A Lesson In Observation
Under The Belmoral
There is a little inn at the center of one Belizean town called the New Belmoral. Under it is a covered area that faces the very center of town at an intersection with roads dispersing in five directions.
At any given time, this covered space under the Belmoral might contain a number of children, women, and especially men, each with their own reason for being there. Some stay for hours and appear to be too lazy to do anything more than stand leaning against a pole. Others sit and wait. Others hold conversations with whoever happens by.
Observing this crowd of people brings a certain curiosity. How could grown men just stand in one place for literally hours on end? Don't they have something to do?
But should you try hanging out in one of these very popular observation points you will discover the quiet inner action that takes place. You will discover that it is not idle laziness ruling the space under the Belmoral. There is purpose to stillness. For those who practice meditation, there will be a relative understanding.
One Eastern term that has been used, at least in the Western world, to describe a similar understanding is Wu Wei. The easiest way to explain this might be "the art of not doing". In Christian terms it might be described best in this popular phrase, "Be still and know God."
The bottom line is that in stillness the universe around you can be better understood. All the commotion and action in one's view can be better understood if observed quietly for a period of time.
Time is an important ingredient. Although some men have been known for standing relatively still for four or even six hours straight, a period of two hours is sufficient to obtain a clear understanding of what can be gained from this action.
Getting over the self-conscious feeling of being judged for standing still must pass first. Once this happens, an absorbed feeling can occur, a feeling as though you are a grain of sand on a beach. Then the fullness of your surroundings is felt.
The more you observe the people and cars and actions going on around you, the more you come to understand about the meaning and purpose of those actions. You begin to know why people are moving as they are, how they are connected, where the tensions exist, who is seeking companionship, when an employer might have a need to hire someone, who needs emotional support, and the list goes on and on.
This is not a new concept and it can be achieved almost anywhere. It is a life skill that can help you at home and at work. And it is something that many Belizeans practice often. So enjoy this beautiful country of Belize and resolve to taste a tiny bit of the wisdom of its people.