I’m heading into a week-long Silent Retreat today. As I mentioned last year, for more than a decade I’ve taken this first week of December for what I call Stillness.
To me, Stillness is very different from Silence. Silence is one of the HOWs en route to the WHAT (Stillness).
Silence is not talking. It brings to mind someone with a vertical finger in front of pursed lips. Or sometimes duct tape over an entire mouth ;).
Stillness is what can happen after I’ve lived in Silence for a while. Stillness is:
- creating a space for what’s holy to me;
- noticing how often my mind confuses void/barren/stuck with quiet/empty/open;
- moving more mindfully – actually noticing what’s around me as I move from point A to point B;
- remembering to honor mealtimes by acknowledging how much effort (from so many) went into the food that’s nourishing me;
- paying attention to what’s happening around me without jumping into the middle of it;
- and sleeping or being awake when and as much as my body tells me I need.
Stillness doesn’t mean comatose. For me, Stillness is optimum engagement. In an ideal world, I’d love to live in Stillness. For now, I’m off to visit for a while.
How does Stillness fit into your life?