All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal, Pensées
The above quote has been used many times, more so by the Technorati (not the website — the Silicon Valley and other tech elite). I didn’t think of it much until I sat quietly recently.
My daughters had confiscated my devices to do their bidding and I was left alone, in a room. I had slept well the previous night and didn’t have anything immediately pressing to work on.
So I sat.
A few weeks ago, or with less sleep, I would have needed to get up and look for a back up device or use the time to put on another load of laundry. Nope. I just sat.
I give credit for this to Sam Harris and his Waking Up app. After a few months not using it, I started to pick it up again regularly and can find the opportunity in lulls to just sit an observe thoughts and inputs and to create a pause between these observations and reacting to them.
The result is a little less stress, more understanding, and more control over feelings. What I observed was that with practice, it is possible to sit alone quietly in a room.