This is a transcript of an interview with author Jurgen Ziewe about The Ten Minute Moment by Evita Ochel. I found it interesting and informative, and so am sharing it here:
Your book The Ten Minute Moment shares your personal journey of a solitary meditation retreat in a remote log cabin in the mountains of Scotland. What is the greatest impact that this experience had on you, as you see it today?
The profound experience mentioned in the book formed a tipping point, which turned out to be irreversible. There is no going back. Now everything existing in the present moment is of equal importance, because every appearance is supported by the all pervading reality of stillness and unity. There is no getting away from the fact that all reality — and no matter how this reality presents itself in my daily life — is underpinned by pervading stillness against which everything else plays out, which of course is always transient.
I discovered I could no longer ignore or turn my back to this resilient fact. The reality of it is just too overpowering, too obvious. I only have to look at anything, any object at all, to find proof of it, to see this unity. Everything that exists, simply by my awareness of it, convinces me of this profound fact. I knew, that from this moment onwards, this stillness and profound peace was against which everything else had to be evaluated and considered.
Given your vast experiences with meditation over the years, how would you describe what meditation is?
To me meditation is simply accepting that I am already one with all. Meditation is the surrendered resting in this overwhelming fact. So I don’t have to do anything special, just accept this reality. With this acceptance comes the security that I do not need to go anywhere or aim for anything. I simply surrender to its fulfillment. Knowing that I am already here, united with my source I simply rest in and relish the reality of it. There is nowhere else to go. I am already where I am meant to be. To me that is meditation.
However, should I consider a traditional meditation technique when resting in my chair, such as focusing on the light or a mantra, I then simply take the position of the light and rather than focusing on it, I radiate out from it into the universe surrounding me, because I am already the light or the mantra.
There are many types of meditation talked about in our society and beginners are often confused about what kind of meditation to do. What is your recommendation in this regard?
To me Meditation is an individual contract each one of us makes with their own source, God or their Higher Self; a contract which is simply based on love. I realize that some people may take a different route, and that is why I think it has to be an individual path. With billions of people there are billions of meditation techniques. The good news is that the moment I direct my attention within, I develop more of a sense of what is good for me and what is not. To me, the meditation is to find the best way to open a channel of communication to the inner teacher.
Many people who attempt meditation are often also frustrated by the constant chatter of thoughts expressed by the mind, which they cannot seem to turn off or escape from. What is your advice on how to overcome this?
Show kindness to your thoughts. When kindness and love rise in your awareness these feelings are more powerful than thoughts. Giving preference to appreciation, gratitude and love makes meditation and the focus much easier, more pleasurable and more rewarding. I see thoughts like boats on the ocean, where the ocean is love. When love becomes the carrier of my meditation then my thoughts become like sailing boats on the ocean’s surface, submitting to the carrying elements. If the ocean is calm my thoughts are calm and pacified, and my meditation will be enjoyable.
But sometimes thoughts come along which need attention. Some thoughts are not really worthwhile and I simply let them wither by not paying them any attention. Others are powerful and crave for every ounce of awareness I can give. Their challenge makes me dig deep until I reach the level of wisdom. So sometimes these big compelling thoughts can lead me to a much deeper level of awareness. I know when I have reached this level because it is like a crystal lake of reflection, with its mirror surface it reflects my thought from all sides. I use kindness and understanding in my reflection and never condemn. I let no aspect be unattended to or rejected, and show all of its aspects the greatest respect. Because, deep down I know I am the parent of my thoughts, which I recognize as my own children. Like a good father I guide my thoughts into the clear light of understanding, then peace will result or a clear plan of action will emerge.
Then there are thoughts that are like warm honey from a flower of wisdom and knowing deep within. They are the gift of inspiration which are offered to enrich my life and the lives of others. I show my gratitude to these offerings and store them in my soul for later use.
