Why are more people these days meditating, practicing yoga, and becoming intentional about creating space for quiet and solitude? The answer? They’re seeking inner peace, leaving the noisy world behind for a few moments to reconnect with themselves and their souls.
Modern spiritual teachers Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Richard Rohr all suggest that the secret to finding balance in life is setting aside daily time to be still. Whether you call it meditation, contemplation, centering prayer, or some other practice such as walking in nature, we all need to find the balance between the active and contemplative parts of our lives.
If we want inner peace, we need to strike the balance between Beingand Doing.
Beingmeans it’s okay to sit in solitude in front of a glowing candle and stare at the flame for 10-20 minutes. Nothing has to happen in that space. We’re simply present to ourselves and the Creator. Absorbed in the flickering light, we rest in the quiet, allowing it to calm us, hold us, and touch our lives.
As we sit in stillness, our thoughts often ricochet through our brains. When they do, gently repeating a calming word or phrase allows our minds and bodies to settle back into the peaceful quiet. We might then tuck that word or phrase into our hearts to carry with us into the day.
Beingreminds us of who we are—humans grounded in love—and from that natural state of Beingwe then move into the Doingpart of our day.
Having grounded ourselves through a daily meditation practice, ourDoingbecomes more balanced and centered. We develop deeper patience, compassion, and wisdom—virtues beyond belief. And when the day gets chaotic, we can return to Beingby taking a short break and re-centering ourselves with a few moments of silence.
Give yourself the gift of inner peace and balance by setting aside 10-20 minutes daily for solitude. Stare at a flame. Gaze at the sunrise. Feel your breath cascade through your lungs. Whatever feels comfortable during your time of Being,let it become life-giving for you.
Let your time in meditation rebalance your Being& Doing.
—brian j plachta
I never got that kiss with Teresa. But as I reflect on that long-ago night, I realize Sister Carmella shared two pieces of wisdom I’ll never forget: to leave room for Jesus and the healing power of a smile.