Picture a room with a large table. Many people are gathered around this table and the buzz of chatter is unrelenting. Some are having a heated discussion, each certain that he is right and this must be demonstrated! Others are talking excitedly about forthcoming plans, while some are complaining about the way things are. At the opposite end of the table from you is a woman, strikingly serene and saying very little, however when she does speak, you see a transformation in the faces of those nearest to her, those who can hear her. You want to hear what she has to say, but the noise in the room makes it impossible. With concerted effort, you focus all of your attention on her, moving your focus away from the chatter. You realise that although you cannot hear her voice, you can begin to get a sense of what she’s conveying by looking for other clues: her gestures, the movement of her lips. Over the course of the evening, you return your attention to her again and again, sometimes she isn’t speaking, sometimes you struggle to decipher what she’s saying, but just occasionally, you understand and you have a sense of contentment and gratitude, as what you’ve gleaned from her has great meaning for you.
What if a similar scenario plays out in our heads, but the chatter is all our own? What are we missing? We’re conditioned to believe that excitement is synonymous with activity and stimulation, but is it not exciting to obtain answers to questions, solutions to problems? It is in a state of peaceful tranquility that answers to even difficult questions can be found. It requires that we take the focus of our attention away from our ‘chatter’ and let it rest on the peace and serenity beneath it, knowing that answers do come if we’re patiently persistent in our efforts.
If meditation is proving difficult, ask a question at the start and let it go. Adopt a childlike excitement for ‘what might happen next’ and stay alert, ready for an answer. Be open-minded; each time is different, you may not get an answer this time, you may get answers to other questions or you may be inspired by something completely new. The possibilities are limitless.