Stillness in motion

My husband and I had a conversation about “calm” and “agitated” people this morning as he prepared to leave for work. 

I was fascinated.  (What makes us discern a person as “calm” or “uptight” or “agitated” or “peaceful” or whatever tags we use?  Aren’t all of us an easel upon which every emotion is painted?)

“What am I?” I asked.

“You are calm–even when you are angry,” he said definitively.

My heart leaped in utter joy.


“Really,” he said and dismissed the entire fascinating subject.

Earlier in the week, another friend had announced:  “You are stillness in motion.” 

I had not pondered her statement until this morning on a walk down the road as the birds sang so sweetly their spring mating trills. 

The two statements made me so happy my heart wanted to burst. 


“WHO is stillness in motion?  WHO is calm even when she is angry?”

Ahhh…that inner voice culled during years and years of meditation and inquiry.

What you do is look inside to discover the answer to this question. You peer inside and look for yourself.  Look very carefully for this “I” that is declaring that it is such-and-such or so-and-so.

You look.

I looked.  Nope, as usual, there is no self to be found.  The “I” is once again a thought, a story, a label, a judging.  Something non-existent in that bright blazing inner Presence which beams from the core of us.  Or maybe beams from no center at all, a sunless Sun, a Nothing filled with Everything.

So who is the self that is so tickled pink to be called something which embraces the opposite?

Just a thought. 

And yet, and yet…

(Here’s where things started clicking, moving, vibing, jumping–all within calm stillness, of course.)

…Suddenly something realized something.  It realized the preciousness of our stories.  The preciousness of our thoughts.  The preciousness of our nothingness and everythingness.  (OK, it’s realized this before many times–but today’s realization brought me to my knees in joy.)

It realized that the stories and thoughts and lives which we are creating are precious beyond belief.  (Sorry, the word “precious” is the only description which begs expression.)

It realized that our stories are gifts to God, the divine, the Creator, the Nothing, the Everything.

It realized that the stuckness of our stories, the places where we tangle and cry and rail and label and blame, are simply knots which the energy of life eventually untangles, as a mother combs a child’s wild and tangled hair.

I am not saying this right.  Except it suddenly seems that the energy IS always moving toward the untangling, even when we think it’s a mess, a despicable mess, a terrible knot, an awful unbearable unbeatable sinkhole.

In meditation, I wept, large tears, relieved tears, as something within felt honored, acknowledged, accepted.  Something which has always felt pushed away when the “Who am I?” stopped the world and dissolved it.

My meditation friend/teacher says there are two paths toward enlightenment.  (Yes, she believes in enlightenment.)  She says there is the negative path and the positive path.

The negative path dissolves everything, simply everything, until you’re so gone that the Light shines through the eclipse in your heart.

The positive path embraces everything, simply everything, until you’re so present that the Light embraces everything in the fullness of your everything.

We often get in trouble, she once said, when we try to walk both the negative and positive paths simultaneously.

(OK, so she says in her story…but I’m walking both paths simultaneously.  I can’t help it, whoever I am.)

Some people rail against folks who want enlightenment, clucking in disapproval.  I think there are pitfalls both way.  If you chase enlightenment, you often miss the preciousness of this very rising story.  If you ignore enlightenment, you’ll often chase the tail of your conditioned responses and patterns, around and around and around and around and around…

So what are we selves who are not selves suppose to do as we long for or reject our enlightenment parables?

What is a new fresh answer that doesn’t involve marshmallows or s’mores?  (See last post.)  My answer is the pebbles of these crazy words strung in a story embraced by a stillness which peeks through the clouds like a full moon on a rainy spring night.

Your answer?


17 thoughts on “Stillness in motion

  1. ooops hit enter! hehehe FEELING stuck doesn’t always mean stuck. It can be difficult for me to remember this when I’m walking that line down the middle. Walking alongside all thoughts and inputs, pondering outputs. Are the outputs then a reflection or are they what I really think? Nope, only in the moment of the thunk. Is funny how that calm thing with you keeps coming up, so glad I’m not the only one that notices it 😀

    “….We often get in trouble, she once said, when we try to walk both the negative and positive paths simultaneously….”

    And what if both and something else outside of the two choices occurs? To be empty and full at once. The horrible and wonderful choices doing such entails!! OIE time to focus on financial aide and get my puter back to the shop for the third time!

    • Thank you, Elisa. I am sorry about your virus. It is difficult to remember what you said–that FEELING stuck doesn’t necessarily mean stuck. That it’s possible to integrate the stuckness. I don’t know about you, but I forget…

      What I also contemplated about the calmness is this: I don’t realize that other people view me as calm. I feel like a wave of emotion so often. But–apparently–all these years of meditation must have embraced some calm & silence & stillness.

      All day today have been aware of the calmness and saying, oh yes, it’s here. Strange…

      (And I think my meditation friend/teacher would be smiling with you and saying Exactly.)

