It’s So Damn Quiet In Here


Here is my first report: It is so damn quiet in here. More than three weeks ago, thoughts ceased. Well, ninety percent of them, anyway. What remain are functional thoughts: Turn the steering wheel, buy more milk, walk the dog. What has departed is the endless busy chattering of the thinking mind that I now see was habitually preoccupied and distracted by what happened and what might happen.

If you were to do a content analysis of your thoughts over a day, you might be shocked to find that very few thoughts are contextual to the moment. Rather they are worries or frets, daydreams or reminiscences. Few, if any, are simple mental observations of what is actually present.

When it’s so quiet in here, it’s also peaceful. I call this experience, luxuriating in stillness. It’s better than a vacation, a massage, a good nights sleep. Resting in Awareness rejuvenates the body and the mind. This vast emptiness simply is the quiet seabed of my being, and yours.

Yet I do not need to be physically still, on a mediation cushion for instance, to luxuriate here. This place is available always, in every moment of my day. It is where the vast majority of “me” resides as I go about my life as a soccer mom, a partner to my man, a friend to my girlfriends, a writer at my laptop.

I am in this stillness now, with a dog curled up beside me on a big armchair, laptop on my lap. The sun is rising on a cold wet Vancouver morning. Leonard Cohen sings softly from my iPod player on the bookshelf. I am living in the richly detailed existence called life, as are you. The only difference between us is the self that is here.  The self that was Lori has not disappeared, but moved aside, so that what peers through and what speaks and what listens is Awareness. It’s a simple shift of point of view, this thing called waking up.

To taste it playfully, I invite you to an experiment. For the rest of the day, talk from the third person. Drop the word “I” from your vocabulary, as if it does not exist at all, this one word we use all day, every day. Instead, speak and think from the she or he point of view. From the third person of your name.

So for instance, instead of telling your husband or wife that “I am going to bed now,” speak it as “Jane or Joe is going to bed now.” Instead of telling your friend that “I will meet you at three pm” say out loud, “Jane or Joe will meet you at three pm.”

Of course, you might want to explain to those in your world that you have not had a nervous breakdown, but rather are experimenting with self-awareness.  That letting go of the “I” for a day is a test run of what it feels like to be not-self.

My experience of not-me feels free and light. It’s as if the egoic mind was sand-bag heavy in comparison to the “incredible lightness of being.”

I’m guessing that if you choose to play the game of third-person self-reference for a day, the experience will be uplifting and surprisingly delightful.  But more than a fun exercise, it will give you a deeper sense of what is real. Because in addressing everyday self from the sidelines of she/he, the truth can emerge: Who is the true eye witness?  Who is the one that watches?

In awareness,

Lori

About Lori Ann Lothian

Lori Ann Lothian writes about love, relationships, enlightenment and yes, sex, at Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Yoganonymous, Origin magazine, Better After 50 and more. She is also a senior editor at the online magazine, The Good Men Project, where she manages a section called Good for the Soul. Lori Ann lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and daughter, where she has learned to transcend the rain and surrender to mega doses of vitamin D. Subscribe to Lori Ann's feed and never miss a post! Tweet her at Twitter
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21 Responses to It’s So Damn Quiet In Here

  1. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your
    blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  2. Rhonda says:

    Well I followed your suggestion Lori and spoke in the 3rd person all one day and found myself being just the observer of my life and it was great! One question I have for you though is when I started saying my daily gratitudes I got confused on whether they should be said in the third person or if that was one thing that should be I, as in I am Grateful? In other words, who is it that is grateful? Any thoughts?
    I am so glad to have discovered your blog!

  3. “If you were to do a content analysis of your thoughts over a day, you might be shocked to find that very few thoughts are contextual to the moment.”

    NIcely said. True, too.

  4. SiFan Shan says:

    I love your posts. Can’t wait for them to arrive! I’m glad you chose to document your journey – mahalo!

    • You are welcome SiFan, stay tuned.

      • Yes, and I am now discovering that annoyance arises now and then too, in the moment vs about the past, or perhaps future (like annoyed at the possible outcomes etc). So, the puppy nipping my heels results in me going “YIP!” in a high pitched dog-sound and when she keeps nipping, I then Yip in annoyance. :-)

  5. Thank you Sandy…thank you for reading. Awareness is having fun writing it! Stay tuned for more.

  6. SandyH says:

    Hi Lori, just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog.

    • Thanks Sandy. I welcome comments and questions, since I learn here from you too, especially when I write something that confuses or condfounds. I am having fun, tyring to speak the unspeakable!

  7. I will check out Leonard’s newest. Thank you. His music and lyrics are transmissions in many ways, of the Truth. Adyashanti points out the just like the word water will never be wet, language cannot really convey the reality of awakened awareness. But in some magical way, Truth can piggback on written language, poetry, music, art. Thank you Rose for your comment, and your wish so eagerly expressed, and certain to be granted in perfect inevitable timing. Awareness is Here and There!

    • Hipparchia says:

      I first knew that quiet feeling when I played in concert. I am an amateur pianist, playing to a very small audience, but still I felt at one point I did not play at the piece, as in practice, but I was into the piece and it was the most quiet place in the world. Yes, Truth shines into art, if you let it, if you burn away the learned mannerisms. This applies to any art, truth will be like wind in the sails of the art’s material form.

      They say a pianist will truly improve only when playing for an audience. It is so indeed, the audience pressures you to be authentic, not to tinkle at your piece like you do in practice. Little by little this pressure in concert burns away the artificial playing and truth shines through.

      Rinse and repeat until it applies not only to piano but to my whole life and I am done as well.

  8. LOL, I’m re-reading this blog post and laughing at the idea of referring to one’s self (or body–dare I be so anti-spiritual-PC) in the third person. It reminds me of an old ‘Seinfeld’ episode with this guy at the gym whose a bit self-important. It’s like the Queen of England’s royal “we” (as in “We are not amused”); but there’s no judgment of it if it floats Awareness’ boat. It’s just entertaining…
    .

    • Yes, well I have taken to calling myself Her Majesty whenever I am in the mood to declare my sovereignty over my household. A funny deeper sideeffect of waking up, is that I am experiencing myself (and so are others around me) as so profoundly not-lori (gone are so many of the old traits) and yet I am still Lori in many ways too. So fergus has been calling me “awareness” in jest but also, in reality, faced with the death of the woman he knew. There is an article here on what happens in relationship when one ego bows out, leaving the other to dance alone…..I think my new spiritual name is going to be Yaba daba doo!

      • Rose says:

        Lori, I am so excited to have found you. Just finished reading all your blogs and I am almost speechless. Many years ago at the end of a spiritual retreat the leader asked us to write one short wish on a small piece of paper. Not fully understanding why but rising up from deep within me, mine was “Just to be there, aware.” So now my wish is “Let Awareness take over.”
        By the way, I too LOVE Leonard Cohen. Have you heard his brand new “Show Me The Place?” It is available to listen to on his website. Can’t help thinking that you have the answer to his very touching question!

  9. I love the valuable info you supply in your posts. I like your writing style.

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