When we meditate in the mornings, we start with listening for sounds from far away. Being on the countryside in South Africa that includes hearing crickets, maybe some wind, and the first chirps from the earliest birds. We next move our attention to listening for sounds in the middle distance, typically in the room. Here we have a clock on the wall that goes tic-tic-tic, which is very helpful and quite fortunate because otherwise I think I would get stuck listening to the beautiful sounds of nature outside. It is important to move the attention into the room, to be able to take the next step, which is to move the attention into your body. Your inner world. That can be done by for example listening to your heartbeat or breathing or why not by resting your attention on your tinnitus in acceptance.
Moving your attention into your body helps you reach into your inner world. It is as if your body is the portal between the outer world and the inner, that it connects the two and gives you access to both. For me, the outer world with all its beauty, fun and excitement is so tempting. So I could easily stay there the whole time and just enjoy and challenge myself there. What I have found, though, is that staying in the outer world eventually leaves me missing something… like a depth. It is like I end up having all that fun, being that busy, achieving tons of stuff that is good for me, others and the world and still feeling like a shell, lacking that depth.
I remember when I learnt to scuba dive. This was in Egypt, in the Red sea, and there was so many beautiful things to see already when I was snorkling. I wondered if it was worth the trouble with all the equipment and training to take the step to scuba diving. Knowing how much I already thoroughly enjoyed the snorkling. I mean, it is so simple! You just jump into a swim suit, put on a mask with a snorkel and possibly some fins and you are ready to go.
Then I took the scuba diving course and went down 12 meters below the surface. WOW, what an experience! I realized there was in fact one more world down there! Another, complete world, with its own wildlife, corals, fishes, sea horses, other creatures I had no idea even existed. And the LIGHT, that incredible light when the sun breaks the surface and finds its way down and illuminates every fish and every piece of coral. I was completely astonished and fascinated. Two years later I had the opportunity to come back with a diving certificate that allowed me to dive down to 30 metres and explore even further wonders. Amazing. Again, just amazing.
Personal Excellence & Your Inner world
The exploration of the sea when diving is a well working metaphor for the exploration of your inner world. You can happily be swimming on the surface for decades. While thinking that this is fine and that it is very entertaining and rewarding. Then, something gives you the opportunity to start exploring your inner depth. And suddenly you realise that there is ONE MORE WORLD to explore that you didn’t know existed! Similarly to being far below the surface at sea, that there is a very special LIGHT, such incredible light that comes from far within. And this light illuminates and clarifies things, both about yourself and about others. It is truly amazing and makes life both easier and even more enjoyable.
Me, I think I am perhaps at the level that would correspond to 12 meters below sea level, like with my first scuba certificate. I marvel at what I find and I am eagerly looking forward to having a look at 30 meters. The difference from scuba diving is of course that in this case, I won’t need another certificate. Furthermore, I don’t need to travel anywhere to see the beauty. My inner work I can do wherever I am and it is more than anything else a question of practice. Having said that, I warmly recommend the Personal Excellence Program. It works as a kick-start if all of this is new to you. It boosts your further journey if you are already on it. And trust me, it is so worth it.
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