In these days of swirling challenges—social justice, health, politics, environment, economy—affecting every human life and the very planet itself, most of us find ourselves staying in place. I’m a traveler, yet this time has been precious to me for the spaciousness to explore the inner landscape and see more clearly who I am and what my place in this world actually is.
In a movie, I watch a woman introduce a young boy to meditation. She tells him to close his eyes and see what’s inside instead of looking outside. Simple, really. I find myself picturing what he will see when he closes his eyes. I think it will be dark inside at first. Then I picture him being surprised by the light that emerges from the darkness. A lovely light, quiet and, it seems to me, sacred.
Why do we humans take that journey into ourselves? As I see it, we begin to know our innermost selves precisely so we’re not operating in the dark. There’s a comfort, a deep solace, a sense of at-home-ness found in that silence and light.
There are many paths into the inner landscape. I imagine there are as many ways to walk inward as there are people walking. I believe we each have within us a guiding wisdom which supports our becoming more and more true to our essential selves. We can trust the things that feel right to us. Some of us find our own way; some learn a way in from others. I, myself, have been practicing Transcendental Meditation for nearly forty-eight years. Through my practice I have become my own best friend; I have come home to myself.
I follow my way into my inner landscape again and again, and through that exploration, I become ever more intimately loving to myself. Afterwards, when I look upon the world my eyes open to, my vision is colored by the love I hold within. Then, as if by magic, that love spangles out on everything and everyone I see.
Even more than ever during these days of uncertainty, it is paramount that I live simply. I sit quietly with life, with what I see happening all around. I explore and am willing to see things as they actually are instead of as I may have been imagining them to be. The more I let go of fixed ideas about myself, all those I share this planet with and the planet itself, the more opportunity I have to move in peace and love. Then, with the grace of a peaceful heart, I am invited to take what steps I can to support the emergence of a peaceful world. Although this may be a time of outward unrest, it is a time that calls me ever deeper within myself where peace and love abide.
Some of this post has been adapted from my book, Great Love in the 21st Century: A Path to Intimacy.