    • Rembering what it felt like to comb my daughter’s tangled hair. How I despaired that it would ever be combed. How Barry had more patience to comb it. And suddenly it was like silk and the comb effortlessly moved through it.

  2. There is that in me that resonates so strongly with the need to be calm, to be still. This morning, as has been a more frequent gift in my new home somehow, I found myself luxuriating in a deep peace and contentment that I have yearned for all my life. It gradually ebbs as it contacts the cares and concerns of the day, but it is cherished very much by me.

    I know that joy of which you speak when people speak of me as calm and also the questioning and inner voice that tells me that I am also never still, too loud, too busy – but is the calm less true than the activity? The challenge of loving all those lost bits of oneself into something new, something I have not yet known.

    Savour it, my dear friend, whatever arises that brings you delight. Let the juices run down your throat like the sweet burst of my morning mango refreshes me today.

    • What a gift to have found what you have have yearned for your whole life, Nicole. I honor you…and cherish that it has happened for you, too. I remember when we first talked on the phone and how very calm you seemed…how very aritculate, together, loving. I am savoring that memory right now because it brings delight.

      And thinking–what is yet missing? The FEELING of Oneness is that which I yearn for. Only experiencing it in bits and pieces, I long for it to be a blanket, a vista, an expanse, an everlasting knowing. That’s what I desire more than anything.

  3. Wow, the contrast between seeing the negative path as enligntenment, merely by virtue of its ability to dissolve everything, thus letting the light shine through, and the positive path being that which embraces everything, making us so present that the Light illumines everything, allows me to realize that there is no way to fail in this life – regardless which way we turn at the head of the forked path, we win. How completely liberating, thank you.

    • Alison, seeing clearly the difference between the two paths illuminated and liberated me, too. I am delighted that you, too, felt the same! Welcome to Simply Here.

  4. My answer? Wondering if there is one…..

    What if we just stop, right here, right now, all of it, and remember. That our life, our stories, all of it, that this is our gift to God, to the Creator. And it is precious. And it is enough. And like Allison says, there is really no way to fail in this life. Maybe this is all we need to do? Maybe this is the answer? Wondering.

    • If we can stop & remember & be right here…there is no answer, no question, nothing further. I think this is the answer. Yet how to stop? Fully stop? Fully fully stop and realize the truth that we’ve been chasing like a butterfly in a meadow. Running, kicking up our heels, chasing the butterfly…when maybe the answer was in the chase all along. Wondering along with you.

  5. I too have been brought to my knees by the experience of everything as “infinitely precious” simply because it IS.

    The negative path seems to be more “masculine”-flavored and the positive path is more “feminine”-flavored, according to Arjuna Ardagh in his The Translucent Revolution, one of my favorite books. I had not made such distinctions before….

    You said “It realized that our stories are gifts to God, the divine, the Creator, the Nothing, the Everything.”

    My “It” realized that too. Nowadays if I am “suffering” instead of just feeling pain, I find comfort in knowing it is my gift to the Creator, and in saying in devotion “OK, I offer this experience into the pool of Infinite Experiencing.” Of course, that’s truly a fiction, as there is no “two” there!! Nonetheless, there seems to be the experience of an I who experiences being willing!

    Took me a long time to get to this blog, dunno why, but now i am like a kid in a candy store! Yummy stuff!!!

    Love ya!

    • OM, what a delight that you finally visited the “baby” blog. (grin!) I like how you described it as the feminine/masculine path. You are right. One is harder, more abrupt. The other is softer, more inclusive.

      When we sink into the realization, deeply, deeply, that we’re OK, that our suffering is simply the Mind resisting the Moment, resisting Love, perhaps that’s all that is needed.

      Yet, yet…I still wonder. Do we still need to consciously stop our actions which aren’t in alignment with our highest knowings? That is always the crux at which my unknowing turns.

      Glad you finally got over to the candy store, kiddo!

  6. As usual, your words speak volumes more than what is actually written. I have difficulties being still, both physically and mentally. More often than not I am on hyper drive. Your post reminds me that I ought to take more time to sit in quietness. When I do, it does wonders to refresh both body and soul. Also , I love the analogy of life’s messes to tangled hair. I know the knots and tangles will work themselves out in time, but so often I feel the desire to have them work out now rather on their own. Thank you for the reminder. It couldn’t come at a better time.

    • Jessica, one thing that I have been doing lately is to stay more present in the any pain or suffering that arises–trying not to calm myself with mechanical reactions. Deeply breathing as any painful “soft spots” surface. Letting present-moment-awareness integrate any painful places which arise. It feels right. If you are feeling the desire to work out your tangles now, it’s probably a sign that you have the strength to begin combing. Much love!

  7. Pingback: Sitting on a Shelf a New Inside Upside Down and Backward Blog, who knows what number today! « Elisa's Spot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s