He is most powerful who has power over himself.
If you have been feeling busy—and thinking about the future more lately, my thoughts are to work to become tranquil. If you are not feeling that tranquil now, it may only be because societal tension has seeped into your life. You may need to work to go back to being tranquil. Just like exercising your body, work on your tranquil mind.
What is being tranquil? Calming down your inner thoughts and any restless moments of indecision. Breathing and feeling the peace.
Once you calm yourself, you will see the calm is always ready to be found.
Quieting your mind
Recognize distractions that keep you from feeling calm. Knowing that the resistance and distractions will always be there is important to understand in moving beyond them.
When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation.
By being serene and observant, all that exists becomes evident, and you can find that truths are always surrounding you. With the understanding of various truths through quieting your mind, you may find an internal sense of peace and fulfilment in the process. This awakened state of awareness allows you to see a new dimension to your actual world, rather than seeing limits in your life and goals.
Get your mind off of yourself for some time
Think of how often your thoughts are on yourself and your survival. How much do you think of what you are doing—and contemplating if it is right or not. Take a break from over thinking, and you may find more tranquility.
When you stop thinking about yourself all the time, a certain sense of repose overtakes you. . . It’s like taking a drink of cold water when you are thirsty. Every tastebud on your tongue, every molecule in your body says thank you.
—Leonard Cohen (from a 2001 interview in The Guardian)
A tranquil sensibility is not an instantaneous moment where one reaches Nirvana. The process of tranquility occurs increasingly over time. Rather, it is an uncovering process that slowly unveils truth to those who are patient enough to wait and prepare the mind.
Just as the ocean has a gradual shelf, a gradual slope, a gradual inclination, with a sudden drop-off only after a long stretch, in the same way this Doctrine and Discipline (dhamma-vinaya) has a gradual training, a gradual performance, a gradual progression, with a penetration to gnosis only after a long stretch.
These meditative processes are a means of becoming self-actualized.
Being quiet both external and internally means that you are absorbing and soaking everything in. The majority of our society is not used to that. People might question why you are quiet. “Is everything ok?” they wonder. “Yes, everything is ok,” you say.
You are just drinking it all in. I see being quiet as silent wisdom. Do not underestimate the gift of silence. It is not taught. It is taught out. If you have kept it, please hold on to it. Quietness is sacred and can surely be meditative—it allows for greater creative flow.
“Yes, everything is ok,” you say. You are just drinking it all in. I see being quiet as silent wisdom. Do not underestimate the gift of silence. It is not taught. It is taught out. If you have kept it, please hold on to it. Quietness is sacred and can surely be meditative—it allows for greater creative flow.
Virginia Woolf said that we should all have a room of our own. I agree. Make room for you—somewhere, anywhere. If you have a little space for yourself, be there often.
Remain in harmony and good spirits as much as possible. Know that both creativity and tranquility keep the ego at bay. The more you are in a serene space, the more you are in touch with your spirit. Let your intention guide you—and do not worry as much about the outcome.
Make yourself continue your tranquil practice. Do not wait for the opportunity to find calm. Turn it into practice, and serenity will present itself to you.
Previously published on Goodmenproject.com