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Blog Alan Seale, May 18, 2020 | Deep Listening

It was a spectacular spring early morning. Out for my first walk of the day, I lingered longer than usual by the pond, lost in time. Even though my morning pace is brisk, I felt such deep stillness inside. It seemed in that moment that there was nothing else in the world except me and the sun and the gentle cool breeze and the beautiful flowering trees and the singing of birds close by and farther away. I could rest in that peaceful moment. There was nothing to think about, nothing to say. In fact, these days it seems that more and more I have less and less to say.

Turn up your sound for a moment of early morning stillness and serenity.

Before walking, I had glanced at the morning’s headlines. On the surface, they were anything but reassuring. Yet walking in the early light and lingering by the pond, I could tap into the shifting ground deep underneath our current events. At that deep level, something is oddly reassuring. I get quieter inside. And I come back to Brian Andreas’ beautiful question that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago:

What is the place in you this day
where you open & let eternity in?

I don’t always know where to find that place is inside of me, yet if I get quiet enough inside, eternity finds its way in. And while I don’t yet have words to articulate what is happening inside of me in those moments, what I do have is the awareness that habitual structures, norms, and ways of being and doing are breaking open and breaking apart. It happens outside in and inside out. Just as the structures and ways of engagement in the outside world are breaking open and breaking apart, the same happens within me. And the other way around.

More and more, I feel less and less desire to make a statement, offer a thought, or to analyze what is happening. Instead, I just want to “be present with.” More and more, I’m realizing that’s what it means to let eternity in. There is so much more available to me when I can simply “be present with”. Awareness, feeling, understanding, connection.

Connection to the moment. Connection to something so much bigger than me. Connection to the Source of all that is. Connection to the heart and soul of the person or idea with which I might be engaging. Connection to the Breath of Life as it moves through all things. Sometimes that Breath of Life soothes and nurtures when that is what is needed; at other times it stirs up and breaks apart because something must now change.

I still occasionally wake up in the night feeling lost and uncertain. I remain deeply concerned for the future of my country and our planet. I long to physically touch people and places that are so dear to my heart.

Yet waking up in the night is not so much about fear anymore. And my days are less about words, less about doing. They are more about being and all that comes with full presence—laughter, tears, joy, sorrow, gentle smiles, and eyes that tell a thousand stories.

More and more I have less and less to say.