Stillness in action
Where do we find peace? Where does healing originate? How do we rest? These questions and more are answered when we are still, quiet, focused inward. This may sound simple, it is not most of our life we are drawn out into the world. We must make a conscious choice to stop shift into neutral and reverse our attention.
It takes only a moment to make the switch to reflect inward. Taking that moment is our choice, although often it must be wrenched from scenes, attachments long developed, fixed on the external.
Habitual behaviors such as turning on the TV or radio the moment we awake, looking for news from the world before we even hear the local news from within our-selves sacrifice our inherent stillness.
Waking from sleep (one place where we do find stillness) choose not to open your eyes just stay there with your stillness of the body. Watch the mind as it charges up, re-loads with ideas, worries, starting its daily chatter upon rising from the depths of slumber. Where do you watch from? Who is the watcher? It need not be cosmic, just curious “amazing even before my foot touches the floor I am filled with noise.”
From “the observer” we notice what parts of ourselves are resting ‘still,’ calmly settled against the mattress, and which parts are being revved up for action. Set up a viewing post for the observer within yourself; you could imagine observing self in a comfortable chair behind the waking activities. This may sound schizophrenic but oddly we do this all the time! Frequently, even constantly, different parts are asking and answering questions within. This “chosen observer” consciously watches, and possibly makes better choices. “Maybe I will linger a little longer with the resting body parts on the bed…compare the revving parts to the lingering parts…feel them…”
Obviously we must act at some point and go to work and feed ourselves. But can we take a moment, rest in our “chair of observation”? In most spiritual practices one is encouraged to meditate or pray first thing in the morning and last thing at night—another place to meet or be the observer or to be in stillness actively. Could we take the observer with us out of bed, off the meditation blanket, into the actions of our daily life? Why not? We take the chattering mind with us everywhere! Possibly we could set that aside in the background…
Rising from the bed—”watching,” choosing—do we thrust ourselves up into a forced performance habituated with years of service? Could we maintain awareness of the body parts that are still resting against the bed, pealing them one by one off the mattress, using their support against the bed as leverage, one after the other to arise? (There is a curious lightness, even joy, in such things). Being with each integrated portion of yourself as you rise from the bed changes how you meet your day.
We can carry this observer, chair and all if you like, within us throughout our day, our life. In fact this place, unit of self, need not be created it is already there…that is the same voice that drives us crazy chattering in our head all day, all life long. We can choose what the observer focuses upon. We can remain in a degree of stillness in the midst of action.
One last thought: the moment before action we are in stillness, from here we have choice. Once we act we have results, maybe even consequences.
Please enjoy movement lessons regarding stillness soon to be installed in the Media portion of this blog.
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