In a world as busy as ours is today, with its myriad elements competing for our attention at seemingly every turn, stillness often seems like a rare commodity. The distractions that pervade our existence make the pursuit of this elusive state of mind quite a challenge indeed. But, as daunting as the quest might seem at times, it’s worth it, for, once we find ourselves ensconced in the quiet power of stillness, we’re able to access all kinds of amazing personal treasures, some of which we may have never known existed.
Stillness is important in many ways, chief among them being that it allows us to more easily connect with—and make use of—our intuition, one of the two key components (along with intellect) that drive the conscious creation/law of attraction process. And that’s significant, since intuition is, arguably, the more powerful of the two components—and the one we most often underutilize.
Sadly, the way intuition works is generally not well understood. As author Caroline Myss noted in her landmark audio course Energy Anatomy (Sounds True, 1996), many of us tend to think that all things psychic, like intuition, are innately flashy, with clouds parting, angels singing and fireworks exploding, a notion Myss attributes to Hollywood’s bombastic, overdramatized portrayal of such matters. In actuality, she explained, intuition announces its arrival quietly, as if it were sneaking in on cat’s paws, whispering messages in our ears in those all-too-rare moments of … stillness. Which is why being able to attain a state of stillness is so vital, for it allows a host of meaningful insights to slip through; should we fail at this, though, we run the risk of letting such inspirations slip away instead.
Clearing our minds of the daily clutter is essential to reaching a state of stillness. This allows us to really listen to those quiet little messages when they arrive. However, disposing of the mental flotsam may be easier said than done.
Ironically, while we try to quiet our minds, they may become annoyingly chatty, relentlessly reminding us of all the things on our to-do lists, replaying the day’s events in minute detail and venturing off on all kinds of tangents that have nothing to do with the task at hand. Buddhists often refer to this as “the monkey mind” at work, an attention-seeking extension of our ego that, if left unchecked, can run rampant like an unruly chimp, keeping us from being in the moment to attain the stillness and quietude we seek. And it can be incredibly persistent in its need for recognition, so much so that not even telling it to “shut up!” may be enough to get it to pipe down.
It is possible to silence the monkey mind, but it’s a process that often requires considerable practice and patience. Meditation and/or various types of yoga can aid in this significantly, though they frequently must be practiced for a while before results become apparent. Some practitioners may grow frustrated and impatient about this, especially if progress is slow, leading them to prematurely abandon these regimens.
So, for those who are unable or unwilling to make a commitment to such practices, there are some alternate means that can be drawn upon to “trick” the monkey mind into quieting down. These other methods allow us to attain stillness relatively easily and thereby make it possible to access all of the benefits that such a state of mind affords. Here are four possibilities to consider:
- Put yourself in a different environment. Removing yourself from familiar surroundings—especially those riddled with distractions—can effectively put you in a different state of mind, one that promotes stillness. Getting out into nature, for instance, can be a terrific tonic. Forests, mountains, lakes and seashores are all great destinations, providing the kind of solitude that one needs to quiet the mind. The awe-inspiring scenery of such locales makes it easy to forget about everyday issues and thus leave the mind open to receiving intuitively based inspirations. It’s no wonder we often come back from trips to such places with refreshed minds and new perspectives.
- “Zone out.” Busying yourself with a mundane chore, where your mind is preoccupied with completing the task at hand, allows you to “zone out” and free up your mind, a perfect condition to allow the state of stillness to set in. Washing dishes, folding laundry and gardening are all great examples of tasks that allow you to slip into the stillness zone, a place where the intuition is free to work its magic. For me, such intuitive flashes seem to come most often when I’m bathing (I can’t tell you how many insights have popped into my head while reaching for a shampoo bottle). Strange as it might seem, when I need to address a question where the answer eludes me, I usually head for the showers!
- Try a guided visualization. If you’re unable to escape into nature and/or you have a staff of servants to handle all your household chores, then consider trying a guided visualization to slip into stillness. The state of mind one experiences in a guided visualization is much like what one experiences in a meditative state, although it’s more directed and less free-form given that it contains prompts on where to channel your consciousness. By its nature, a guided visualization may not leave us open to as many avenues for exploration as we would have available in an unguided meditation, but, considering the state of stillness it engenders, it nevertheless allows us to retrieve intuitive information that might not otherwise be accessible in a normal waking state (or in a frame of mind where the monkey mind holds sway). Visualizations can be conducted in-person with a trained guide, or they can be recorded on tape or CD for solo listening. Some incorporate music or nature sounds to promote relaxation, and their scripts can be targeted to address specific subjects or questions. Some of the exercises in which I’ve participated, for example, have addressed such issues as “dismissing your critic,” “shopping at the store of desire” and “getting the message I’m meant to hear,” all of which yielded rewards beyond expectations.
- Listen to your dreams. If you find it difficult to achieve stillness in your waking life, then seek it out during your sleeping state, particularly in your dreams. With all of the daytime diversions removed, you’re free to leave your mind open to whatever information needs to come through, much the same way an intuitive insight would come to you in a waking state of stillness. This practice can be particularly effective if you develop it in tandem with improving your dream recall abilities. Such was the case with my partner once when he had an idea for an original song come to him in the dream state, one that he remembered upon awakening. This might not seem especially extraordinary for someone who makes a living as a composer or a musician, but, for someone like him, who’s not actively engaged in the business at the moment, it’s apparent that this was a potent message destined to come through once a suitable channel became available for its conveyance—one made possible by a state of stillness.
The quiet power of stillness is not to be underestimated. In fact, it may bring you far more than you expect. Indeed, it’s truly amazing how much can ultimately come out of something as simple as a little peace and quiet.
Copyright © 2015, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.
A lifelong movie fan and longtime student of metaphysics, Brent Marchant is the author of Get the Picture?!: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies(ISBN 978-1505570166, 2014) and Consciously Created Cinema: The Movie Lover’s Guide to the Law of Attraction (ISBN 978-1495976643, 2014), both of which provide reader-friendly looks at how the practice of conscious creation (also known as the law of attraction) is illustrated through film. He’s currently working on several additional publishing projects as well.Brent maintains an ongoing blog about metaphysical cinema and other self-empowerment topics on his web site (www.BrentMarchant.com). He is also Featured Contributor, Arts & Entertainment, for VividLife magazine (www.VividLife.me) and a regular contributor to New Consciousness Review magazine and radio (www.ncreview.com). His additional writing credits include submissions toLibrary Journal, BeliefNet, New Age News and Master Heart Magazine. He’s a frequent guest on various Internet and broadcast radio shows, as well as a regular presenter at conscious creation conferences. Brent holds a B.A. in magazine journalism and history from Syracuse University and resides in Chicago.