Updated: Apr 27, 2020
The momentum is building to move back out into the world. Lest we forget, the world we left six weeks ago was filled with noise, pollution, aggravation and tension. Many of us, day after day, would return home feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. Today, after this Covid-19 retreat, many of my clients and students report feeling more at ease. What a great word: EASE. It feels so easy!
Before we venture out -- I suggest we seize the day — and create stillness within.
The best reason for practicing stillnes is to maintain perspective. If we don’t make time to be still, we fall into reaction mode—the unconscious state influenced by habitual inner voices with big demands.
Tai Chi Chuan, is an internal martial art. The saying below is meaningful -- especially as we consider leaving the safety of our homes.
“Stillness in stillness is not stillness….. only when there is stillness in movement can the world manifest itself.”
The mind is like a balloon in the wind - blown here and there. If things go well, the mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy.
Somewhere in between your first morning thought and your final reflections before going to sleep, take a few moments to meditate and create an inner space of stillness and clarity. In these unprecedented times, with so much uncertainty, learning to still the mind, regardless of the external circumstances, is highly beneficial.
Wu-Men, a 13th century Chinese priest said, “If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.”
We will venture back out again….
The question is: Can we use this precious time to cultivate stillness and what does that look like?
How to Practice Stillness/ Meditation
Schedule a time. First thing in the morning is ideal.
Find a place. The main thing is to find a place where you won’t be interrupted.
Set a timer. Set aside, five, ten or fifteen minutes a day.
Relax your body - Breathe in the word relax, breathe out the word peace.
Quiet your mind. Watch the space between the thoughts. Or watch your breath as it goes in and out of your nostrils.
Be present. Don’t think about the past or worry about the future. Just be present—in this moment. It is the most important time you have. In fact, it is the only time you have.
Gratitude. Feel the blessings that come along with gratitude. Let yourself be washed in these warm feelings.
Quotes on Stillness
“I get those fleeting, beautiful moments of inner peace and stillness - and then the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day, I'm a human trying to make it through in this world.” Ellen DeGeneres
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance.” Morgan Freeman
“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.” T. S. Eliot
“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”
“…Find stillness through loving actions, through compassion and sharing, through understanding the nature of the creative process in the universe and having a sense of connection to it. That's conscious evolution.” Deepak Chopra
“Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think... All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.” Pico Iyer