A Moment to Experience Stillness

Cat, East German Castle

I’m overloaded with knowledge and weariness and unbelievable energy from my healing arts class, but I wanted to share just one slip of wisdom that I gathered today.

Without stillness, we cannot reap what we sow.

Maybe this is just stating the obvious, but when my teacher said it I found my pen scratching furiously across the page.

It is only by resting between yoga postures or during final savasana that we integrate the work performed by the moving body. The slumber of winter is necessary to rest the fields so that all of that reaping and sowing is possible. Only a quiet mind can make sense of the barrage of information that assaults it every day.

Stillness is one of those precious paradoxes. We know that we need it, but as soon as we give in to our desire to describe it, it vanishes like an unrealized, unrealizable dream. So many people skip though the years without ever pausing to assimilate the stuff that makes up their lives. It is more than possible to tumult through time at breakneck speed indefinitely, but what sort of shape are they in – mind, body, and soul – when they finally reach the end of their frantic race?

How do we cultivate stillness so that all the work we do as spiritual seekers, as healers, as people of compassion actually roots into the deepest levels of our true selves? Where do we find the space for stillness between doing our jobs and loving our families and recording our thoughts in all of these glorious words?

Before we can tackle the daily “how” it is important to first to come to terms with the fact that stillness is necessary at all. I do not believe that anyone else can convince you of that, but experiencing it just might give you an idea of why this crazy idea of doing nothing may just work.

  • Try to sit and listen to that every day symphony and cacophony that dances inside your head .
  • Give it time to play for a few maddened minutes, and then just let all of the extraneous sounds fall away. Focus on your breath, on the way you are settled into your seat, on the dark infinity behind your own eyelids.
  • When all that noise fades, notice what it is like to sit in peace, just for a moment.

Letting things just fall away may not be easy at first, and it may be scary if you think that silence in your mind means that you are sitting in some sort of void, but when you are really still, the mind is the safest place you will ever know.

I am hoping that a glimpse of the bliss that is stillness will be enough to convince us all that we just might be able to consider finding a few moments each day during which we can simply stop, we can simply be.

I just need to quit typing long enough to find it!

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3 thoughts on “A Moment to Experience Stillness

  1. brandi December 7, 2008 / 10:03 am

    I used to skip savasana in yoga class.

    I couldn’t sit still. I told myself I didn’t need it.

    actually, I just couldn’t handle what my soul was trying to tell me.

    I wasn’t ready to face the truth.

    it is now my favorite time of yoga-the position I feel is the most useful and I take that as a sure sign of growth.

    this is a beautiful post.

  2. Nerdy Renegade December 7, 2008 / 11:02 am

    This is a great post! Thank you for sharing these words of insight and wisdom.

    I have been CRAVING silence and alone time lately. Slowing down, resting, pondering, journaling, meditating….those are the medicine I need right now.

    For too long I have not done this – just kept going on the gerbil wheel. Now I have NO CHOICE but to stop and listen. Reflect and renew.

    Amazing things happen in stillness. A new me is being born.

  3. girlwhocriedepiphany December 8, 2008 / 1:59 pm

    Dear Brandi,
    Isn’t it amazing, to suddenly understand that bathing in all that light you created during practice is actually the greatest reward? I wish you many happy corpse poses in the future!

    Dear N.R.,
    Thank you! Isn’t it amazing when the Universe just puts on the brakes sometimes and says “You. Stop. Listen. Now.”? We fight it so hard sometimes and are blessed if we figure out how to slow down before something happens (illness, tragedy) and we are forced to do so.
    I wish you a gentle and powerful rebirth.

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