In the frenzy of interactions with stuff and with others, it’s hard to have a feeling of oneness with the world. Surprisingly it’s in stillness that oneness is more easily sensed.
Last week I was in a pool, supported by a noodle under my arms, so that my torso and legs were fully submerged under water and not touching the bottom. I was able to be perfectly still – suspended in this position. No one else was in the pool. My attention was fully focused on my legs and feet. In a relatively short period of complete stillness, I could no longer tell where my legs ended and the water began. It was a delightful sensation to feel at one with the water. So this is what oneness feels like? The minute I moved my legs the spell was broken and I felt my separateness again. It was a fun experiment to be able to easily shift back and forth from oneness to separateness – from stillness to movement and interaction.
We live in a time of endless opportunities for activity, entertainment, and busy lives. We also seem to feel increasingly separate, alone and even alienated from one another. What do we do to heal the wounds, to bring our society together? What activities would be most impactful for the good of all? Increasingly, I’m getting nudges that one piece of the puzzle to create more unity is stillness – my stillness – your stillness – a stillness that’s not the same as inaction – but rather a stillness that nurtures our abilities to feel oneness. What if more people became fascinated with the ability to feel oneness in stillness?
I understand there is a huge bias against stillness. Many are afraid of it. Many have been taught to fear stillness and to keep busy and fill each moment at all costs. Often as I contemplate being still, what pops into my head is the saying “Idle minds and hands are the devil’s workshop.” As a kid I never thought to question this. I simply heard the fear and tried to steer clear of being idle. Growing up it seemed that rewards and approval all came from being productive – and never from being still. To this day I have to fight the cultural messages against stillness – knowing them to be false.
Neither facts nor reasoned arguments will ultimately persuade the uninitiated of the importance of stillness. In fact talking about it will just scare them away. Instead, what if we invited others into experiences where they could discover it themselves through feeling it – in the stillness of being suspended in water – in the stillness of lying under the stars – in the stillness of savasana at the end of a yoga class? Is there a way we can ignite a fascination with feeling oneness through stillness?
In the meantime, what might happen if you and I embraced more stillness? Just the thought of it makes me feel more connected.
Questions to Ponder:
- Are you afraid to be still or physically uncomfortable when still? If so, what messages are behind that fear?
- What makes you feel a sense of oneness or connection to all?