"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism


06 June 2014

Word of the Day: Stillness



The Stillness List

A still mind is something highly sought by spiritual seekers, people who work with dynamite, and kindergarten teachers.

Some of the cobblestones used to step on to get there are tricky. One minute you are on firm ground, and the next minute you're falling into the cheese grater of life. That's the path to stillness: full of false positives.

 Paths of Stillness

  1.  Spiritual seekers sometimes get funny looks on their face pursuing stillness. Like when a guy is laying on his pillow with his mouth open and slobber running down his chin. That's not called stillness. That's called 'you're definitely not going to get any sex tonight.' Actually, it IS stillness - of something. Like shrinkage. Which he'd rather not reveal.
  2. Speaking of funny faces, preschoolers get the same look. It's like when they're sitting in the corner, hidden behind the chair, grunting into their diaper. Stillness? Well, it's actually movement.
  3. Of course, yoga teaches us about stillness. This includes extremely intelligent
    behaviors 
    like holding your arm out in front of you motionless for 40 years, long past the point that it's withered.
  4. Americans, the most productive workers in the world, know a thing or two about stillness. Like when their heart stops from overwork and stress. And they die. Without benefits.
  5. People around the world know a thing or two thing about stillness caused by alcohol. It's a different form of stillness. Or distill-ness. Passing-outness. A numbing stillness. Which can have its benefits.
  6. And then there is the busy-mindedness devotee of stillness. This is about sitting perfectly still, plotting about the next life or nation to interfere with or dominate. That savvy captain of industry floats in stillness on his yacht, whilst his minions are doubled over in loot and conquest, and blessed with no health care or retirement benefits. Greedy bastards, he thinks, rocking in his magnificent stillness. 
  7. And let's not forget the religious. They sit in their religious services, perfectly still. Well at least it looks like they're perfectly still, as they think about dinner, their spouse who is cheating, getting new boobs, their neighbor who's a bitch, and yet another white-knuckled family reunion coming up. Godly stillness. 
  8. And finally there's the rare bird who has truly learned how to still their mind and heart. In which case, they are typically the village idiot, ignored by everyone, each of whom are living in their own ridiculous form of stillness. Which the idiot can see. Clearly. Because s/he is, well... still. A person who works really hard not to be judgmental. Like this list.