Synchronising for stillness

I was in a professional developmental session for body practitioners today where, in one activity, the facilitator was leading a guided meditation on finding centre or that place of stillness. The meditation began with an awareness of the breath and then the container of the skin. I was having a really nice sensation of the rhythm of my breath rising and descending along my spine, within the container of my body. The facilitator then invited us to notice a point of stillness within our container, then allow that to grow. As I was observing for this in my awareness, I was struck by the fact that there did not appear to be a stillness – in the sense of non-movement. In the rhythm and flow of my breath there was always movement – an ebbing and flowing existing in a continuous cycle. Yet, a sense of deep inner calm relating to an outer environment was certainly discernible. So what is stillness?

Sitting there, I suddenly got an image from physics of plotting relative trajectories or of interacting rhythms:
The motion, or velocity, of a particle only exists in relation to another particle, or a plane. So two cars traveling at the same speed in the same direction are ‘still’ relative to each other. Similarly, two regular oscillations or rhythms, such as matching sine waves, can also be said the be ‘still’ in relation to each other.

Thus, stillness is a relative property, and occurs as the result of finding synchronisation to a flow. This could be considered in number of contexts, for example:

  • one’s own flow – stillness arrives when we attune to our own internal rhythms, such as breath.
  • the flow of the environment – the expansive stillness of attuning the rhythms of the natural world around us.*
  • or, in the CI, the flow of our partner and the flow of the dance.

I like this idea of finding synchronicity to the flow of myself, my partner and the dance. I think I would like to cultivate more still in my dancing.

* I guess I wrote about the rhythms of the natural world here because, whilst there certainly can be stillness in synchronising to the flow/rhythms of a bustling city scene, it does not necessarily always fill me with that deep inner calm of centredness.


~ by Joey Lehrer on February 5, 2011.

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