I find a vibrant Life in stillness.
I “come alive” inside, as my body comes to a complete rest and I let the mind follow suit. Sound boring? It’s anything but! And it’s been one of the toughest things I’ve ever attempted.
Couldn’t do it some 30 years ago when I tried to “halt” my active state of mind. Thought I “got through” and tamed the busy monkey once or twice, but was wishful thinking on my part.
It wasn’t until two years ago — and the patient instruction of a Mindfulness Meditation teacher — that I “broke” through the barrier. Still not easy, but I learned techniques that work for me.
Becoming still starts with sitting in a comfortable position with feet placed on the floor or resting with ease. Try to detect whether there is a pain or irritation in your hands, arms and other parts of your body and loosen it. If your legs are crossed, you will feel pressure that could prevent the “wholeness” you want to develop. Same thing with one hand over another, clenched teeth, and tense shoulders.
I do a “body scan” as I sit, “feeling” out and moving the body part I find pressing against something hard, like a wooden chair leg or the soft spot of one ankle in contact with the bony part of the other ankle.
Closing my eyes, I place my left hand palm down fingers touching the surface beneath my buttocks, and my right facing palm upwards. One helps to “ground” me, while the other symbolically receives whatever the Universe deems worthy to grant me.
You can do this with your eyes open, but it takes more concentration, at least I have to stay more focused to “do less.” That’s the point of exploring the stillness, to rest with the least amount of movement.
My awareness shifts from outside the body to the air coming into my nostrils. I use breathing as a guide once I’ve determined my “vehicle” is in proper “take off” status for travelling deep within.
It may take a few minutes, but you can always count on that first minor irritation to crop up. An itch. One that starts on the side of the face or near the nose.
It strikes without warning or reason. Who knows what causes it to invade, make a surface landing as my physical shell detects that uncomfortable contact? I want to scratch, but if I do, the stillness might be broken and I might need to start over. Let the itch continue, my instructor said, and you’ll notice it’ll go away. Same thing with a mild cough or an urge to use the rest room. (If you really need to scratch, do it slowly and “mindfully.”)
The longer I can go without moving, the easier it is for my entire being to become one unit. I focus on my heartbeat and stretch awareness to my feet, legs, stomach, arms and head, all pulsating with a single beat as I feel it connect inside of me throughout all of me. It unites me, while also connecting with the outside.
The chair or cushion beneath me, the slight breeze of air on my face, exposed arms and feet and/or legs if I’m wearing shorts.
I “hear” sounds more keenly and I use them to help ease me back inside, going even deeper when a car back fires, or the clock strikes gently disturbing the “stillness.” I descend further after realizing how far I’ve actually submerged, wanting even more of the peace in quietness.
It provides the foundation, the base floor for my “mind” to nudge out evasive thoughts and travel to that state of consciousness that we all can reach within.
It is then that I feel truly connected to all that is around me and I realize I am with you, and in you, and of you, to paraphrase John Lennon of the Beatles. This “trip” cost me nothing except time, and I’ve travelled in the most peaceful accommodations I could ever imagine. My self still inside of me.