclusiveness that shatters self-imposed limitations. In these moments, I have experienced “a new world” that is both fierce and gentle: fierce in its uncompromising clarity, and gentle in its compelling generosity.
As wonderful as this sounds — and is — I also experience times of painful resistance to the direction of this authentic practice. During these times, I am torn between the desire to stake a personal claim within this field of generosity; and a deeper Knowing that everything turns to dust within its landscape.
The extraordinary edge to this Communal Intelligence is that everything belongs. Everything. Even my desire to personally manipulate it belongs. The paradoxical realization that even my egocentricity is a non-issue, brings with it a palpable heart-response that spills over into my entire body. I experience a fluid freedom that causes my body and psyche to relax. This generous field of “All is Well,” even within the struggle, must be what the mono-theistic traditions refer to as Faith, or Buddhism’s trust in the Dharma. The thrill of these mystical moments is augmented when shared in communion with others. There is no “teacher,” but rather a willingness to lean beyond our separative habits, into the communal nature of the Stillness within.
This prose, written in December 2012, expresses some of the inclusive abundance of this Communal Intelligence, as well as my resistance to it — trying to hold on, to make the experience “something about me.” Like many of us, making life “something about me” has been encouraged and rewarded. And yet, mystical awakenings of deep connection far surpass any fulfillment I might experience within the separative paradigms we fiercely hold as reality. Deep Stillness awakens a Communal Intelligence that is uncompromisingly paradoxical: in both its glory, and in the ruthless mirror it holds before me. It shows me the nothingness of my Allness.
When I listen … deeply …
I am not alone.
Something echoes through my being,
like a distant memory …
It speaks of endless time,
endless tenderness, endless generosity.
As I sit alert, ever more still in response to this energy,
wave after wave of Reality washes through my heart,
which is becoming The Heart,
and I lose track of the identity that entered the experience.
No wonder I have been avoiding Silence Practice lately.
It is no longer about me.
It can no longer be about me …
It is now about Love,
And Love’s story is not about me.
I don’t like the lost feeling when life is not about me,
so I make ugly scenarios in my mind.
I make things up about how much better or worse I am than others,
or what they must be thinking about me.
I really don’t believe any of it, but it keeps me busy enough
to distract me from being nothing
in this dynamic field of Love.
uncompromising, and yet wildly compelling;
disorienting, and yet gloriously up-lifting.
One can never find the separate-self identity here.
It is burned beyond recognition.
The fire of Love is strong,
Liberating beyond comprehension,
and utterly unshakable.
Nothing exists but Her …
“When a man knows the solitude of silence, and feels the joy of quietness, he is then free from fear and he feels the joy of the dharma” (Buddha)
“Be Still and Know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)