This was our last retreat there. In the old mansion that we so dearly loved. Amongst the rolling hills of Wales. Here we have listened and felt. Here we have known what needs to be known. We have felt our heart sing and thrive beyond measure. 

Here we sang together for the last time. A small improvised choir. A last song that is like a hymn for future days. Its lovely tune I cannot convey to you. But the words. Oh the words… Only listen and feel the heart of it. It goes:

Be still and know that I am God
And there is none besides me

The first injonction is ‘be still’. It’s a call. There is a wild world out there. Don’t run after every seducing thought. Don’t follow every glitter of experience. Be disinterested for once. Turn your head away. Say: I don’t want you! Try it.

Don’t let the world eat you. If anything, swallow it yourself! But do it softly. Let it go and disappear of its own accord. Be gentle. We don’t want to upset it. It needs to tell you more. Wait a little longer. You will be surprised.

Put yourself together. Find the place of togetherness in you. Stay there. See how good it feels. Be reunited with your own self. Make it happy. Make yours its sweet presence. Hear its heartfelt cry resonating. You’re here. At last!

Be still. How to be still? Follow first the ‘be’. Just be. Be still by just being. Feel that you are before every manifestation. The road to stillness is being. Go there with and through your own being. Being opens up to new dimensions. Befriend it.

Being is grounded. It helps you settle down, gather yourself. It helps you return to the essential of life. Your own ground. Being is a fertile thing. Plough it. Remove everything that is not its fundamental constituent. Make it breathe. Silent yourself.

Being is like the open door of a secret jewel box. More is to come shining if you stay there. If you’re not afraid. Stillness is embedded into being. And being is your self. It is made of you. It is you. Don’t miss it. Know yourself. 


A still mind is not seeking experience of any kind.”
~ J. Krishnamurti


Be still and know. Being is not alone. Being has knowing as its essential. Knowing is the form of the formless being. Knowing infants the world. But knowing does it humbly. Effortlessly. It doesn’t accumulate. It delegates to the mind.

Being is knowing. To know that you are being, you need knowing. Knowing is the true master. It gives you life. It is the creator. Knowing empowers. He is the emperor. Or rather she is the empress. For she bears the world you live in.

Become aware of knowing. Don’t let it pass unnoticed. Don’t forget that you know. Not what you know. This is irrelevant. Notice the knowing. See the fun that it is. Knowing in and as being. This is the inside of the jewel box. It has a happy shine. Taste it.

Be still and know that I am. It is not faulty grammar here. It is meaning expressed. For it is not you that are. It would make you petty. Only the I am is. I am is a king. Know that I am. Know that only the true self is. Not you. But He. For you is He.

He is subjective. Always. Never objectify it. Don’t do it. This is the sin. Trust yourself. I am is all you need. Don’t run away. Be patient. Stay there. I am is the precious jewel. Unravel it. But don’t rush out. First visit the apartment. Open your eyes. Feel.

Notice your very fabric. See that the injonction is for oneness. Undivided. Unmoved. For that that is. For the seamless existence of things. And their absence. Their not being separate from you. I is all there is. It is all one. I. God. 


The existence of things is His existence, without them existing.”
~ Balyani


Be still and know that I am god. This is not some kind of big-headed thought. I am god is supreme humbleness. Simple naked noticing. I am present. I cannot go anywhere. Cannot run away. God is inescapable. I might as well stay here. 

Here. Where I’m fearless. And here is a now. Trust your presence. Don’t think you have to fill it. Now is the nakedness of Presence. Where yesterdays and tomorrows are absorbed. Excusing themselves. Giving way. Tiptoeing outside the now. 

Presence is only made of itself. In that it is pure. Unmixed. Untouched. This is wisdom: to stay completely alone. Self-sufficient. Unconditioned. Unable to be conditioned. Therefore trustworthy. Reliable. Move forward. God is waiting with open arms.

Please refrain. Stay away. That is one of many pitfalls. Don’t think of your body as home. It is not home. Home is incorporeal. Therefore deathless. You cannot be destroyed. It might look like it. I say it again. Listen. You are rock like being. 

Don’t limit yourself. If you’re unsure or feeling small, look for an edge. See if there is anywhere where you stop being. If infinity is your very doorstep, you need to know. Observe. Extend yourself to all that you are. Practice limitlessness. 

Can you feel it now? The ease. The joy. It is like a swelling. Throbbing like a distant, unlocalised sound. Your heart. Rising above and within. This is the perfume of god. The gold in the jewel. To rejoice. To love. To be happy. To be peace itself. Completeness. 


When I’m perfectly clear, what is is what I want.”
~ Byron Katie


Be still and know that I am god. And there is none besides me. Don’t feel you have to go in a special place. This is it. The world you live in. Give in to it. The world is not the world. It is sacred being. It is all made of you. You’re safe. Let go.

There is none besides me. You cannot go wrong. Embrace it. You may have had to keep the world at bay for a while. For the sake of clarity. But don’t do it too long. Don’t distance yourself from it. Ultimately you can’t. So dance with it. Be of it.

Remember. There is not two. You have your own special place in and as the world. It may not be apparent from the erroneous place of separateness. Let the world breathe in you. Dissolve in it. Let it take over. Let it be you. See how it will lit up.

Be still and know that I am god. And there is none besides me. Remove yourself. Disentangle the self from all that is only passing. Abide in the quietness of your heart. Feel that you are. Contemplate god’s being in you. Then take it out in the world.

This is the recipe. The pathway back to your lovely home. To the peace of your heart. The ingredients are all at hand. Nothing is missing. This is a simple procedure. Delve within. Sort it all out. Be willing to do it. You won’t regret.

Be prodigal. Don’t be shy. Don’t be moderate. God is not. And don’t forget. It’s all been baked already. You have very little to do. Maybe even nothing. Remember. There is none besides Him. It’s all there. Here. Now. For the taking. Amen.


There is no outside of you. It’s all an inside game.”
~ Adyashanti 



Text by Alain Joly

Photo by Elsebet Barner



The words of the Song are borrowed from Psalm 46:10 and Isaiah 45:6.
Thanks to Shena Power for bringing these words and song to my attention…

– ‘The First and Last Freedom’ – by J. krishnamurti – (Rider Book)
– ‘Know Yourself’ – by Awhad al-din Balyani – (Beshara Publications)
– ‘Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life’ – by Byron Katie – (Harmony)
– ‘Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering’, by Adyashanti – (Sounds True Inc)

Jiddu Krishnamurti
Byron Katie (The Work)



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