Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Notes on Going Inside

Notes on Going Inside
You don’t have to travel
to Nepal or Nebraska to find yourself, even though sometimes it can be helpful because the actual going and leaving your usual habitat forces you to wake up. The new realities require new responses to your surroundings.
But your “insides,” the interior of your mind-body-soul
entity is an even greater frontier. Exploring there is a fantastic opportunity to see, not only the physical world, but the worlds upon worlds beyond. You can go there whenever you want and as often as you want. After spending some time there, you’ll want to be there always in the state of wakefulness and alertness.
The great thing about these explorations is that, unlike traveling to Nepal or Nebraska, you don’t have to leave your house, your family, or your job.
Your insides are a beautiful place after you’ve pushed away the cobwebs. Sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve connected to ourselves inside that it seems that there’s nobody home. When we knock, there’s only the faintest response, a voice that whispers, “Is that really you coming home?’
Go for a walk with yourself or just sit next to the window in a quiet moment. Be aware of your breathing, and focus on the breath reaching down to your solar plexus. Let your mind rest. If a concern or worry pops in, then don’t resist it. Just watch it sit there and slowly fade away.
Take a seashell and imagine being inside. Or look at one of your plants and take note of the new growth that is springing up at the tips of leaves.
If it’s nighttime, go sit on the porch and look at the stars. Let your mind relax. There is nothing you have to think. Let the thoughts come and go. Listen for the sound of different voices.
If you hear a critical voice, let it speak and then die down. You can stay right where you are even when it points the way to dark clouds ahead. Notice how easy it is to simply stay where you are in the face of its insistence.
Usually, a great wave of relaxation will wash over you if you stay put as the voice slowly fades away. Then you may hear a gentle, loving voice. Encourage it to speak on. It may talk to you about the beautiful curve of the seashell or the healing green of the plant. It may tell you to notice how precious your children are, how delicate, how much they need your love and words of encouragement.
The face of one of your children may come into focus. The voice tells you what this child needs to grow in your loving care. Like the plant’s thirst for water, which words will help this child to blossom.
The voice may speak to you about a new direction in your work. It may remind you of your gifts and innovative ways to use them.
Every day is a totally new creation. And every moment brings us to a new threshold. When you tap into your inner voice, you have entered the natural flow of your life. Here there are always chiddushim, which is the Hebrew word for new insights.
The whole of creation is always singing. Every part of creation has its own song. Now you can listen to your own song, the new song that your soul is singing in this moment.
This is not a matter of will power or discipline. It usually happens only when you are relaxed and open to whatever G-d wants to give you in the moment.
You have left your expectations about yourself and what you might be getting at the door. Once inside, you have entered a world of wonder and discovery and peaceful watchfulness.
You have tapped into your inner dialogue. You are dwelling inside. You have pierced the thin veneer of the real world and entered Eternity.
Varda Branfman

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