| BEAUTY | LOVE | TRUTH |
| PEACE | JUSTICE | FREEDOM |
which we experience and enjoy
as we embrace our fantastic journey,
"Be still and know that I am God.”
"You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet." -- Franz Kafka
"Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself." -- Herman Hesse
“Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.” ~ Erich Schiffmann.
"How to know God? By being still. How to be still? By practice of meditation. Meditation is the art of being still in body, in mind, in heart, in will, in the entire inner being, and enabling the higher Divine Consciousness in us to have direct, immediate perception of God." – Omkarananda
"What's wrong with being busy? Plenty. Americans have become the most anxious, time-stressed people in the world, thanks in part to all the high-tech devices at our fingertips that are meant to make life easier. The white noise of trivia and the thrill of consumption fill our heads and guide our behaviors." – Richard Mahler
When we learn how to be still, really still, then we can truly know and experience the pervasive Love which is everywhere at all times. It’s here right now, at this time. Let this amazing Love be unmasked. Let ecstasy reign.
Stillness is the path which leads to awakening and awareness. While it is OK to sleep on the journey, you do miss a lot. So let’s wake up and become aware through the magical practice of simply being still.
When we are still we awaken to the glorious reality that … We are intimately, intricately, infinitely connected by a matrix of unconditional, unlimited, uniting LOVE which is miraculous, mysterious and marvelous.
Being still simply gives us a point to become aware of the movement, the flow, the dance. We become still and appreciate movement. Life is impossible without movement. But in stillness we learn how to move better, how to respect the whole creation more fully, even how to control movement for useful purposes. Of course our control is always quite limited and elusive. We think we have things under control only to find out that nothing is going as planned. That's OK! God has everything under control and that's all that matters. God is mysterious, elusive and holy. We are intimately, intricately and infinitely connected to God and everything God has created and is creating. It's wonderful. It's real.
The importance of this practice cannot be over-emphasized. It is the foundation upon which all of the essential spiritual practices are built. It is both extremely easy and extremely difficult.
Since this practice is so important we will be staying here for a while and cover a lot of ground. It is life-giving ground. Let us thoroughly enjoy the ground here.
Breathe deeply. Breathe fully
Be still. Be silent.
Be centered. Be grounded.
Lighten up. Loosen up.
Let go. Let God.
Be glad all over!
Breathe! Breathe deeply! Breathe fully! We need to become completely aware of this life force within us. We need to be constantly grateful that we live, that we breathe, that we can enjoy the abundance of creation breath after breath after breath.
Yoga is a very powerful way to practice stillness. Doing Yoga, we learn to move our bodies in a rhythm connected to our breathing which promotes stillness. This is taught wisely and gently by the well known Yoga teacher, Erich Schiffman. In a great video -- Ali MacGraw - Yoga Mind & Body (2003) -- he guides us through the basic Yoga positions. In conjunction with this video, he wrote a book, Moving Into Stillness, which is illuminating, inspirational and comprehensive. You can find this book in print and much of it is available right here on the internet.
Yoga isn’t for everyone. There are other ways to enter the wonderful realm of stillness.
MEDITATION OR CENTERING
Meditation isn’t for everyone but most of us can benefit immensely if we find a way to establish some kind of mediation practice. If you want to begin this practice, I would suggest simply sitting in a relaxed and upright position, breathing deeply and fully, perhaps focusing on an object visually or listening to music or chants or your own sacred word or mantra. There are many methods. Explore on your own and see if one works for you.
Here are some of my favorite books for developing this practice:
LIVING SIMPLY THROUGH THE DAY by Tilden Edwards
THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Morton Kelsey
HOW TO MEDITATE by Lawrence LeShan
THE SEEKER'S GUIDE by Elizabeth Lesser
Inner Frontier offers a page on the practice of stillness by Joseph Naft, a wise and experienced spiritual guide.
Stillness is the language God speaks and everything else is a bad translation.
Stillness is really another word for space.
To be still is to be conscious without thought.
You are never more essentially, more deeply, yourself than when you are still.
Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffman, a wise and experienced yoga teacher. The complete book is available on the website.The chapter on Breathing is important. "Yoga Mind and Body" with Ali Macgraw is a really good video in which Schiffmann teaches essential Yoga practices.
The Orthodox Church of America offers "On Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "Witnesses to Silence and Stillness" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "The Gift of Silence" by the Very Rev. John Breck and "On Silence and Solitude" by the Very Rev. John Breck.
Centering Prayer and Lectio Divina as taught by Father Thomas Keating is an excellent method for entering the glorious stillness which leads to our awakening.
The “Sayings of Swami Omkarananda” offer some essential wisdom on how the practice of stillness opens us up to the abundance of God's love and beauty and peace and joy.
Bertram Salzman offers some very practical suggestions on how to be still. Here's some information about his book Being a Buddha on Broadway found in The Midwest Book Review. “Being A Buddha On Broadway: Access The Power Of Your Naturally Peaceful Mind is a self-help guide by Academy Award winning director Bertram W. Salzman. Written especially to help others achieve the peace of a subtle mind that Salzman achieved through spiritual awakening, Being A Buddha On Broadway offers dialogues, pointers, and a series of Attention Exercises to condition one's thoughts to screen out noise on the path to peace. A simple, easy-to-follow and moving instructional that promotes calm, well-being, and focus."
"The Death of Stillness" by Richard Mahler. Excerpt: "What's wrong with being busy? Plenty. Americans have become the most anxious, time-stressed people in the world, thanks in part to all the high-tech devices at our fingertips that are meant to make life easier. The white noise of trivia and the thrill of consumption fill our heads and guide our behaviors."
But keep reading. Bliss is going to happen sooner or later as we practice stillness. Kurzka says:
"Where is this bliss coming from? It is Love in action, or form arising out of Stillness; it is the Divine saying, 'I see You, and I am You. I am both this continual pool of Stillness and the waves of experience arising out of this Stillness.' Life begins to appear miraculous, lovely, and fresh, no matter what the nature of its content." | Read the article
Awakening.net offers a description of a powerful epiphany experience by Metta Zetty. Here's an excerpt: "In this moment of Recognition, I suddenly realized the fundamental simplicity of our existence and our purpose. There is nothing we need to do or achieve beyond the fullness of the present moment. And, I understood that this realization will dawn upon each of us, naturally and inevitably, as we begin to release our resistance to the flow of this energy moving within our lives."