Standing still is perhaps the most contradictory activity we can do. When we seem to be "doing nothing", we actually challenge ourselves physically and mentally, using every muscle of our body, strong, deliberate breathing and steely concentration.
It's all about doing things that our culture doesn't respect. To many people, stagnation is stagnation. Lose power. Not to keep up. The fact is that many people think that stagnation is actually backward.
However, standing still taught me a valuable lesson. It allows me to enter my heart. Instead of always wanting to be the busy one, the active one, the catalyst, standing still for me to watch.
It helps me to see things. At the moment of "seeing", the world looks different to me. Or maybe it doesn't look different, or maybe it's just that I think differently about it.
This is new to me. I'm listening to silence, it doesn't sound terrible, it's just different. When I stand still, I can listen. When I'm talking and planning my next smart reaction, I can't.
When I can see and hear, I can learn something new. I can change. I can grow.
This may be why the tree is so big. They stood quietly, witnessing the four seasons, rain, sunshine and the reincarnation of animals. They amassed strength from the ground. From a deep place, they reach into the air-rooted and light.
They are still, but they are not static. Running around all the time keeps me the same, because nothing has time to change me.
Continuous activities don't allow us to see things as they really are … The world is a vague movement, not a place of calm, stillness and meditation.
It is possible to be patient and gather our energy so that we can do things that we think will be realized by running around trying to change things. How can we change what we can't really see or understand, because we are too busy running past it to reach the next one?
We often think that what needs to be changed is the world around us. In some ways, it seems easier to change the outside world than to change ourselves. Move to a new city. Stop using plastic bottles and straws. Let's vote.
If we keep running, we can keep the status quo, because we are a blur-even for ourselves. Ironically, coincidentally, on a large scale, when I have been challenging myself to stand unattractive, today I heard the voice of my teacher Colleen Seidemann. She said that I might not have registered two weeks ago, because I was fidgety and didn't know whether to go to the movies or stay at home to wash clothes.
"Running around, we are all exhausted. But what are we running from? What are we heading for? "
She quoted Iyengar as saying: "It is only when we can be close to ourselves for the first time that intimacy with others is possible. The only way that can happen is that we spend time indoors instead of living outdoors all the time. "
On this day in January, I think something may happen here, which is not only a philosophical truth, but also a practical truth.
Let's face it-it's cold outside. It's warm inside. I think I'll stand there for a while.