Quiet moment

The incontrovertible relief of a quiet moment is for me not entirely uncommon. Nor must I confess is it by any account routine. Perhaps the uniqueness of a quiet moment is part of its allure. I haven’t come near to triggering a quiet moment on command (though maybe I should if I were to remain au courant or preserve my chakra).  For the time being however a quiet moment is an accident.  Often it is merely the vacuum that follows a prior absorption, the fruition of the completion of a focus or duty, occasionally the rainbow after the rain.

The concept of the chakra arose in the early traditions of Hinduism. Beliefs differ between the Indian religions, with many Buddhist texts consistently mentioning five chakras, while Hindu sources reference six or seven. Early Sanskrit texts speak of them both as meditative visualizations combining flowers and mantras and as physical entities in the body. Within Kundalini yoga, the techniques of breathing exercises, visualizations, mudras, bandhas, kriyas, and mantras are focused on manipulating the flow of subtle energy through chakras.

This morning by way of example was particularly enthralling. The commotion – should you care to know – surrounded an exceedingly productive “virtual” meeting with an estate agent regarding a new apartment building being constructed in our hometown. As with any vigorous meeting it ended concisely. Afterwards I caught myself blankly staring out the balcony window across the adjacent golf course at specks of people moving in the far away distance. I was momentarily transfixed by the sudden inactivity at hand. I sipped the remainder of my second chilled espresso coffee (the product of a daily creation deposited to the refrigerator). If I smoked tobacco it would have been appropriate to smoke a cigarette, languidly to watch the wisps of smoke unfold and disappear leaving a trail behind. As it were I continued to stare.

When I recovered from the reverie it occurred to me that the value of a quiet moment is more than residual. I’ve heard it said, “The hardest thing to do is nothing”. Naturally a quiet moment need not be equated with doing nothing – though that too has I am sure its virtue. A quiet moment is inevitably a period of reflection. In a world devoted to energy and production, backscattering and brooding are not high on the list of any province. I suspect that for those who prefer to think before acting, a quiet moment affords the prerequisite to any conclusion of consequence. For those of us less animated by persistent reason, a quiet moment is less potent.

A quiet moment implies the limitation upon insinuation from external sources. The influence of others, the celebration of popularity can have remarkable affect upon oneself.  Likewise – though with less legitimacy – the percolating ruminations within us can prove an incalculable authenticity. The ingredients arising from such elements as instinct or neglected reflection are not to be diminished.

The event may be little more than an opportunity to arrest the spin of life. We needn’t contaminate the enterprise with the necessity of goal, achievement or justification.  The innate strength of a child’s curiosity is seldom either constrained or promoted by reason or objective.  Sometimes we must release ourselves from the moorings long enough to embark upon unpremeditated discovery.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

Sea Fever by John Masefield