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The Power of Stillness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In this session, we're going to talk about the power of stillness. Now I first gleaned the power of stillness from the late Indian meditation teacher, SN Goenka. On retreat, he encouraged his students to spend an hour staying perfectly still in meditation. Not adjusting their posture, not wiggling their fingers, not even moving their tongue.

He told his students to sit with the perspective that I will remain 100% still until the end of this hour, even if I feel like I'm going to die. Now, that's a little intense and I don't encourage taking it that far, unless you're inspired to. There's huge value though, in practicing just a few minutes of this kind of meditation, but why would we stay still like this? Well think about all the reasons you wouldn't stay still in meditation. Feeling bored and wanting to check your phone, an itch on your face that you reflexively scratch, discomfort in your knee that you'd like to adjust. All of these things are some form of pain or discomfort that we try to move away from.

It's no different than walking away from our partner in an intense argument, reflexively checking emails when we're feeling the stress of a work project or not speaking up when it feels too vulnerable or texting our ex when we feel lonely, which is rarely a good idea. These are all reactions to discomforts that we're not able to be with or choose not to be with. When we commit to being still though, we're forced by choice to be with all, all of these little discomforts that we typically react to or avoid. So take the example of the itch on your face. You're doing your meditation, trying to be still.

Now, have you ever tried to not scratch an in, an itch? Uh, it's kind of tough. The mind throws a bit of a tantrum, really wants to take care of it. So this is a great way to explore being with discomfort in a low stake, stakes way. So what do we do? We notice the intensity of the itch. And instead of turning away from it, we bring our attention there.

And now instead of fighting, we're practicing relaxing into it. This will be a bit of an internal wrestling match at first. We'll grit our teeth when it intensifies. We'll relax again when it eases up. We'll feel the energy in our hand wanting to take care of it.

And at times will feel like, all right, screw it. I'm going to scratch it. But if we stay with it long enough, one of two things will happen. The itch will surrender and go away or two, we will surrender and relax into the intensity. In each of these scenarios, we're learning that we can be with and get through the intensity of the experience.

The second scenario though, the moment where we let go and find ease and dis-ease is particularly special because it's often an entirely new way of relating to discomfort. We're not stonewalling. We're not, over-powering, we're relaxing into it, letting down our resistance. Does it really matter if we scratch the itch? No, but we are training ourselves to be with these moments of discomfort in our day-to-day life. And that can be a superpower.

So we'll practice more of this in the meditation. But as you also go about your day, see all the ways that you avoid discomfort and in those moments, see if you can practice being a little bit more still with it. I think you'll find that it becomes your own superpower as you navigate your life. I'll talk to you shortly. Take care.

Cory Muscara

4.7

The Power of Stillness

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In this session, we're going to talk about the power of stillness. Now I first gleaned the power of stillness from the late Indian meditation teacher, SN Goenka. On retreat, he encouraged his students to spend an hour staying perfectly still in meditation. Not adjusting their posture, not wiggling their fingers, not even moving their tongue.

He told his students to sit with the perspective that I will remain 100% still until the end of this hour, even if I feel like I'm going to die. Now, that's a little intense and I don't encourage taking it that far, unless you're inspired to. There's huge value though, in practicing just a few minutes of this kind of meditation, but why would we stay still like this? Well think about all the reasons you wouldn't stay still in meditation. Feeling bored and wanting to check your phone, an itch on your face that you reflexively scratch, discomfort in your knee that you'd like to adjust. All of these things are some form of pain or discomfort that we try to move away from.

It's no different than walking away from our partner in an intense argument, reflexively checking emails when we're feeling the stress of a work project or not speaking up when it feels too vulnerable or texting our ex when we feel lonely, which is rarely a good idea. These are all reactions to discomforts that we're not able to be with or choose not to be with. When we commit to being still though, we're forced by choice to be with all, all of these little discomforts that we typically react to or avoid. So take the example of the itch on your face. You're doing your meditation, trying to be still.

Now, have you ever tried to not scratch an in, an itch? Uh, it's kind of tough. The mind throws a bit of a tantrum, really wants to take care of it. So this is a great way to explore being with discomfort in a low stake, stakes way. So what do we do? We notice the intensity of the itch. And instead of turning away from it, we bring our attention there.

And now instead of fighting, we're practicing relaxing into it. This will be a bit of an internal wrestling match at first. We'll grit our teeth when it intensifies. We'll relax again when it eases up. We'll feel the energy in our hand wanting to take care of it.

And at times will feel like, all right, screw it. I'm going to scratch it. But if we stay with it long enough, one of two things will happen. The itch will surrender and go away or two, we will surrender and relax into the intensity. In each of these scenarios, we're learning that we can be with and get through the intensity of the experience.

The second scenario though, the moment where we let go and find ease and dis-ease is particularly special because it's often an entirely new way of relating to discomfort. We're not stonewalling. We're not, over-powering, we're relaxing into it, letting down our resistance. Does it really matter if we scratch the itch? No, but we are training ourselves to be with these moments of discomfort in our day-to-day life. And that can be a superpower.

So we'll practice more of this in the meditation. But as you also go about your day, see all the ways that you avoid discomfort and in those moments, see if you can practice being a little bit more still with it. I think you'll find that it becomes your own superpower as you navigate your life. I'll talk to you shortly. Take care.

Cory Muscara

4.7

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