It doesn’t work. I’ll never get any good at it. I can’t do it. I keep trying but my mind keeps taking over.
These are typical comments we hear over and over at the start of our retreats when we ask people about their experiences of meditation or silent prayer.
So how about we make the start point in finding stillness, to just stop trying.
In our approach stillness is not something you work at to achieve. Stillness finds you. But it can only do so when you stop trying to achieve it.
What is the point of having the mind try to stop the mind? It just adds another layer of noise.
True stillness is in fact not still at all. It is a peaceful acceptance of yourself just as you are – and the world around you just as it is. We welcome the unstoppable processing of our minds and are grateful for this marvelous capacity to associate and organise our experience.
But we just leave it be, trusting the mind to do what it needs to do so that we can draw on it when we need it. And that’s the point, it doesn’t need our interference.
Instead we learn to locate our awareness in more fruitful areas – in breath, in the beautiful flow of life through our body, in our own presence and the bigger presence around us…. None of it still, all in flow… all full of intelligence and knowing.
And we just let it be… not judging or classifying, just receiving.
And then, maybe, stillness will find you – like the stillness of a flowing river, a rolling ocean, a fresh spring dawn.
And you will learn to remember. This is who I am.
You can join us every Wednesday morning to practice stillness in a completely free online guided session. Click here to find out more and to save your spot.