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The Calm

“You are not your thoughts. You are the calm behind your thoughts,” our guide repeated. At first, I sat there in the midst of twenty or so others, all of us on something to soften the hardwood floor—blankets or cushions or yoga mats or all three—in the dark—and thought. This ‘thought’ was something that was not supposed to be me, but it came to me anyway. “What a bunch of New-Age woo-woo.” And that was my thought. I sat and wondered if it was me, or just a thought. I just let the thought rest, and the wondering about it rest too.

Now I sit here, a day later, with time to analyze my experience. My knee-jerk reaction, which was really just a knee twitch since it is hard to jerk the knee while sitting cross-legged all cramped up with your feet under your butt, was to connect with it. We are not our thoughts, and if so, then others are not their thoughts. We are, however, judged constantly, so if we apply our hopefully high level of confidence that we have developed over our lifetime (and if you have not then get to it), what others say in their judgments of us mean nothing. If that is so, then our judgments of others who apply their confidence means nothing to them, and if so, and if we are all the calm behind our thoughts, our thoughts being what others hear, then nothing means anything, other than what we make of it. “The situation,” as Deepak Chopra ( Deepak is my digital guide on the days between group meditation classes) says, “is just a blank canvas. It has no meaning until (you) personalize it.”

“Where do you want the story to go?” Chopra asks out of the little speaker at the bottom of my iPhone.

I can accept that I am not my thoughts. I say stupid stuff. I say smart stuff. I say stuff. Many of those thoughts are not me at all. I am calm at my center. The stuff is the verbal knee-jerk to external forces. To external feelings being felt. To visuals.

My quest is to say less stupid stuff.

Deepak gives us the formula. “Centered and at peace you are positioned to create any response you desire.”

Then it came to me like a splash on the back of the head. Feel the calm. Feel the calm in every person you meet. That is the true person. Let the stuff they say pass through you. Connect with the real them. Be like a pillar of water that lets everything pass through. I know you can’t make a pillar out of water, but just see in your mind a cylinder of water falling in a big acrylic tube between the floor and the ceiling. And if you wonder why I bring up water at the end of this exploration it is because being like water is a Bruce Lee thing, who chills in the podcast app next to Deepak’s app on my phone and fills in some of those moments between that group meditation class I attend. And since I am trying to be like water like Bruce wanted us all to be, that is why it was a splash. I just picture my external selfie as a figure of water. So a splash it was.

My guide is right. It’s not New-Age woo-woo. We are not our thoughts. We are each magnificent beings made of billions of little particles that race around in our minds and sometimes cause us to say stuff. That is the way it will always be. We can get closer to our center, however, and connect with the calm that, if you believe in a God, SHE gave us, or if your belief centers on the universe, we were just plain given. Either way, connect to the real you, and to the real them, and just go with the calm.

Chris Plante

November 2, 2018

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