There is a Tremendous Power in Quiet –


– and more often than not we do not allow ourselves the time to be still and to notice ourselves. And so tonight, let us dedicate the next few hours, with the sounds of the city around us, to a quietness which is utterly respectful, has no dimension of coercion and no particular philosophical precepts that we must live up to.

We’re going to look at our lives right now, in this quiet and private space with the eyes closed, as if nothing is wrong. And the only way that we can look at our lives in that way is to allow the narrative spokesman, the voice that is constantly babbling inside the head, to rest. Let us turn our attention to the body, and particularly to the heart and the area around the heart.

If we choose to participate in tonight’s journey, the wisest way to do so is not by listening from the intellectual sphere, the informational mechanism of the mind, but to come down into the heart, into that quiet deep space where all things can be embraced, and where all things can be understood.

If our participation is going to be complete, then we must add to our experience of the heart an observation of ourselves. We observe our reactions to these words, or we follow the words in such a way that they lead us to understandings about ourselves. These understandings are not a new kind of information that we carry away from this circle and then put aside for some other day. These are living experiences.

The work that we do tonight in the circle consists of being with the body and observing ourselves from that internal space. It is necessary for the body to cooperate in order for learning to take place. We enhance this cooperation by noticing our breathing. Be aware of the breathing. . .

If the breathing is unrestricted, easy and relaxed, then we can see that giving and receiving are natural processes, an undeniable part of what it means to be alive. I take into myself, and I give away. I am always doing this. It is an endless process. Those who have come before me have done this, and those who will come after me, will do this. They will be breathing beings on this planet, taking in the gift and offering the gift, taking in the gift and offering the gift. . .

To come to ourselves in a new way is crucial. It’s vital. To come to ourselves in a new way is part of what it means to turn toward that radiant life which is transcendent of this life of form. To turn towards ourselves in a new way requires that, from time to time, we give up our thoughts, because our thoughts only carry the past. We come to the heart, our feeling life, and we engage in a kind of participation with our feelings that is very difficult to do when thoughts reign. . .

We can also notice that there is sometimes a confusion between feelings and thoughts. Let us  see if, together, we can disentangle ourselves from that confusion by recognizing that a thought is not a feeling. Sometimes thoughts are so clustered around a feeling that it seems as if the definition is the feeling.

In the end the feeling is different from the thought. From this comes a beautiful awareness about ourselves and about our possibilities here. The body feels. The body feels. When it feels loneliness, it is unmistakably in the body. When it feels love, it is in the body. When it feels anger, that too is felt in the body.

A prayer is felt as a yearning to be released. and when that release comes, at least while we are on this earth, when we do feel love, when we do feel beyond the limits that we have set for ourselves, when we do feel outside of our dense earthly concerns, that release will also be felt in the body. Bliss comes to the body. Loneliness comes to the body, and the mind comments, and comments, and explains.

It is very easy to misunderstand our lives. It is very easy to assume, for instance, that communication is a thought process, one mind speaking to another across a gap of space, and not a feeling process. . .

The body is a visible portion of an invisible energy field. This room is filled with that energy. It is filled with energies which pulsate from the heart, the solar plexus and the front of the body in general. These energetic emanations represent our friendships, our loves, our understanding, our compassion, our purification and our peace.

Whenever a human being attempts, out of fear, to hold back these emanations, to restrict them, to confine them, to not let them get near someone else, we encounter loneliness, pain, and the agony of emptiness. Our fear increases.

More than anything else we want to know that we are not alone. This wanting is understandable and real. We want to know, as a feeling, not as a philosophical idea, but as a feeling, that we are not alone.

copyright 1993 Stephen Robbins Schwartz

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