I’m reading a great book by Rudolph Steiner called ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: How is it Achieved?’ In the book, Steiner emphasises the importance of taking time out each day to quieten our minds in order to achieve higher levels of cognition.
Steiner knew more than a few things about the power of the mind. Not only was he the founder of the Steiner school system, but he travelled extensively to speak professionally about learning and metacognition.
As with many great works, Steiner’s writing taps into grand narratives that appear in many other areas. In articulating the value of quietening the mind on a regular basis, his words align with many of the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
The tricky bit is actually putting his words into practice. For me, trying to find five minutes to quieten my mind is like trying to listen to a phone call at a football match. But I’ve committed myself to finding five minutes each day to just acknowledge the madness in my mind and to consciously focus on quietening it. This usually involves just sitting in the car after arriving at work (while other people look on rather bemused).
And I have to say that, even after a few days, the results are impressive. Greater focus, less distraction, a greater sense of calmness and control, and feeling more connected to things that really matter to me.
It is all too easy to be busy all the time, and technology has not done us any favours in this regard. But switching off your phone and sitting still for even a few minutes, allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment, is truly liberating.
Steiner, R. (1947) Knowledge of the Higher Worlds: How is it Achieved? (3rd Edition) New York, NY: Anthroposophic Press.