Weekly Practice 36
Every week we profile one of the “Reflect to Create! “ practices from my book, they are chosen at random from a jar on my desk. My invitation is for you to try it out if it speaks to you in some way.
This week we are profiling Practice 79: A Meditation for Stilling Ourselves (from page 152 of my book).
Practice 79 is one of the dance steps in The Flow’s Initiating the Invitation where we need to create the invitation within ourselves – and in others we work with – in order to step into the unknown and access its potentiality.
I chose this practice today because after half term I am going into a very busy work phase. I wanted to remind myself of the absolute necessity to still myself in the midst of all of my busyness.
As I write, we are losing our ability to be comfortable with being still. Yet it is in the stillness that ideas, thoughts, and impressions can arrive and start to settle. In our stillness our hearts and souls start to feel safe to speak. Martha Beck in her book The Joy Diet recommends being still for at least 15 minutes a day¹. The Quakers have a long-established practice which they call ‘Sitting in Silent Waiting’ or ‘expectant waiting’. For the Quakers this ‘centring down’ is a time to become inwardly still in order to create an opportunity to experience God.
Stillness can be a precursor to silence. As Franz Kafka writes²:
Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, simply wait, just learn to become quiet, and still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. It has no choice: it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
For Practice 79 (which can be done either on your own or with others):
- Ask yourself ‘What is my relationship with stillness?’ Journal your ideas.
- Ask yourself ‘Can I make a friend of stillness?’
- Find a comfortable chair or space in a quiet place. Make sure you are warm.
- Switch off all electronic devices. Make sure you will not be interrupted.
- Sit or stand with your back straight.
- Breathe, ground and centre yourself. Relax your body. Quiet your mind. Breathe into your heart.
- When you are ready just be as still as you can.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can. You do not need to do anything or be anywhere.
- When you are ready reflect on your experience of being still.
For Lao Tzu³:
‘To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.’
Have a go!
Start with small steps.
Reflect on what you are noticing.
Please do share your stories so we can all learn together.
Join us on our “Reflect to Create!” Facebook group page.
¹ Beck, M. (2003) The Joy Diet. Essex, Piatkus
² Downloaded 4th September 2017 from https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franzkafka134853.html
³ Downloaded 4th September 2017 from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/17583-to-a-mind-that-is-still-the-whole-universe-surrenders