The Voice

Recently, I decided to renew my mindfulness practice. Along with physical exercise it’s the best way I’ve found to restore personal balance.

I first began mindfulness practice about twenty years ago. I’ve never adhered to a rigid schedule, instead prefering to practice in stretches with intermissions. Strangely, an inner voice always tells me when to start up again! It’s the same voice that told me not to push ahead on a group bike ride after experiencing what turned out to be a mild heart attack. 

I find an interesting thing occurs when I let go of thoughts, another layer of awareness emerges. I’m not talking about visions or other psychic phenomena, rather it’s a peacefully alert calmness removed from the distractions of daily life. I suspect it’s always present, but covered up by incessant thinking. This awareness seems wise, as in something inside me knows. Maybe it’s the home of my inner voice? 

Over the past few days, spontaneous uninitiated thoughts bubbled up during my practice. That’s not unusual. Typically, I notice such disturbances and gently allow them to drift away. This time, something told me to pay attention. 

The first thought was “Slow down”

I found that interesting!  I’ve been retired for ten years. Beyond my son’s medical appointments, there’s nothing I really have to do! And yet, I scurry around like a rat in a cage. I’m just wired that way. Mindfulness created an opportunity to listen, and when I did, something inside me said WTF? I need to pay attention to that!

The second thought was “Witness Life.”

Awareness brings relationships to light. When I practice mindfulness, it becomes increasingly apparent that everything is connected, I mean everything! Feelings of separation depart, and I re-discover that I’m part of the connected whole. There’s a beautifully simple word for that,… We. We signifies pure mutuality, We is the essence of the miracle of life. Maybe it’s my inside voice that’s telling me to slow down and become present to this miracle.  

Finally, a thought arose telling me to “Prioritize Kindness.”

This was a bit off-putting. I don’t feel I’m inconsiderate. The thought felt like a rebuke. I pondered it for several days before finally concluding that kindness is the lubricant for We. In absence of kindness, there is no We. I don’t make a concerted effort to prioritize kindness in my daily affairs. My inner voice is telling me that’s a miss!

The great philosopher Jim Hendrix once said, “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Once I began listening, an inner voice told me to slow down, witness the miracle of We, and prioritize kindness. 

I need to pay attention.


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