“Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. It is the I Am that is deeper than name and form.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Life is motion. On a physical level, to completely cease all motion is to die. Only at death are we motionless, or still. So what does it mean to “be still” when we are holding a posture, seated in meditation or even in deep sleep?
We never truly render our bodies still nor should we for complete stillness equates to death of the body.
Through the act of becoming still something shift. To reach a still state we must embrace slowing down. Like torpor experienced by hibernating animals, we begin to slow our bodies and minds down but not with the intention of turning away from the world. Coming toward stillness is coming into direct experience with the world around us.
Stillness is often described by the well-loved metaphor of stilling ones mind as though a pond, free of ripples. Even though the top may appear perfectly still underneath life is swimming. But in the act of the winds ceasing to blow and the disturbances on the surface ceasing to occur we are able to see more clearly through the waters. In the act of stilling we are able to come into a closer experience with our true nature.
In the experience of our energetic body, motion creates vibration. Sound is a result of vibration. Once the vibrations are stilled or slowed there is less sound. In the silence we are able to hear. We can understand sound as the information our ears receive but there is the physical sound or the vibrations our body receives as well as the vibratory information our eyes receive. In slowing ourselves toward stillness we are reducing the many forms of vibration within our experiences. As this form of all encompassing silence is reached we are able to experience the world around and within free from the disturbances of all the vibrations.
“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behaviour. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise.” ~Eckhart Tolle
In the experience of slowing down there is a subtle sensation of expanding. Coming toward a still state brings with it deep experience and alignment. To bring oneself into stillness is to bring one self into alignment with the movement of the natural world or what some call flow. To be still is to move in sync with the universe.