“Sitting with the discomfort of not-knowing, of the fearless excavation, is not easy — but it is simple. Any meditation teacher will tell you that the moment you feel you want to jump up from your cushion and make sure the stove is turned off, or write something down you’re sure you’ll otherwise forget, or even open one eye to see how many minutes are left to go – that is precisely the moment to stay the course. To allow yourself to be pierced by whatever it is that’s just beneath that impulse. What longing? What uncomfortable thought? What sorrow? What desire? The only way we can know is to be still enough to find out.” Dani Shapiro
Longing. Not knowing. Sitting still with empty hands. All can generate some sense of discomfort that propels us to react.
Our response to any type of discomfort – physical, emotional, spiritual – is often reflexive, leaving our cognitive capacity out of it. We don’t always craft a response, we just take the shortest path towards feeling better.
What if: at precisely that moment, you pause. Stay with that just a moment longer. Stay the course. Many who know the art and practice of meditation – stillness – know deeply the power in that pause. That moment is rich. It morphs reflex into response; one thought-less, the other thought-ful. A path to discovery?
Stay a moment longer. Stay curious. What might be different?