In our Energy Collective Group we are currently doing a Thirty Minute Wuji challenge for the month of March. This thirty minutes is on top of our normal practice, and I suggested it so that participants could experience how Wuji and stillness creates a particular type of cooking of the system.  So with that, I wanted to share some thoughts on Stillness and practice.

Why is a level of stillness and subtlety important for releasing deep patterns in our system?  In other words, why the heck do we sit or stand still or mostly still? Firstly, I would like to note that I am talking about what happens with our bodies and awareness as we go deeper into our practice. I am not talking about concepts, but more of what it feels like when the rubber hits the road. 

So why do we need stillness practice? Well, let me begin by saying that I love movement. I love creative movement. It is very valuable. I think of my process as a kind of primordial life dance. But if we are always moving, the movement is often too much information for the system to feel what is actually happening, so it’s impossible to let go of deep trauma or even just restriction in the middle of the body and into the cells.

Imagine a wooden board. Maybe a beautiful vertical grain like some old growth red cedar, but then along that wood grain we come upon a knot.  And that knot has grown in a spiral in the wood, twisting it.  To release that knot, the whole structure of the tree would have to reconfigure.  It can’t just be forced or made to straighten out.

It is similar for dissolving and releasing stuck places in the body. In that subtle unwinding, up and down and front and back lose meaning. We need to slow everything down and let the system reveal how it needs to open. Our linear brain will not understand or predict how that might need to unfurl. If we could figure it out we would just release it. And any movement we do will not seep into that stuck place, as it will overwhelm that deep unconscious place. So we need to give the system a surprising amount of space to melt and feel safe to unfurl and reorganize.  And it is not just about trauma, but deeper principles also begin to emerge as we let go into this bigger process.

This process might take much longer than our brains are used to allowing.  We may also need to take breaks as things release, as we can become fried by the process as buried stuff is processed. We may feel out to sea, waiting for an eternity at times while the system reboots. Our sense of time may shift as the clock speeds up or slows down. Deeper states of mind may emerge out of this physical nonlinear unfurling. We find ourselves in the unknown. And we see that we must let go of all ideas and melt in this unknown. All ideas are in the way of this process. 

We need stillness to go into samadhi consistently, and the samadhi is where the deep work gets done, where true insights emerge and where we see that there is a whole process going on way beyond what we imagined. So I like to say that in the stillness practice the homework is done. Then we can go out and play in the world and explore from that connected place.

Our whole way of being might naturally come into question as we physically explore space and see what is emerging.  And we may see that the freedom we give that place to blossom and unwind changes how we interact in everything we do. Our physical practice is so real and unfeigned that it transforms how we relate to everything. We see and experience that there is space all around us and that the present moment is alive and malleable and fascinating. We connect with something like Grace. Gradually or quite suddenly we may see that the idea of a self doesn’t have a place to land in this unknown. It just dissolves or has no meaning there. 

Life is being lived, and it is much more interesting than what our brains have figured out or can control.  And that process of dissolving into the unknown, keeps going further.  It ripens and changes in unseen ways over a long period of dissolving. Love is born out of this place of holding onto nothing at all. Even if you’ve touched it, you will probably still need a long time of integrating and dissolving. And that process usually needs support from sangha and mentors, as when it happens it feels like we have to step out of the way everyone views the world. But it is so worth it, as we see that life is so much bigger, so much more beautiful and loving than we had imagined. You can do it! Your true nature is calling!