Stillness. How we often long for quiet, contemplative time in the midst of our busy lives! Some people meditate: there are over 100 meditation centers in Indiana, with the goal of quieting thought and bringing peace. Some commune with nature. Others pray. My colleague, Valerie Minard, writing for the August 1, 2016 edition of My Central New jersey, shares a view of stillness that lifts the quieting of thought into the spiritual realm. Here’s Val:
I recently ran into an acquaintance of mine, we’ll call Kate, while she was running along a bike path. Kate told me that she first started running to stay in shape. But, now over the years, she’s found that running not only clears her head but she’s able to resolve problems just by quiet listening as she runs. She rarely has time to do this with her active family, but 20 minutes into her run she’ll find herself making mental notes about who she should speak to, what to say, and answers to problems. Sometimes, she’ll even run into that person by accident, as if the meeting was pre-arranged.
This coincides with what researchers at Bar Ilan University in Israel have found. According to PhD student, Shira Baror, “When you reduce mental [stress], people have a tendency to avoid the ‘obvious solution’ and instead access unique thought in their mind.”
Some people think of this just as a function of the human mind or subconscious. But for others, accessing that “unique thought in their mind,” might be thought of as prayer, in which all true, enlightened thought comes from God, the divine Mind. In fact, when I mentioned this to Kate, she agreed. Even though she doesn’t think of herself as a “praying person,” she felt her quiet time running was her time to commune with God.
Perhaps that’s why the Bible tells us, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet…”