by Taylor Ellwood
When I first discovered stillness meditation practices (via Dzogchen), I’ll admit I was skeptical about it.
On the surface, it just looked like I’d sit still and focus on being still. It doesn’t sound very magical and compared to some meditations it seems rather dull.
But when I began doing my stillness practice consistently, what I discovered is that it’s been one of the most potent practices I’ve ever done.
In abiding stillness, I discovered not just enlightenment, but also empowerment.
Stillness work is intense.
It’s not just about sitting still and starting at the wall in front of you. It’s really about diving in deep within yourself and uncovering all the blockages and potential within you. However it occurs by being still, and if you think being still is easy, think again.
Being still, truly still, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spirituality, is hard.
It requires discipline and consistent practice. You won’t get stillness the first time you practice it. You won’t get stillness the second time you practice it.
You will practice stillness meditation and some days you will get it and others day you won’t.
I tell you that because after practicing stillness for some time I still have days where I try for stillness and it doesn’t happen and I have other days where it’s effortless.
So how do you do Stillness Practice?
Sit in a comfortable position for yourself, whether it’s cross legged on the floor (my preference) or sitting straight in a chair. Make sure you sit straight, with good posture. Link the fingers of your hands together, with your thumb tips touching each other (like in the title image at the top of this article).
Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your nose. Keep your eyes open for this practice.
There are two ways you can do this practice.
You can pick an object or spot on your wall and stare at it, focusing on being aware of yourself and the spot, or you can simply focus on being aware of yourself.
To begin, I recommend starting with picking an object you can stare at, because it makes this practice a bit easier to do. Once you’ve done that practice for a bit, you can try the other variant and see how it’s different.
Focus your awareness on the object. You want to be aware of it, which is different from thinking about it. If you find yourself thinking about it, recognize the thought and then let it go and refocus on just being aware. When you are just aware, you are still. Your body is still, your mind is still, and your emotions are still.
When you are still it simultaneously feels like you are very clear headed and like you are one with everything. You become part of the background, just sinking into it and opening yourself to the universe.
Image via Leland Francisco
3 secrets that will lead you deeper into Stillness
Now you know the basics of stillness practice, but let me share with you three secrets that have helped me go deeper into Stillness practice and can help you do the same.
1. Stillness is an experience that happens to you.
You can’t force yourself to be still. You have to let stillness happen to you.
When you do your practice, you can try as hard as you want to be still, but at that point you’re trying to control it.
When you stop trying to control stillness is when it happens to you. And what you need to remember is you can’t hold onto it. You experience it. Maybe you only experience it for a moment or maybe you experience it for 15 minutes or an hour.
Be patient with yourself in doing stillness practice. Do it every day, but don’t do it for the result of stillness. Do it for the discipline of doing it and let that lead you to result of stillness. If you consistently do this practice, you will eventually experience stillness.
2. Stillness opens you to possibilities.
Stillness isn’t about emptying your mind. It’s just about being.
And when you let yourself be, you actually access the hidden potential in you and in the world and you discover possibilities. I actually get some of my greatest inspirations in my stillness practice.
I won’t act on them at the time, but I’ll note them and then come back after the practice and put down whatever details need to be included.
Image via ((brian))
The experience of possibilities is part of the awareness of you. You recognize yourself not only as you, but also what you can be.
The experience of possibility is really the recognition of potential. Potential is part of stillness.
It isn’t acted on…it’s just the infinite potential being experienced. It’s only realized if you choose to no longer be still, to take action and turn potential into reality.
3. When you don’t experience stillness, what you are experiencing is what you need to work on in yourself.
Stillness practice is internal work, which means that even if you don’t experience stillness, you are still getting insights about what you need to work through.
When I’m doing my practice and my mind is fixating on a conflict with a person, what’s happening is I’m being shown what I need to focus on in order to get back to stillness.
I can recognize the focus on the conflict as an opportunity to work through it or I can fixate on the conflict and allow it to continue to control me.
Stillness practice reveals what you are obsessed with and provides you the opportunity to be aware of it, instead of involved in it.
That act of awareness can be very liberating because you are outside of the obsession and can see it for what it is as well as how it is taking up your life force and creativity.
The awareness is the first toward changing your relationship with the obsession, which ultimately involves releasing your attachments to it.
Stillness practice has helped me liberate myself from some of my attachments and is continuing to become aware of the other attachments, while also allowing me to discover possibilities and inspiration. It has transformed my life and spiritual practice.
It has actually helped me go even deeper with my other meditation practices as well.
When you abide in stillness, you embrace awareness and free yourself of the illusions that have held you back from stepping into your potential and turning it into reality.
About the Author:
Taylor Ellwood is the mad scientist and magical experimenter at Magical Experiments. When Taylor isn’t experimenting with neurotransmitters, space/time magic, or pop culture magic he’s helping eccentric entrepreneurs with their businesses and enjoying everything the Northwest has to offer in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and 2 kids.
featured image via Pixabay
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