Walking Around in Stillness
I like to spend some time each day walking around in stillness.
Many of us think we need to practice stillness sitting down. We may believe it is best for our bodies to be as quiet as possible when we listen to sacred stillness. It is important for us to close our eyes and pay attention to our breathing, letting go of distractions.
Most of us practice listening to sacred stillness by being as still as we can.
I do practice listening to stillness sitting down. Most days it helps me also to listen by walking around in stillness.
Walking is a good way for me to find a fresh perspective. We are not moving too fast to pay attention and we experience life at our eye level. Some of us amble while others of us stride with purpose.
It feels good to take time each day to walk around. Some of us can walk around outdoors, breathing fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin.
We do not necessarily need to take a rigorous hike or walk a great distance. Walking around the block, or a few blocks, can make a difference.
Some of us are walking around in stillness on sidewalks while others walk in parks or in fields.
One of the places I really enjoy walking is past the large windows of fitness centers. It makes me laugh to watch people on treadmills watching me walk past.
Walking around in stillness can help get our juices flowing again without distracting us.
Many of us do not experience enough walking around in stillness.
Walking Around in Stillness Together
You and I are walking around in stillness together.
We seem to be headed in different directions toward different goals. Your way may seem gentle, with plenty of opportunities to stop and rest, while I am struggling through obstacles. I may feel the sun on my face or a warm breeze while you are headed into a storm or darkness.
One of us may be walking familiar ground, while the other feels hopelessly lost.
Still, we are walking around in stillness together.
We each have our own journey, face our own challenges, overcome our own obstacles. While we each take our unique steps, we know we are not alone.
Each of our days is filled with adventures, deep truths, struggles, and companions. Our stories intertwine, weaving together to form a larger story.
Our stories have many colors, light and dark, and many textures. We have walked in rural places and in great cities. Our exploration has uncovered many paths to truth, discovering pain and beauty along the way.
I have sought answers in justice and the law and truths offered by political power and in financial security. We have explored relationships with other people, and looked for reassurance deep within ourselves.
There have been moments of blinding clarity, when we could look out to see past, present, and future. We have spend weeks and months in fogs of confusion and despair.Walking around in stillness I have begun to discern and appreciate the lessons of this journey. Now I help people find their way, as other have helped me before.
Each of us walks in our own stillness.
As we listen to the stories of our fellow travelers we begin to glimpse the inspiring beauty and power of the larger story.
Walking Around in Stillness On Our Own
While we share the same sacred stillness each of us hears it speak to us in its uniquely personal ways.
The challenge for us as we are walking around in stillness is to live in harmony to what we hear. We may not be paying attention, not listening as well as we could. It may be a challenge for us to interpret what sacred stillness has to tell us. Some of us have a difficult time putting what we do hear into practice.
Each step we take as we are walking around in stillness is a significant one.
Sacred stillness is all around us and within us. The stillness in us hears the stillness in the rest of the world.Stillness in the people around us hears the stillness within us.
We are easily distracted. Other voices drown out sacred stillness. It is easy for us to take stillness for granted. Soon we are walking around in stillness but we are not paying attention.
The time we spend walking around in stillness is not a luxury, but a necessity. We practice listening to sacred stillness and the stillness shapes us.
Our own contemplative practices are how we fit together into a shared listening community. Walking around in stillness on our own is how we walk in stillness together.
We Are Walking Around in Stillness
Listening to sacred stillness gives us strength and courage. As we practice listening we recognize how we are connected to ourselves and to each other and to sacred stillness.
Walking around in stillness shows us new ways to listen and apply what we hear.
We listen and sacred stillness reveals itself to us. When we pay attention we begin to appreciate stillness has been with us all along.
Walking around in stillness helps us encounter the stillness within us. We realize life is not as chaotic or threatening as we assumed it was. Stillness draws us in and allows us to rest.
As we spend some time each day walking around in stillness we share our stillness with each other.
We realize walking around in stillness is not wasting time nor a distraction from our important work. The time we spend walking around in stillness is about listening, reflecting, and applying what we hear.
When we are walking around in stillness the sacred stillness within us embraces the stillness all around us. The sacred stillness all around us embraces the stillness within us.
How are we walking around in stillness today?
Will we pay attention as we are walking around in stillness this week?
[Image by Lynn Vaughn Allen]
Greg Richardson is a spiritual life mentor and coach in Southern California. He is a recovering attorney and a lay Oblate with New Camaldoli Hermitage near Big Sur, California. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com, and his email address is StrategicMonk@gmail.com.