Earlier this morning, I was sitting with my eyes closed.
I was trying to slow down my heartbeat after the morning exercises.
There was a lot of noise at the beginning, but not outside. It was inside my head.
Thoughts and images spinning around chasing each other.
And my heart pumping in my ears.
So, I shift my attention outwards.
The familiar sound of my dog barking to someone or something. The engine of a car, slowing pulling away taking someone to work. The birds singing, a choir of different voices that I can’t recognize but I felt some were saying hello to the new day and others were saying goodbye to the finishing night. A kid’s voice asking for something, maybe breakfast. The cat drinking from its bowl.
Then, all of a sudden, the silence.
As if the world pauses for a moment.
I couldn’t even hear my own breath.
My body felt light as if it was made of air.
I opened my eyes, and the world burst to life with all it sounds, voices, colours, light, and smells.
It felt so alive.
I felt so alive.
I want to do it more often.
Pause and listen.
Not to achieve something, not even peace.
Just to be.
The air is hot and sticky in this mid-summer days.
Even the smallest movement makes me sweat.
It’s hard to think straight in this heat and, honestly, I was about to skip my morning writing.
But then I picked my morning card like I do every day.
And it is one of my favourites.
I love everything about this picture. The sense of peace and presence, the light, and the river.
Two words pop up in my mind almost immediately. Two words that, if you put them together, they may evoke unfortunate circumstances.
The first word is a verb; to sink. The second one is water.
The idea of sinking is a gift I got from the book The Nature of Consciousness by Rupert Spira.
“Thus, in the same way that one cannot stand up and take a step towards oneself, so the mind cannot turn around and direct itself towards its own source. But when, through interest in its own essential nature, the mind ceases to direct itself towards objective experience, it begins to sink or relax back into the source from which it has arisen.” — from The Nature of Consciousness by Rupert Spira
Stillness is the process through which my mind stop chasing external objects or thoughts and sink back into itself. Into the source of its existence. To sink back, it means to fall into and reconnect with my bigger who.
And then there is a river with its water flowing.
“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.” ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
It’s so easy to get used to speed.
I experienced it with my motorbikes.
The first one was an entry bike, as they call them.
Not too overpowering, even if it had the same acceleration as an expensive sports car.
In the beginning, I was very cautious. It felt very fast to mee.
But after a while, I get used to it, and I started needing something more.
The reason I told myself was that I needed more power to enjoy a long trip in two.
So, I got a bigger and more powerful one.
You get where I’m going.
From that one, I went to an even more powerful and sporty motorbike.
Speed is addictive; at least it is for me.
Then one day I decided to get a small Vespa.
Almost twenty times less potent than my motorbike at the time.
It was only meant for daily commuting. In the end, where can you go with such a small engine?
One summer, my partner and I slowly travelled for two weeks across Italy, with the bags, two sleeping bags and a tent.
All on that Vespa.
One of the most memorable experiences in our life.
This morning I was listening to this famous song by Morcheeba, “Rome wasn’t built in a day“, and it made me think.
Some things take time.
In many aspects of my life, I often get hungry for speed.
I want something, and I want it now.
Technology had almost cancelled the distance between wanting something and getting it.
One click on Amazon and the product is yours.
One click on Netflix and the movie starts.
If you want to know something, a quick search on Google and you can find everything you want to know.
The risk is to miss out on the pleasure of the journey, the creative potential of the space in-between desire and achievement, begin and end.
When I feel the urge to get something or to arrive somewhere, I go back to that slow trip with my underpowered Vespa.
And I remind myself of the beauty of slowing down.