Photo credit: Laurie Cummins
Listen to this blog post:
I invite you to take two conscious breaths before reading on………. And then with the next breath, allow yourself to settle in.
Arising this morning in the hours before dawn, I found my mind ready to move into action, starting to plan and gear up for the day. I was trying to mentally resolve the issues needing my attention. After a breath, these words came: “You don’t need to work so hard. You have permission to relax.”
Holding a cup of hot tea, I moved into my meditation area. With a small candle as a source of light, the delicate glimmer of the tea caught my attention, drawing me into the stillness of the liquid. It felt like an invitation to “just be.” Ahhhh…an entry point.
Truly, everything can be seen as an invitation into that precious inner stillness of “being.” Here we can listen to the deeper realms within. Many forms of meditation provide practices for entering our own still place. Stillness is always available, even when the waters above it are churning.
Time for practice keeps the whole of this life experience in view and allows for ever greater deepening, even if integrating that awareness into our daily lives can be a stretch. Sometimes stillness feels so far away. It is easy to get caught up in the “what” of life—the activity, ideas, doing, and emotional reactions that feed unease and struggle. The list of “whats” is endless. Beyond personal circumstances, this distance is heightened for many by the effects of the pandemic and by the chaos of our times.
In the difficult moments, how do we bridge the seeming chasm between overwhelm and inner stillness?
We can remember that we have choice and that we can reorient our attention to include our inner being. In this choice, we find the chasm is not nearly as large as our mind would lead us to believe.
Conscious breath helps us exit this distraction-fueled highway and is an entryway into the realm of our interior. Breath allows us to recognize and release inner tensions that reinforce the fight or flight mode. Every moment offers an entry point for dropping in and dropping down, with no destination. We can remember to be more receptive to our truer self.
It is this quality of being receptive to the sacred moment that unlocks the gates of internal protection and welcomes sweet moments of quiet and stillness.
Receptivity was my guide in this morning’s meditation. It involved noticing where I was holding onto a subtle but familiar sensation that felt like an internal shield. With nothing to change or fix, spaciousness gently rose to soften that sense of armor. A deep sense of stillness gradually unfolded, serving as a supportive anchor for my day. This experience is not a result of any willful action. It unfolded because it is inherent in our deepest nature to experience spaciousness and stillness when we open to the mystery of who we are.
How can stillness welcome you into your life, to the life around you, and to the ground that supports?