The Big Sur silence seemed to eat me from the inside out… I’d wake each morning and walk to the bench and just sit and practice being totally still. Even on the third day of total surrender, the thoughts still raced thru my mind.
Silence like this cooked me. I got so still that I could hear my blood flowing thru my body and my heart was like a drum.
I walked forever up and down the 2 mile road… I waited to find something, to have one of those insane mythical experiences people tell stories about. Eventually I dropped that desire as well.
On my last day, the monks were chanting as I pulled away… I’d made it alone and silent a week. I had no grand insight, no life altering idea… just silence and space and emptiness.
Later, I asked them what was the point.. they said most days they weren’t so sure but then someone like me comes along and asks the question and they remember the mission of it all…. creating space for nothing to happen.
“Let go of your constant strife to sustain and assert the idea of who you are. It is this massive effort of defining your identity that keeps you wedged in the chronic routine of comparisons and conflicts with whoever and whatever appears to threaten this idea. If you have tried to assert yourself for many years and you have accomplished nothing, then be honest and do something different. Just be nothing. Try it for one day. Release your idea of being yourself, and just be nothing, be the void. And as you are being nothing you may realise that you can be all that is” ~Franco Santoro
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