by Arjuna Ardagh: Here was a recent question about Radical Brilliance:
”If you had to pick one activity or practice, above all else, to enhance your brilliance what would it be?”
I think if I could choose any one thing that makes the most difference, my choice would be: no thing. The practice that I have found, to bring forth our innate brilliance and gifts more effectively than anything else is to schedule at least 30 minutes in the day for absolutely nothing. If we had to give it a name, which I am hesitant to do, I would call it sitting. Now sitting is not difficult. Your dog can walk and your dog can also sit; you can train your dog to sit. Your cat sits, your small children sit from an early age, and you can train yourself to sit, too. It does not require any advanced skills. Anybody is capable of sitting and doing nothing. The difficulty comes, like everything else in our lives, in that we get overly ambitious and we want to make it into something special that we can be proud of. Then we call call it “meditation,” and it gets more complicated. Forget all about meditation. Just sit. Damn it!
So here is what you do: I will give you the method in a number of easy steps.
Step 1: Sit down somewhere, either in a chair or cross-legged.
Step 2: Set the timer on your iPhone for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Put on a blindfold.
Step 4: …
There is no step 4. There is also no step 5 or 6. That’s it— keep it simple. Sitting means just to put on a blindfold, set a timer, and wait.
A number of things may happen once you have committed to your 30 minutes of sitting, but none of them are any of your business, so you can leave them all well alone. You may have loads of thoughts, and that is just fine. If you are aware of thoughts, (it would only be a tiny step further) you may become aware that you are aware of thoughts. If you are noticing thoughts, that means that the thoughts are present, and also that something else is present that is aware of them. You might, sooner or later, with nothing else to do, naturally become curious about that. Who, or what is that? What is it that notices the passing of thoughts? You might notice strong energies building up in the body, which we sometimes call “emotions.” This motion of energy can also become a focus for your curiosity. With the breath and awareness, you can penetrate into the center of an emotional pool, and as you do so, it will welcome you and draw you into itself. Then it will spread and dissipate into the rest of the body.
Spending 30 minutes wearing a blindfold, while waiting patiently, may sometimes be pleasant and sometimes unpleasant. It may sometimes be blissful, it may sometimes be irritating and frustrating. None of that matters— just make the commitment to sitting 30 minutes every day, no matter what, allowing yourself to be curious about what is actually going on.
In ways that defy logic, this will, gradually, over time, ensure that when you take the blindfold off, you are more brilliant, more present, more humorous, and more loving than when you put it on, 30 minutes before.