Practicing Stillness

Practicing stillness is building a road to where things are known

Between Step 8, “Today I will be still,” and Step 69, “Today I will practice stillness,” Steps to Knowledge directs students to practice stillness on 13 separate occasions. My mind has a hunger to know, “Am I doing it right?”  Did I pick the correct internal point on which to concentrate?  Am I using the breath in the correct way? How do I know if I’m doing it right?  What am I supposed to experience?  But all these questions contain words or phrases related to judgment, such as “right,” “correct” and “supposed to.”

Practicing stillness

I believe that for many students, the experiences of these 13 different occasions of practicing stillness will vary greatly.  I think that is a good thing.  If students are observing their practice, they will notice when they were more devoted and when they were more ambivalent.  That’s a good subject for investigation.  Some stillness practices might have been disrupted by the physical environment.  Sometimes the mind is particularly insistent about something. Sometimes a number of things came together, and a small vacation is successfully taken from one’s mind and its concerns.  Getting from Step 8 to Step 69 involves discovering that stillness takes away a great deal of suffering and drama, and is thus a worthy enterprise.  Getting from Step 8 to Step 69 includes collecting data on what helps stillness and what hinders stillness.

Someone is reading this and thinking, “Well, what’s your stillness practice, Mr. Student-of-Steps-to-Knowledge?”  I’m happy to tell you, but I make no claim that it will work for you.

I sit on a comfortable couch.  If I am practicing stillness at night, I keep the room dimly lit with indirect light from outside the room.

I program the session by mentally saying once at the beginning of the practice period, “With each breath, I become more still, for I am worthy of stillness.” When my mind insists that I think about something, I mentally say “I will consider this later, but for now I will be still, for I am worthy of stillness.”  This is using the idea from Step 32, “The truth is with me. I can feel it” of taking a small vacation from one’s mind.  I imagine these thoughts floating up to the surface of my mind, as I sink further down toward the depths.

I steal a couple of pages from the playbook of A Course in Miracles.  Somewhere around Lesson 50, there are a number of Lessons where the practice is to “find the light within you.”  Another direction is to “sink back within the mind,” as if I am headed for the depth of the mind where things are known.  Therefore, what I consider to be stillness appears as an inner brightness to me. As I become more still, I regularly see my body in my mind’s eye, stretched out straight, my arms pointed to my left and right, rotating in all three dimensions, as if I was attempting a fancy 10-meter platform dive down to the depths of my mind.  I don’t understand why this is the case, but there it is.

I believe the fruit of a stillness session is being a little less unhappy about whatever I was most unhappy about the most before the stillness session.  I believe the fruit of a stillness session is being a little bit more open to different solutions to the problems I face. Practicing stillness is a good way for me to become a little calmer and more rapidly adaptive in life.

* * *

Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! Добро пожаловать в Тайну просветления! We document the study of the New Message from God in general, and the book Steps to Knowledge in particular. Мы тут делимся своим опытом изучения Нового Послания от Бога, в общем, и книги Шаги к Знанию в частности. Find out more about us here. Узнайте больше о нас здесь. Find out how to contact us here. Узнайте, как связаться с нами здесь.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *