In all of the Universe, does stillness really exist? With everything pushing and growing and moving all the time, air flowing, planets rotating, trees rooting and budding flowers and leaves, earth churning and settling as worms and little creatures dig their way through, with all of this, why do we think that when we meditate our minds should be perfectly still? The truth: we don’t get away from ourselves when we meditate. We don’t escape our thoughts. We don’t automatically step into the Holy Moments of communion when we first sit down looking for that so desired peace of mind. The peace is there, in the background, and it requires our peeling back the oh so active layers, one at a time, to feel its presence, to begin to feel the deep, underlying stillness, like the slow, calm breath that we learn to inhabit.
So we start. With the breath, start by watching, listening, witnessing, feeling, letting all those layers become more fluid, giving them more space to twist and twirl, from one thought to the next. In the middle of the whirly-gig spectacle, when we remember, we then come back to our breath, slow the layers down again and witness some more. We gracefully accept that this is the experience, and begin to let judgement of it slip away. I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s approach to stillness, to meditation in his book Wherever You Go, There You Are, page 33, Can Anybody Meditate?
"meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It's about feeling the way you feel. It's not about making the mind empty or still… meditation is about letting the mind be as it is and knowing something about how it is in the moment."
We get to know the How when we witness the thoughts like a a brilliantly moving movie, images, words, emotions streaming by. We may even become overwhelmed by them all at first. And we continue to watch, with those inner-facing binoculars, kindly, if we can, paying attention to what is in there, previously less known, making our way.
It’s a learning process, all this conscious by-standering, a lesson in learning to let it flow, to let go, just a bit at a time, to sit with kindness toward yourself in the process.
Gradually, with practice, with the commitment to watching and witnessing on a regular basis, more and more space creates itself, by your doing nothing but sitting, breathing, being in the flow of your mind. With acceptance for what is there, all of it, peace trickles in and becomes the new go-to state of being.Starting with 5 minutes a day can have a profound effect. Practiced Acceptance. Gentle Acceptance. Watching and Listening. That's where I started, and it saved my life.
.. to living sensual! xo Piper ..