Still

May 1, 2015

“Everything that we mean by meditation can be summed up in the single word, ‘still’. We are still in body, and it matters that we are so. The very impulse to move, whether it is to stretch or to fidget, or to act, to achieve, is an impulse away from meditating; it is the urge to abandon stillness in favor of something that might produce a result, something that might actually have an end or a purpose. But we are still so as to show ourselves that we needn’t always have a purpose, there needn’t always be an end. We are still in order to demonstrate to ourselves that we can be, that there is life, there is current, there is richness even when there is no action at all. And we are still, as much as we can be, in mind as well. It is not that we do not think, for of course that will continue, but we do not move with our thinking, we do not seize the mental thread and follow its every meandering. We are still instead. When we notice the impulse to move with the mind we simply resist it, we simply don’t travel the trains of thought, and without us, without our participation, the threads spin out much sooner than they otherwise would. And we are still in all our self-expression as well. We do not speak or walk, we do not create, we do not become; we do not in any way announce to the world, ‘This is the person I am, I am me being me’. Instead we are still, our identities placid for a little while and, if we are very lucky, come to rest so completely that that sense of ‘me’ is as still as a reflective pool. Then what is normally like water becomes like glass and we see everything that we normally miss reflected in that clarity. It is because of the stillness that the pool of your own being becomes like a mirror, and with the light of all that is shining on it, it clearly shows you your own true face. You are not the pool, you are the sky that it only sees when it is perfectly still. And you are not the thoughts, you are the mind-space that they arise from, the space that stillness and stillness alone makes known to you. And you are that beautiful current of life enlivening the body, that current which, alone, remains when the body is perfectly still. And that is why we meditate, so that we might catch a glimpse of our own reflection in the pool of our own being, so that we might know ourselves as space and as life. And it is only stillness that makes all of this possible, only stillness that can bring meditation to its own heart, to its core.   Be still sometimes, that you may have the joy of this self-recognition, the peace that is only stillness. Do this when you meditate for the sake of your own clarity and not for any purpose or reason beyond the sheer joy of it, the pure love of it.”

2 Responses to “Still”

  1. Sam Red said

    This is beautiful Emily. Very deeply authentic and inspiring. Thank you for your post, Sam

  2. starrystez said

    I agree with the above comment – very beautiful to read, almost poetic.

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