Accessing Inner Wisdom
This month we ask Victoria Willson, one of the trustees at the Hamblin Centre, for her views on Wisdom.
What is wisdom to you?
Because I’m a student in the Wessex School of Philosophy, I’m often asked what philosophy is to me and I can easily provide a nice ‘pat’ answer but this question needs a bit of thought! The best that I can come up with is the ability to lead a good, true, happy, purposeful and fulfilling life in all circumstances.
How do you access wisdom in everyday life?
I find connecting to the still point inside us all to be one of the most useful practices as it brings me immediately into the present. From here, it’s easier to see exactly what is really going on rather than my perception of what I think is happening.
Can you give an example of how inner wisdom has helped you recently?
A few weeks ago, I was asked to have what I thought might be a difficult conversation with someone. I wasn’t sure how to broach the tricky subject and had no idea of what the outcome was going to be. I knew that rehearsing what I wanted to say would be a waste of time, so I just went step by step with a completely open mind. At each moment, I trusted that I would know what to say and, more importantly, how to say it. I remember being very conscious of acting from the still point inside and listening with as much attention as I could to what was being said to me in both content and the emotion behind the words. Happily, it was a good two-way process and we came to a harmonious resolution!
What value has wisdom in today’s current world?
I think wisdom has tremendous value in today’s world as it helps us realise that we’re all in it together. Wisdom helps us remember that there are two sides to every argument and that we need to listen to what’s being said, so that we respond (rather than react) to a situation. It’s also important to remember that everyone has the divine spark within them, so really there is no ‘other’ only One. Therefore everybody should be treated with respect.
Can you recommend any resources or writers who have influenced you with regard to accessing wisdom?
Nowadays, I tend towards the scriptures which originated in the East, particularly the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ although as a child I was raised with the Bible. The writer Eknath Easwaran writes very clearly and manages to present the teaching of the Gita as a manual for everyday life. However, I’m currently reading ‘Writing on the Ground’ by Wellesley Tudor Pole which looks at how events in the life of Jesus are in reality of cosmic meaning.
If you could give us a tip on how to access wisdom in challenging times what would that be?
I can’t stress enough the importance of meditation to help us access our innate wisdom. It needs to be practised regularly – every day, not just when we feel the need of it! When times are challenging, it’s important to operate from stillness not agitation… and a good supply of chocolate never goes amiss!