In a powerful but different way, the Grand Canyon, a new born, a heartfelt song, or a gorgeous sunset can all sweep us together in wordless awe. I find it more interesting to cultivate ways toward this type of connection. Some traditions use the rubric of turning inward and focusing on one’s breathing, acknowledging the immediate sensations of one’s body; or noticing one’s thoughts or emotions without engaging in them. I’ve always been a fan of folks doing whatever works for them to find their center if it causes no harm to others.
Being a borderline introvert, it comes easy for me to softly engage with the world. Our cultural and intellectual awareness is primarily visual. It can reinforce our habits and sometimes, our addictions and prejudices. Visual beauty captivates me, but from early on, I wondered what makes me think something is beautiful? So I was also drawn to the less showy, the unrecognized drama. Heated societal debate may go on about which shock topic is more special or deserves our priority. Often I’d rather explore the rich wonders that lie “in plain sight,” humbly awaiting my discovery beyond the boisterous, exuberant melodramas.
There are profound wordless insights within exchanges in the quiet. Only when I silence the clamor of my worldly concerns, do I create space to receive them. Such “listening” requires a certain unforced awareness. It’s not intellectualized, nor wholly sensory, but I find the path through the senses offers me a foothold and a springboard. It’s not limited to places nor things, sometimes people evoke this mysterious merging.
Some of the most engaging and enriching people in my life have been quiet and unpretentious. Whenever it occurs, the bonding is less a process of building and more about disclosing what already is. If I can set aside self-centered urgency, be patient and fully present, the genuine connection has room to be revealed. All sharing is enhanced if not rushed; as our experience deepens, it becomes more timeless. Whether with our own breath with the atmosphere, our awareness with a humble flower bud, or our essence with another being of any form, for me this beautiful communion of presence is the joyful purpose of life.