THE BLOG
01/29/2015 03:35 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2015

Healing Our Times of Not doing and Not Knowing With Silence and Meditation

We all have times we want to jump up and do something but there is nothing we can do. There are moments we really want to know something but there is no way of knowing. Life often brings us to this place of nothing to do or unable to know, so we trust or fret, find patience or fear.

In truth our times of not doing are big opportunities to enjoy life itself, simply being. Our moments of not knowing challenge us to accept life as it presently is. Many of us are compulsive doers. We can't stop. We can't imagine retiring. An empty place in life is just another place to fill up. We keep busy. Not doing brings us an experience of emptiness and we do not know what to do with emptiness. Not knowing gives us an experience of being not in control and we do not know how to manage when we are not the manager.

When there is nothing to do, nothing to know, something new is happening. We spend so much of our lives holding everything together at work with family and friends, it is not easy to let go and trust everything in life to find its own place. But we all have these times there is nothing we can do. There is no new information we can have which will change the situation.

In these times silence and meditation invite us to the wonders of being in the moment including our inner resource of quiet and peace. Those who have found a friendship in silence find a freedom from not needing to be busy. The gentle shelter of silence gives a freedom from needing to know. In fact silence and meditation opens and embraces a special part of us, our source of trusting.

People can have all kinds of success but there is something unique to silence and meditation. We can discover our true capacities. Acceptance, patience,and yes wholeness are to be found. Even when life is incomplete and we don't know what is happening,there is a greater part of us that is well. Silence and meditation bring us to this greater understanding.

Imagine being able to take our foot off the pedal of life and feeling good about just coasting or standing where we are. Sure there are fears about lots of very real practical things. But if we take the time, we can find silence and its special shelter in these times. Meditation invites us to be and feel inside the presence which is nothing less then a vastness within our heart.

The peace and quiet of silence heals our fears. With less fear, new solutions, creativity, and life begins. Connecting to a deeper part of ourselves in meditation touches and relieves our separateness. We don't have to be doing. It is alright not to know. There is something greater, a larger picture to see and experience.

Recently an executive from a major company in Silicon Valley came to us to make an extended retreat. He was leaving his firm and instead of just starting again with another company, he wanted a truly new beginning. He said he wanted to be in silence and meditation for forty days. For most people a long weekend of silence is already much to experience. But as I watched him pass his days enjoying silence, meditation, nature I saw him becoming okay with not being busy as normal, with not knowing what the next chapter of his life will be. I encouraged him to simply be and enjoy his retreat. Silence and meditation were giving him happiness in the simple joys, with life itself. He was spending much time in receiving the gentleness within his heart.

During his retreat I am sure he was frustrated, bored, angry, happy, sad but most of all the silence and meditation brought him to a place underneath all of this. He found something inside more permanent. Silence and meditation and he found an inner source of intimacy. He found an intimacy with life that is his own. There is nothing to do, nothing to know in these times as our awareness finds its expanded self.

Silence and meditation and he found something stable in our unstable times. He found something sacred in our secular world. I told him, we wish there were more people like him with the courage to make such a retreat. His retreat is a gift for him, for me, I am sure for many. Silence and meditation, there is so much healing for our need to be doing and to know.