Then there can be habitual or addictive thoughts trying to steal my attention, I simply stop feeding these until they wither and instead favour the reality of ‘what is’ and the unspoken moment which doesn’t require thought. If I do not succeed I simply rest my awareness on my breath or any other feeling I can devote my love to until I find rest and calm awareness.
Intentional silence, solitude and stillness to experience pure being have become increasingly rare in our world today. Why are these experiences important to prioritize and cultivate in our lives?
Real silence, solitude and stillness are only found once the self referential chatter of our mind has stopped. The mind is a Perpetuum Mobile, always feeding and needing to be fed, always striving for answers while continually remaining unsatisfied. We may turn to solitude in nature and yet the mind may be churning out its constant chatter. Real solitude is to be found when this chatter is disrupted by something that takes our attention into a completely new direction, which is inaccessible to the mind. This is actual experience, which enriches the heart and our feeling.
Instead of channeling our input through our senses via the mind, we channel our input through the heart. Instead of hearing and seeing the bird in the tree, we identify with and ‘become’ the bird in the tree by sending it our love and experience its existence. After all, in reality, consciousness is not limited to our own body and self, but it is everywhere we look at and place our attention on. The moment our attention is placed on the all surrounding ‘us’ we experience true silence and stillness because there is no longer anything the limited mind can divide us from. There is only the experience of pure being.
Sometimes we need to create space in our lives to disrupt the constant flow and feedback of information. To be alone with our thoughts and our self is just as important for our mind and soul, as a good diet and exercise is for our body. Daily, regular meditation can give us this space even in the busiest metropolis and provides the nourishment for our soul.
At the end of the book you share 12 markers of an awakened life that you noticed have manifested in your life. Which one, would you say, has been the most instrumental in changing who you are and how you live your life today, and why?
Number two. The constant feeling of being home. This is the most persistent experience because there is no longer such a thing as an outside world. I am always home wherever I am, even in the biting cold of the winter storm, because that too is the experience of what I am. Wherever I want to be I am already here and that fills me with great peace and satisfaction. My greatest joy is the constant experience that I am Here, that I have been chosen and blessed simply to be alive.
What do you see today, as the greatest obstacle that humans of this Earth reality face to advance their spiritual evolution, and what can be done about this?
Reality is simple, it’s just that we are so engrossed in our mental interpretation of it that we have lost our natural means of communication with that which simply is. Present reality is the great leveler, there for all, from insect to human, and we don’t need the mind to access it. We simply need to be and live in the acceptance of our being. The most natural way to do so is to surrender to it without thinking about it. The moment we surrender, reality makes us a conscious part of its universal being and bliss.
How do we surrender when we are so accustomed to and in need of control, when our first line of confronting a situation is via our emotions, instincts, and conditioned behavior?
The first action would be to surrender to any given situation via our heart first, by accepting it, appreciating the presence of its reality. Accepting here-now reality and the way it presents itself by sidestepping the ego creates space for intuition to come to the fore and guide our interaction. Acceptance creates space and makes it apparent that we are an intrinsic part of the challenge. This offers us a greater view of the situation from within and we are able to appreciate the position of others. Instead of controlling a situation on a whim we are adapting to its inherent nature, which is not blindsided by self interests. We derive strength and power from an underlying current of what is right and true, which will give us the authority and strength to act in harmony with its inherent laws and make our decisions with clarity.
When we wake up to this simple and amazing fact that stillness underpins all reality and gently and with kindness go about our daily business, we calmly take stock and begin to understand what needs to be done. We begin to see that that which we think is us, is in fact only a minuscule part of the whole. Instead of seeing the world only in relation and separation to ourselves, we begin to experience the world around us as a whole and as our home. Once this realization manifests in our daily life, we begin to act in a way which benefits the whole. By asking “how can I serve?” we benefit ourselves because we are part of the vast reservoir we are serving.
Thank you so much Jurgen for sharing your time, love and wisdom with us here today. Your message is always shared with such an immense amount of gentleness and compassion, yet it guides us to the core of truth like a laser, with utmost focus and clarity.
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