Getting in My Own Way

Sometimes I have plans to sit quietly at home in the evening and enjoy a meal without television, internet or a book.  I usually am completely unsuccessful in these attempts.  At one point I thought I was avoiding the loneliness of eating alone again, and maybe that was a small part of it, but there’s more to it.  I have a hard time sitting still.

As I begin to study more about spirituality (in tremendous contrast to religion) I find that I avoid, run from, am maybe even a little afraid of that which I seek after the most.  I want to connect to that which is bigger than I.  I want to know my own soul and hear its truth and its direction.  I want answers I know I already possess, but I’m afraid to sit and listen.  I am afraid to be still and know that I am God.  (Typing that last sentence freaked me out because, as a partial quote from the Bible, my use of it will surely be interpreted as blasphemous by many. )  But it’s true– the thought of sitting and contemplating my power and my connection to everything, the thought of quieting my thoughts to find what exists beyond them entices and scares me at the same time.

I don’t feel trepidation or anything.  I’m not shaking in my boots when I think about meditating or praying or just being still and quiet – but I avoid it.  Even this weekend, as quiet and peaceful as it was, I had my books.  My mind had to remain constantly engaged.  You may have read the list in the previous post.  I am addicted.  I thirst for knowledge and am addicted to ideas.  I am beginning to realize that my addiction to ideas is impeding true knowledge—the knowledge that only comes from going within.  I sound like some freaky mystic, but I know that what I say is true.  I am avoiding myself.  I’m afraid that I am more than I ever could have imagined and I’m not sure how I’ll handle that knowledge.

I want to hear from folks who have taken the journey within.  Share your stories with me.  How did you get past the fear of the silence?  How did you force yourself to be still?  Is it incremental?  A daily practice?  A month long retreat?  Please share.