Many self-help books offer six easy steps to happiness and enlightenment. This approach may work for some—but it can often be disillusioning and disappointing. Rather than promising a quick fix, my book Pathways to Stillness offers a way to approach your journey that helps you to find a pathway that "fits your life". The stillness stories in the book offer examples of how I—and others—have discovered stillness and have come to regain the sense of "our story" in the midst of life changes, including many forms of loss—whether through illness, career, or relationships.
Whatever your choice of practice—meditation, Tai Chi, Yoga, Kirtan or other—it is done for itself. It is the present moment that matters, the journey not the outcome. You may experience boredom, restlessness, or deep peace and insight—appreciate them all and keep going. I was once in a meditation class where the teacher asked the group how they could know for sure that they had experienced a successful session. One person talked about light, another about a feeling of communion. Then my wife Liz said—the fact that it is over. The teacher responded, “there is a wise person—you stayed to complete the session”. If you practice with no expectations you will not be disappointed
My wife Liz, who is an artist, came up with the title of this post. A trompe l’oeil gives us the illusion of depth where none exists. Current circumstances suggest that—what you hear is what you get. When I listen to those around me, I find that these times of great unpredictability and harsh sentiments create emotions of confusion, frustration, and anxiety. However, if we look deeper, these conditions also invite us to look inside for our ever-present inner peace and stillness. We can discover and explore our unique pathways to stillness. Your pathway may or may not be a spiritual or religious practice—it may be a stillness refuge found in music, a garden, coffee shop, or other. It may also be found in the companionship of a good friend—or in reaching out to another in compassion and kindness. I invite you to learn more about taking this journey in my book Pathways to Stillness.
Pathways to Stillness Blog
My Blog is about how you can discover your own Pathways to Stillness, and why that is so valuable to your life. We will explore what it means to lose and regain our sense of “our story” in the midst and aftermath of loss—negative beliefs about aging and how we can make them more positive, and the many benefits reaped by creating a refuge of stillness within.