The other day my daughter asked: “Dad, the stuff you do at work – to have conversations with people. Does that have anything to do with the book you just wrote?”. Quickly I was going through different answers I’ve used before but all of them felt unnecessary complex for the occasion and all of the sudden it hit me and I answered her: “When I work with other people I help the to get quiet inside. That is all. Because how many problems are still around when it gets quiet inside? My book is about the exact same thing.”
The thing about “quiet inside” can be really hard to explain. Not to mention how to help someone else experience it. Firstly, how do you explain silence with sound. But also, the silence I am speaking about cannot be explained.
Consider this. You are interested in chocolate but you have never tried it before. You meet with two people which both of them seems to know something about chocolate. The first one is very well-read on the history of coco beans, how the spread of chocolate Europe was influenced by Belgium and Switzerland, where they grow, how to grow them well and so on but the person has never actualy really had a piece. The other person doesn’t know anything about all that but have tasted chocolate. Which one do you think can describe the experience of chocolate? Which one would you listen to?
Recently I had a dialogue with a friend about inner silence and stillness and I tried to approach the subject in this way.
Imagine that you sit in front of a table.
There are two objects on the table. One apple and one candle stick and there is some distance between them.
They are so far apart, so for example if you choose to focus on the apple, the candlestick appear vaguely in the periphery.
If you imagine that you are staring at the apple for a very long time, the candlestick will have gradually “disappeared”. Imagine now that you have been staring at the apple for 5, 10 or maybe 20 years, the candlestick is likely to be more or less erased from your consciousness.
Now, think of your mind and the constant stream of impressions, images, dialogues and thoughts that are in there as the apple in the metaphor above. And as long as you keep your focus on the apple the apple is the only thing that exists – despite the fact that the candlestick is still on the table.
Let us simplify and agree that pictures, dialogues and impressions really are just different kinds of thoughts.
If the apple represents thoughts, the candlestick will represent the peace and stillness within you.
So what do you do to get in touch and experience the candlestick?
Should you start with the apple? Wrestle with how it looks, trying to change it och maybe shove it to the side?
No, the only thing you need to do is realize that you have locked your focus on the apple, and that there is more to discover than what meets the eye.
What happens to the apple if you direct your attention away from it? Just as the candlestick when it was in the periphery, the apple will fall out in the margin of your consciousness when you shift your inner focus. And just as the candlestick, the apple will get a little fuzzier, the details appear less clear. And before you know it, the apple has gone from being important to nothing special.
And how much trouble do you think our thoughts can cause once we understand that they are only a part of life, as opposed to being everything there is?
So to the question of how to get silent inside? Well, you do not need to get silent because silence and stillness is already there. You just need to find it.
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About the author: Patrik Rowinski considers himself as a self-management consultant. and he works professionally with individuals and organisations to help them reach their full capacity and potential. He combines individual conversations, group/team facilitations, lectures and his writing to introduce a groundbreaking understanding which offers a new paradigm in how our brain and mind works. This paradigm offers a way to reach and sustain a healthy psychological functioning.
He is also the author of the book "Beyond thought" which hit the shelves in the spring of 2017. It is written in Swedish and is named "Bortom tanke". You can order it through the publishers web site: http://gomentalforlag.se/bortom-tanke.
Get in touch through http://patrikrowinski.se.