When I’m going through a stressful situation, I often call to mind the image of the old fashioned wheel: as the wheel’s outer rim spins and its spokes rotate, the hub, the center of the wheel, stays still.
The events in our life, including our thoughts and our perception of the world, are like the rim and the spokes, constantly moving and revolving. And that is the nature of life and of the mind, just like the nature of the rim and the spokes is to spin. The nature of the hub, however, is to stay steady and stable, no matter what is moving. There is also a part of us, our own hub, that stays still in the midst of the eternal spinning of the mind and the surefire whirling of life’s events.
Our own hub also happens to be our true nature. Not that the body/mind part of us is false; it’s just that the body and mind are temporary and as such, simply have no credentials to point us toward any sort of stability. (By mind, I’m referring to our mental happenings: our thoughts, beliefs and convictions.) If we are trying to connect with our true, or permanent, nature, which we may describe as our center, then we better not take guidance from our passing form, or else we’ll find ourselves in a constant spin cycle. Unfortunately, that’s the state most humans live in most of the time.
And for that exact reason, you will not find direction or validation in the world if you’re yearning for more stillness in your life. This is not an invitation to become a hermit and meditate all day. There’s no need to hide or avoid anything. Each one of us is having the precise human experience we chose and that very human experience is also the optimal learning tool you — the real you — picked as your curriculum. The direction and guidance we humans are desperately seeking throughout this learning adventure can only be found by turning toward our own self, our hub, the center of our being. And it may seem like a paradox that this center is not a point at all. The hub that never rotates is infinite space, pure formlessness. The true self is actually no self.
From the mind’s point of view, this is insanity. Why would I turn to pure formlessness and no self for help?! Ask yourself this: what success rate have you had so far toward abiding in stillness in times of stress, while you followed the direction of the ever-twirling contents of your mind? I’ll share with you my success rate: it’s zero.
Turning to the mind for stillness is like asking the rim or the spokes of a wheel to stay still, while at the same time, expecting the wheel to do its job. We’ve simply made an innocent mistake, and have been repeating that same mistake for eons, by confusing what part of us is meant to do what. The mind will spin itself into exhaustion if you let it, and will still not lead you to peace. All you have to do is go to the already and ever-so still part of yourself when you find yourself in need of calm.
Remember that the hub is also the part of the wheel without which all the other parts would be useless. It seems foolish, then, to keep turning to the rim or the spokes of our being for validation of our true nature and direction in life. Your own hub is just patiently waiting for you to acknowledge that the goldmine you seek, you already have within you.