Stillness, Discernment and Truth
People often ask “How can I tell if it is my ego talking or my wisdom mind?” Discernment – being able to feel our own ‘Truth’ – is so important.
(Truth is a big subject, so in this context, I am referring to personal truth, which is not about being ‘right’, but simply having the quiet confidence to trust in our own truth, while respecting that others have different views).
We all need to be able to develop confidence in our discernment, and trust in our own truth. Sometimes we prefer to rely on someone else to know what is true and what is not, but if we do this, we give our power and control to others. With the ‘group soup’ of negativity and dis-information around, it can be challenging to know what is right, or what to choose, but we all have a natural capacity and ability to feel and discern. However we can easily feel blocked and stop trusting ourselves. The Buddha spoke of the path of dharma ( a word which means truth) as being about “what to adopt and what to abandon” – simply put, this is developing the discernment to know how to choose.
When we feel what is true for us, it gives us the clarity to guide our lives, which prevents us from falling into negativity.
When we are connected with our heart and soul, we “feel” our truth. This gives us a real sense of alignment, a knowing” that “this feels right for me” which is a heart -based rather than mental activity, because there is no thinking or analysis involved. When we take the time to settle into our hearts and tune into stillness, from this spaciousness arises the quiet confidence to simply “know” our truth. However many of us have blocks and barriers around ‘tuning in’ to our souls and feeling our inner Presence – the pure energy of love and wisdom which guides us.
The portal to our souls is through our hearts, so being able to drop down into our hearts and settle into stillness – a sense of pure awareness – is the first step to being able to discern.
If we get caught up in mental chatter this indicates that it is the egoic mind taking control rather than our souls, and then the answers we receive are not discernment but rather, “beliefs” coming through. To actually feel true discernment, we need to still the mind so we can feel the physical senses which guide us to our truth. (For example, “gut feelings” can be a powerful source of guidance.)
When we tune in more and more to stillness and let the busyness of our minds settle, it becomes easier. However if we have strong beliefs – conscious or unconscious – and a lot of mind chatter around particular questions, listening to and discerning our truth becomes more challenging. This is why we need to settle our minds.
I like to regularly take moments to connect up with and feel the stillness of my heart/soul. My favourite ‘meditation’ is to sit first thing in the morning with my cup of coffee relaxing looking out at my favourite tree with the fields and horses beyond, enjoying the beauty of nature and watching the robins. The feeling of “just being” in stillness – no thoughts, but simply, being, spaciousness and stillness. And the more I sit in stillness – connecting with the harmony and balance of nature – the easier it is to discern – to “know” my truth. At these times I find that ‘answers’ just come – not thought out – just flashes of ‘knowing’ things.
We can feel such peace when we are in nature. But equally, we can find the same peace when we take the space in our busy lives simply to be still. Our minds calm down and our heart-soul tunes into the pure energy of stillness. So I find that feeling stillness in my heart – relaxed and free from all stress – is the starting point for discernment, of knowing my truth.