In stillness we rest deeply. Our minds are quiet and calm. We are un-conflicted. We are profoundly rested.
Sometimes we think there is no time to be still, and sometimes we are scared to quiet our minds for fear of what will arise. We learn however that over time
as we allow ourselves to drop into stillness for more and more moments, we also allow ourselves to develop wisdom, calmness, courage and clarity to sustain a life of freedom and integrity in challenging times.
In the therapeutic endeavour Mindfulness is often focused on coming to see the workings of our own minds, accepting with kindness whatever arises in us, and making wise choices about what, if anything, we want to do. The mean spirited feeling, the flash of anger, the sigh of sorrow, the thought that we should know everything, the fear that we are going to be caught out. Mindfulness teaches us to bring kindness and acceptance to the myriad of thoughts, beliefs and experiences that we don’t want, but do have. And in that kindness, we feel more accepting and less judgmental of ourselves, and ultimately others, and in that acceptance, we can sit more peacefully noticing the never-ending interplay of thoughts and emotions and responses.
As we are more accepting of that inevitable interplay going on, so too we can allow ourselves to soften into stillness. We can simply relax the body for long enough, let the fidgeting and restlessness settle down, and help the mind to come to rest by itself; to simply ‘allow’ it to happen.
Our hearts may recall past experiences or create daydreams or imaginary events that call forth many hues of emotion. Thoughts may tumble in and speed along one after another like cars racing down a freeway. We can observe these, and become familiar with the workings of our own minds. In itself this is a kind of stillness, a stillness of just noticing with acceptance and without reacting.
After a time, as we settle more, the thoughts and emotions grow lighter and the gaps between them widen, until there is quiet – for a moment, for a few moments, for many moments. This kind of stillness is profoundly restful. Joy naturally arises infusing us with energy.
Therapeutically, the value of being mindful of the workings of our own minds is obvious. Sometimes we can forget the value of stillness. The gift we can give ourselves daily that brings joy, peace, calmness and clarity for a life of freedom and integrity.
Past MBCT participants not only share the value they gained from being kind to themselves and mindful of their mind chatter, they also talk about the ways the experiences of stillness brings new perspective and a deep feeling of rejuvenation.