40 | Resting in the Aliveness of Being (with Rashid Hughes)

Rest is who we are beneath the noise. It is a sensing silence that sits beneath the pressure to maintain perceptions, manage expectations, and ceaselessly strive to be, do, and have more. And it can be hard to come by in our loud and fast-paced world.

In this week’s episode of The Gentle Rebel Podcast, I share a conversation with Rashid Hughes who I discovered via The Compassion Revolution.

Rashid seeks to bridge the worlds of contemplative practice and collective care. I was drawn to his suggestion that if we only see practices as an individual thing, we miss the transformative role they play in the collective body.

He describes a “great bypass” that leaves us in a feedback loop of striving for a state of unreal perfection. The noise of this restless pursuit is gently quietened through restful inquiry.

In our conversation we explore:

Rashid’s Four Pillars of Rest and how we might engage with them.

  • (R)elax the grip of goals, expectations, and becoming
  • (E)xhale all the striving to be something else
  • (S)ense the silence and stillness
  • (T)une into awareness of who you are beneath your thoughts

“I stand firm, ten toes down, in saying that inquiring into the beingness of being and learning to rest there consciously, is one emergent pathway to beholding the world with new eyes.”

– Rashid Hughes

We talked about using accountability to reflect our vision and values. When our awareness and attention is opened to certain elements or ways of seeing, accountability is the feeling of being aligned and in sync with that part of ourselves. In other words, whether our vision and actions reflect each other.

We also explored the implications of focussing on becoming at the expense of being. And how this sense of separation from ourselves and one another can lead us down deceptively destructive paths.

Rest in Being as an Ocean Wave

I share a journal reflection I wrote in preparation for the conversation, in which I played with the image of rest as the rhythm of waves on a shoreline. Some are big, some are small. Sometimes there isn’t much going on at all. Ritual is like that. Whether it be a spiritual or creative practice – somewhere we gather together or somewhere I retreat in solitude. 

Over time waves change landscapes but even if one wave causes a landslide, this is still just one moment among many.

We can get stuck in the spirit of doing. Chasing moments that can’t be captured. We run down to the ocean with a jar and catch the wave. Do we have possession of a wave? If we show it to someone else they will just see water. The wave is no longer there.

The wave is uncontainable rhythm. It’s a beat. A moment. Something that can’t be appropriated or owned. No two waves hold the same water even though they might take a similar form in appearance. Each of these moments is unique in that sense. That is what ritual is to me.

We live in a world that expects, demands, and wants to possess what can’t be detained. As soon as it enters the jar, the wave ceases to be a wave. This rings true to many aspects of life. What do we miss when we’re busy thinking of new ways to control the flow within, around, and between us?

Connect with Rashid through his website and on Instagram.

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