Developing the Quiet Mind
By David Kundtz
"Connection is not something you do. It's a profound awareness of how you actually live your life."
--Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., author and lecturer
Understanding this statement pushes us beyond what is often considered politically correct. But to miss its meaning causes profound unhappiness.
Pearsall explains that certain behaviors and attitudes disconnect us from the world and from other people, and we end up isolated and miserable.
Do you litter the environment? You're disconnecting from the Earth. Are you patient with a new salesperson? You're connecting to the people around you. Are you divorced? You broke a connection. Are you marrying? You're making one. Do you pray or do your spiritual practice? You're connecting to your soul. Are you rude and self-centered? You're disconnecting yourself from your world.
This might seem judgmental. However, not to make these distinctions clearly, not to make these choices intentionally, and especially not to acknowledge our inferior choices readily lead only to confusion, frustration, and resentment.
Of course, this is nothing new; it's the practice of virtue and the building of community. But the context of connecting seems to be important to emphasize in our age of anxiety, where loneliness is confused with aloneness and painful isolation is common.
We can know the condition of our connectedness only within the context of quiet hours of peace and reverie. Then in our active periods we enjoy the fruits of those times of peace; their results are available to us and tilt us in the direction we most want to go.
Notice how you connect or disconnect today through what you do.
Excerpted from Quiet Mind: One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World with permission of Conari Press, an imprint of Red Wheel/ Weiser, Boston, Mass., and York Beach, Maine. To order, call 800/423-7087.