Bit different from One Hundred Years. But in a way that 60 seconds, the Magic Minute we’re talking about here, is considerably longer than 100 years, so much longer in fact that it qualifies as infinity, the endless journey into inner space.
In his book Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar mentions the solitude that he regards as necessary for his life and work. He gives himself his daily allowance of solitude, which also means silence, because unless you talk to yourself very loudly, you’re silent when you’re alone, right? This is fairly standard stuff for writers, at least writers who write about the journey, the work on the Self, the path of self improvement and self transformation. We have to have silence and solitude to do the thinking about the writing. Thinking at this level is a kind of meditation, and the whole point is that we are always but one small step away from meditation, which is exactly what this blog is here for – to suggest points to ponder, to meditate on, in 60 seconds of silence. The Magic Minute. Never mind that this will take you longer than 60 seconds to read; that’s not your Magic Minute. Your Magic Minute is when you take the time to take these ideas with you into silence, into solitude, for a specific reason – to meet Your Self.
I’m often aware, and quite shocked, at how so many people live so far away from solitude. It’s also silence that we seem to avoid; it makes us uncomfortable if nothing is going on, nothing is making a sound. This kind of solitude is actually your own and only natural state, because originally You the Soul were a bodiless being, and without a body you’d find it hard to a) make any kind of noise and b) have any awareness of others who might ‘keep you company’. You’re just a node of pure, conscient, living energy. The solitude and the silence we’re exploring today are essential qualities of our consciousness of our Selves as Souls – of Soul Consciousness. That kind of solitude is not loneliness, the pit of despair, the sense of disconnection, of abandonment to a place where there is no help. It is a powerful and creative place, to which you can take yourself – and Your Self – as a gift for that short minute. The effect will feed back into your daily life like a shot of power and peace in your spiritual arm. A relief, a relaxation. Turn yourself off, turn Your Self on – by which I mean, your solo, silent, single Self.
We seek company and companionship, and if we haven’t got people to rub up against, we tend to use sound. Have a think about this: when are you ever ‘off’? Are you ‘on’ all the time? Do you turn on the radio or TV the minute you get out of bed, kicking off a day full of sound and vision, a million stimuli, constant input? The other half of which is output; you’re thinking, you’re talking, you’re doing. You’re probably surrounded by at least some noise, even if you work alone deep in the woods; there’s always noise, and there’s always the opportunity to protect yourself with it, to accompany the inner chatter of your thoughts with the external soundscape so that you never have to cross a patch of silence. But crossing a patch of silence, for at least 60 seconds every day, is a Very Good Idea. And it goes without saying that that silence is a silence in solitude. You can’t do this Magic Minute thing, which after all is meditation, with your mates, friends, colleagues or family. Yes, they could also be there, doing their own Magic Minute and planting their own Power Seeds; but when you all come back from your 60-second journeys, you open your eyes and see the world around you, and look at each other and go: ‘How was it for you?’ You’ve been in solitude, you’ve been in silence, and you feel good. Rested. Refreshed. Replenished. Refuelled. Worth turning the radio off for, right?