Silence, a stilling of not only the voices outside but the inner voices, the roof brain chatter. Now, without the babble or words – inner and outer – I watch my mind, notice when a thought arises. I turn my attention inward, asking, “Who is thinking this thought?” As the mind turns to look, the thinker seems to disappear. But a focus comes from asking, a clearing, a deepening. No “me,” but a presence. Awareness.
When I first worked in a restaurant, I used to daydream of a mute helper, someone who had no interest whatsoever in speaking, She…wouldn’t tell about her plans for vacation, the fights with her mother, the ins and outs of her most recent relationship. In my daydream of a mute helper, I was envisioning a future version of myself, of course. My imagination was sending directions, subtle hints as to how to proceed. How to glimpse the sky, how to open into vastness. The odd thing is that in addition to this sense of spaciousness, I’m starting to feel close to people, to understand and sympathize with them on a new level, to participate in their lives in unexpected ways, to notice those around me as something more than irritants, as subjects rather than objects.